Traffic lights can also be known as traffic signals and light signals are signalling devices located at junctions, roundabouts, pedestrian crossings and used on motorways.
Traffic lights were first introduced to London in 1868. Traffic lights use of the sequence red, yellow/amber, and green are used to give the right of way to road users and pedestrians.
Traffic light sequence:
- Green light illumination allows traffic to proceed in the direction indicated.
- Orange/yellow light illumination, prepare to stop before line if safe to do so.
- Red light illumination prohibits any traffic from proceeding.
Red traffic light
Red means ‘Stop’. Wait behind the stop line on the carriageway.
Red and amber traffic light
Red and amber also means ‘Stop’. Do not pass through or start until Green shows.
Green traffic light
Green means you may go on if the way is clear. Take special care if you intend to turn left or right and give way to pedestrians who are crossing.
Amber traffic light
Amber means ‘Stop’ at the stop line. You may go on only if the Amber appears after you have crossed the stop line or are so close to it that to pull up might cause an accident.
Green filter arrow and lights for trams
A green arrow may be provided in addition to the full green signal if movement in a certain direction is allowed before or after the full green phase. If the way is clear you may go but only in the direction shown by the arrow. You may do this whatever other lights may be showing. White light signals may be provided for trams
Motorway traffic light signals
Flashing traffic lights
Alternate flashing red lights mean YOU MUST STOP! Located at level crossings, lifting bridges, airfields, fire stations, etc.
Motorway lane control signs
Green arrow – lane available to traffic facing the sign
Red crosses – lane closed to traffic facing the sign
White diagonal arrow – change lanes in direction shown
Further information on traffic lights
For further information on traffic lights and how they work, see:
FURTHER road signs TUTORIALS
- Warning road signs
- Order road signs
- Blue road signs
- Brown road signs
- White road signs
- Speed limit signs
- Direction signs
- Low bridge signs
- Parking and no parking signs
- Bus lane and bus stop signs
- Road works and temporary signs
- Road markings and lines
- Road sign theory test quiz
- Road markings theory test quiz