Drivers must stop on a yellow light, unless it is unsafe.
Drivers must stop on a yellow light, unless it is unsafe.

When traffic lights are yellow - stop

FROM an early age, we're taught that red means stop, green means and go, and yellow means... well what exactly does it mean?  

Something in between?   

Training Wheels driving instructor Candita Hamblin said the biggest mistake made when it comes to yellow lights is thinking you don't have to stop.  

She said that years ago, motorists were able to continue through yellow lights, but not these days.  

Candita said we need to change our thinking about yellow lights.  

"They're an extension of a red light," she said.  

"You have to stop at a yellow light if it's safe to do so. "

"Basically if there's no one close behind you and you don't have to slam on the brakes."  

Candita said she teaches her students to always be prepared to stop at lights.   

"Traffic lights are generally quite high up," she said.   "Be looking ahead at what's coming up.  

Candita Hamblin.
Candita Hamblin. Tom Huntley GLACAND

Trying to "beat" the yellow lights is something Candita sees too often on the road.   

"People don't understand that there's a $330 fine and loss of three demerit points for going through a yellow light if it was safe to stop," she said.  

"The safest way to drive is to be aware what's coming up.   "If the light has been green for ages, you know it's going to turn yellow."  

Candita said motorists shouldn't think of yellow lights as a last chance.  

Candita Hamblin: LIKE most of us I was brought up with the idea that a yellow light means "go really, really fast" but in fact, we have to stop on a yellow light, unless it is unsafe to do so.

The yellow light is the beginning of the red light, not the end of the green light. Failure to stop (if it is safe to do so) can get you a $330 fine and three demerit points.

The number of people who race through yellow and in turn red lights is staggering.

I believe most people do it because they are running late. It's easy to avoid being caught by a yellow light by keeping an eye on the lights to see what they are doing. If they have been green for a while it's a good chance they will soon be yellow.

Always remember to be prepared to stop.



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