Recently, GMAC Insurance conducted a study regarding drivers knowledge across the UK. The study can be found at http://www.gmacinsurance.com/SafeDriving/ExecutiveSummary.asp the results are worrying. One in five drivers would not pass a written driving test today if they were required to take it. That truly is a scary number, 85% of the drivers did not know what to do when approaching a amber light. As you probably suspect, a number of people said speed up so it does not turn red.
The correct meaning of an amber light is as follows:
- If you are approaching a traffic light that changes to amber you must stop if it is safe to do so i.e. nobody is so close behind you that pulling up may cause an accident. This however can be avoided, for instance if you are approaching a traffic light which has been green for a while or a pedestrian crossing where a pedestrian is waiting, common sense says the light is going to change so check your mirrors and begin to slow, this way you will create a safer situation around you, you will also save your brakes and fuel. Speeding up is pointless as you’ll only get caught by the next traffic light further along the road or worse the police for jumping red lights putting peoples safety at risk.
- When waiting at a traffic light the traffic light will go from steady red to steady red and amber, this also means wait but be prepared to go. When the light goes green if the pedestrian crossing or road is clear and only then you can go.
- The second scenario you will come across when waiting at a red light at a pedestrian crossing is it will then turn to flashing amber, we find these lights at Pelican crossings. The flashing amber light also found at Zebra crossings means give way, therefore if there is anybody still on the crossing you must wait until they are off the road.