To stop or not to stop, it’s an age-old debate that drivers have been trying to get their heads around for decades. Despite the rules being pretty clear, a surprising proportion of Aussies are still confused as to what the rules are when it comes to stopping at a yellow traffic light. We have decided to put an end to the confusion with this article as we explain below the Australian road rules around yellow traffic lights.
The road rules:
So, what are the do’s and don’ts when approaching a yellow traffic light in Australia? It is dependent upon two things; 1 the speed at which you are travelling and 2 your distance to the stop line. To put it simply a driver must use their judgement to determine if it is safe to stop. If you are maintaining speed and the traffic light changes to yellow when you have almost reached the stop lines, then it is most likely unsafe to stop, and you should carry on through rather than slamming on your brakes in a hurry. If however, you are a safe distance from the traffic lights and you have time to safely slow down and stop, then you must stop. The yellow or orange traffic lights’ purpose is to warn drivers to slow down as the light will soon change to red and in all cases, the yellow light means stop unless it is dangerous to do so.
A flashing yellow light:
In the case of a flashing yellow light where the traffic lights are not working and there is no traffic officer present directing traffic then you should approach the lights as if they were a stop sign. Stop your vehicle until it is clear in all directions and safe to proceed.
Need a refresher on the Queensland Road Rules? Visit https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/safety/rules/road
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