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Traffic Lights – Do you know the basics?


Have you ever been sitting at the traffic lights and a little voice pipes up in the back – what does the amber light mean? Well here is your official guide to the traffic light combinations and what they actually mean!

The most basic traffic light consists of three bulbs with different coloured lenses, which from top to bottom are red, amber and green. In the UK, the lights commonly use a sequence of four phases:

1. Red — this indicates that traffic must stop behind the line. It is compulsory for all road users to do so. Some traffic lights even have cameras to catch drivers breaking this law.

2. Red and Amber — this combination of bulbs indicates that the lights are about to change to green, and gives drivers time to release their handbrake and prepare to drive off as soon as they are allowed to do so. This phase was first introduced in 1958.

3. Green — this indicates that traffic may pass through the junction, provided that it is safe to do so and the way is clear. Some junctions are marked with a hash of yellow lines forming a box, which indicates that drivers must not stop on the box unless they are turning right and their exit is clear.

4. Amber — this warns traffic that it should stop unless it is unsafe to do so. In the UK it is legal to pass through an amber light, as the phase exists to warn drivers not yet at the junction that they will have to stop.

So now you are up to speed with the basics! Did you know that SRL Traffic Systems have the UK’s most comprehensive range of traffic light and pedestrian system layouts to suit all portable and temporary applications? For more information or to discuss your requirements, please contact the head office on 01606 738866 or sales@srl.co.uk

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