Driving Test Success

Traffic Lights Sequence Explained


Traffic Light Failure

When a set of traffic lights have failed to work you should treat the junction as an uncontrolled junction - one where no one has priority. In such a case, you should be prepared to stop and give way.

Advanced Stop Lines

Traffic Light Stop Line

Some traffic light controlled junctions have advanced stop lines. These allow cyclists, and sometimes buses, to wait ahead of all other traffic, usually in an area marked by a different coloured road surface.

All other traffic must wait behind the first stop line, and should avoid waiting in the marked area.

When the traffic light turns to green, traffic waiting at the first stop line should be patient and allow time and space for the cyclists or bus to move off.

Approaching Traffic Lights

As you approach a set of traffic lights you should always be ready to stop. Never speed up to try and reach a green light before it chances. Use the MSM/PSL routine as you approach, look for any lane markings and get into the correct lane in good time.

Remember, a green light can change at any time. When approaching, be aware of what is happening behind, slow down and be ready to stop if the light changes. If the green light stays on, continue, but remember to check in all directions. However, if your exit road is blocked, wait at the stop line, do not drive forwards and block the junction.

Filter Traffic Lights

Filter Traffic Light

Filter lights indicate that you have priority the the direction shown by the arrow (see image right, which indicates a right filter lane). They may be timed to control traffic congestion at busy times. The arrow may indicate priority to the left, right or ahead.

At a left filter traffic light, when the arrow comes on you may turn left regardless of any other lights that may be showing. Before turning, check for other traffic moving in from your right.

At a right filter traffic light, when the arrow comes on you may turn right regardless of any other lights that may be showing. Check that there is no oncoming traffic before you proceed.

On your driving the test the examiner will expect you to:


Author Richard Jenkins

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