Traffic lights control movements of all road users. They tell drivers and pedestrians when to stop or go. Traffic lights for drivers and cyclists are illustrated on this and the following two pages. Traffic lights for pedestrians are illustrated on page 17.

In the majority of cases, as well as the main traffic lights at the 'Stop' line, there are duplicate traffic lights known as secondary traffic lights. They are usually located on the opposite side of the junction (or crossing), but are sometimes placed on the same side of the junction. If the main traffic light fails, for example, a green lamp fails, you must obey the secondary traffic light as if it were the main traffic light. Once clear of the 'Stop' line you should continue with care, without reference to the traffic lights.


Traffic Lights Traffic signs may also be used with traffic lights to qualify the meaning of the green light such as banning a turning movement or instructing traffic that it must move in a certain direction.

Traffic Lights

Traffic Lights

For some signalised junctions with right-turn pockets (see page 75), an indicative right-turn green arrow may be added.

When the full green light is on and the right-turn arrow is off, the right-turners can proceed into the pocket to wait for a safe gap in the opposing traffic stream and turn right when it is safe to do so. Other traffic movements are allowed to proceed.

When the right-turn arrow is on as well, it indicates the opposing traffic is stopped by red traffic
light and you can turn right if safe to do so.

Traffic Lights If movement is allowed only in one direction, a green arrow pointing in that direction may replace the full green light. Signs are often used with these signals to indicate this permitted movement direction.
Traffic Lights A green arrow may light up even though the red light is
still showing. This means you can go in the direction shown by the arrow if it is safe to do so, whatever the other lights may be showing.
Traffic Lights At some junctions, different traffic lanes may have separate traffic lights. You should only obey the traffic lights that apply to your lane.

Intermittent red light warning signals (wig-wag)

Traffic Lights

accident signWhen red lights are flashing alternately, all approaching vehicles must stop, until both red lights have stopped flashing. These lights are used at places where traffic is only stopped infrequently - for example at fire station exits.