Complete Guide to Traffic Light Rules in Australia
- Road Travel,
- Oct 14, 2019
Whether you are a veteran driver or a novice trying to just learn driving, the first thing you need to be aware of is the traffic light rules. The rules are mostly the same all over the world, so if you learn about the ones applicable in Australia, it is almost certain that you would also get the knowledge of those which are used throughout the entirety of the world. If you think that the traffic light rules are restricted to just traffic lights or signals, you have never been so wrong. There are over 55 road signs and all of them are categorized into one single category of traffic light rules.
We are not going to list all 55 since it is way beyond our scope and your capacity to learn in one read, and also because it is rare that you would see all 55 being applied in your lifetime. Therefore, we are going to go with the most common ones and explain in detail about the do’-s and don’t-s of these traffic rules.
Let’s start off with the most common and most basic type of traffic signals, the traffic lights. The traffic lights are those round (sometimes rectangular) lights placed at intersections with three lights embedded in a box. These three lights are red, yellow, and green.
1- Red Light: As the color suggests, you are supposed to stop at the Red Light. Whenever a red light is on, do not cross the bordered white line at the intersection. If you do, you would be violating traffic rules and would be punished accordingly.
2- Yellow Light: The second color of the traffic lights, usually found in the middle, is the yellow one. A yellow light indicates the transitioning of the lights. It is associated with being ready to either stop your car if you are moving, or move your car if you are stopped depending on whether the light is changing from green to red or red to green, respectively. Obviously, there is an exception to the yellow light and that holds when your car is impossible to shift its state. For example, if you are in a good enough speed and are just about to cross the intersection and the yellow light suddenly comes up, you do not necessarily have to stop since by now you would already be halfway across the road and stopping would not make sense. In that case, you are allowed to continue moving and it would not count as a violation (unless some other factors contribute to it).
3- Green Light: You would’ve guessed (or already known) by now what the green light means. It means to go. There’s nothing stopping you to move whenever the green light is on at an intersection. You are free as a bird to go wherever you want.
Traffic Light Arrows:
The traffic lights are pretty common to everyone. However, something that not all of people understand are the traffic light arrows. These are slightly different from the usual lights and are specified in a specific direction. The working, however, is the same.
1- Red Arrow: Whenever a red arrow in on, you are not allowed to go in the specific direction where the arrow is pointing. You can go anywhere other than the arrow-pointed direction provided that the green light is on otherwise. However, if both the red light and the red arrow are on, you are not allowed to go anywhere.
2- Yellow Arrow: As explained before, the yellow color represents transitioning. It means that the arrow’s color is about to change. If the arrow was red before, it is going to turn green and vice versa. Prepare yourself for this change beforehand to prevent making any mistakes.
3- Green Arrow: With the green arrow glowing, you are allowed to go to the specified direction. If the green light is on along with the green arrow, you are free to go anywhere, however, if the red light is on with the green arrow, you are only allowed to go to that specified direction, nowhere else.
Other Traffic Signals:
The traffic signals are not restricted to just the aforementioned types, there is a special category which is not-so-commonly used but should be known.
Flashing Yellow Light: The flashing yellow light indicates that the traffic lights are not working and the drivers are advised caution. In this case, usually, a traffic warden controls the traffic flow and the warden’s directions must be followed to avoid any violation of traffic laws.
If, however, a traffic warden is not present, you are advised to follow the Give Way rules which state that you should never try to cross the road when there is traffic coming from a perpendicular direction, instead, give them the way and let them pass. When your turn approaches, you would easily pass and hurrying would only result in more and more accidents.
Pedestrian Lights: The pedestrian lights are usually green and red lights with a pedestrian made over them. When it is green, the pedestrians are allowed to cross the road and are not allowed to do so when the light is red.
Bicycle Lights: Just like the pedestrian lights, the red and green bicycle lights indicate the stop and go for bicycle riders.
U-Turn Sign: The U Turn rules at an intersection may vary depending upon the presence of a U Turn sign. When a U Turn sign is present, you are allowed to make a U Turn. However, if a No U Turn sign is present, you are not. In the case where none of the signs are present, usually it is assumed that U Turn is allowed, so you are good to go and make the U Turn.
Camera Sign: A camera sign is usually used to indicate the presence of a speed camera. However, it is not to be assumed that a camera is not present at an intersection if the sign is not present. There is no rule where it states that wherever a camera is present, its sign must also be present. So do not break any traffic light rules when there is no such sign present because, unbeknownst to you, the cameras might be there.
Those were all the traffic light rules we are going to cover in this article since those are the most common ones you would see during your regular course of driving. However, if you want more detailed information about any driving-related course, you can always head over to Easy Driving Test to solve their unique way of teaching you through questions.