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My name is Steve Young and I am a retired California Highway Patrol Officer. I will also be your instructor in one of the online traffic courses with B Line Traffic Schools. No matter what course you sign up for, my goals are the same: Present you with the information that you need in a way that will not put you to sleep and then get you back to your life.  Throughout some of the courses I have included interesting situations, people and other random things I have come across in my 25+ years with the CHP to break things up a bit. Ok ok, enough about me. Close this window and start your course with B Line Traffic Schools today.

Flashing Lights

15 Apr Blog | Comments

We all know what red, yellow and green lights on a traffic light means. We have been trained since before we could drive. We also know that we must stop at a stop sign. Depending on who got to the stop sign first decides who gets to go next. The order of traffic is determined by following the “rules of the road”.

When we run into the normal type lights and stop signs, most people are fully aware of what they are allowed to do and what they are not allowed to do. They know whose turn it is and when their turn comes up.

Flashing lights can sometimes throw a person off. The most important rule to remember is that yellow means caution. If a light is flashing yellow the driver, pedestrian, etc… needs to proceed through the light with caution. Using caution means looking both ways before entering the intersection.

Should the flashing lights be red, which means exactly what any red light means, which is to stop before proceeding. When the red lights are flashing that traffic light should be treated like a 4-way stop sign. If there are no flashing lights or lights at all the same rule applies. Treat the traffic light like a 4-way stop.

Other lights that have special rules include:

  • Solid red arrows – Those mean to stop and wait for a green arrow. The motorist cannot stop and then turn during a gap in traffic. The motorist must wait for the red arrow to change into a green arrow.
  • Solid green arrows – This arrow allows the motorist to turn left. The traffic on the other side has a red light and cannot proceed. The motorist must turn left. He/she cannot go straight, as the traffic across the way probably has a green arrow also.
  • Flashing yellow arrows – These mean the driver is permitted to turn however, he or she must yield to any oncoming traffic, such as pedestrians or bicycles.
  • Flashing yellow lights, school zone – These yellow lights are indicating that the motorist is in the midst of a school zone. The driver must slow his or her driving to 20 mph (normally). This allows the driver to stop more quickly should a child run into the street.
  • Flashing yellow lights, pedestrian zone – These flashing yellow lights indicate a section of the road that the driver must slow down and yield to a pedestrian crossing. Usually those types of zones are located near a park, where there is a lot of pedestrian traffic.

We all encounter traffic lights on a daily basis. We do not always encounter those types of flashing lights or arrows that have special rules. It is important to be aware of what they are and how to react should we run into one while we are driving.

Should you ever go on a trip, especially to another country, it is always a good idea to familiarize yourself with that states/countries rules of road.


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