Help Forum

Help requested posted on 11th October 2019:

Duration of Amber Light

I have spent hours looking for the legal length of time an amber light should show before turning red. I went through a set of lights and my back wheels weren't over the line and thought that I might get a ticket but was adamant they changed too fast for me to be able to stop safely. It was a 50 mph dual carriage way. I have received a notice of intended prosecution etc and looking at the photographs it states the amber light was 2.8 seconds with a +/- 10%.

Please can anyone help me to understand if this is an acceptable legal time limit and pay the fine/go on the driver awareness course, or if I have grounds to appeal this in court.
Thank you very much in advance for any help. Lisa

Mrs Lisa Bunyan

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Response posted on 16th October 2019 by:
Paul Finch

E: paul.finch@greensignals.co.uk
T: 01245 472996

Duration of Amber Light

A leaving amber signal (green to red) is 3 seconds, a starting amber (red to green) is 2 seconds. Regardless of speed limit. You were not done for jumping the amber but going through a red signal. If you look elsewhere on the photo it will also show how long the signals where at red for before you crossed the stop line. It will also show how fast you were going. Don't say the lights changed too fast for you to stop safely, all that means is you were going to fast to stop.


Response posted on 31st October 2019 by:
Glen Kyle

E: tcb333@shaw.ca
T: 587 333 5246

Duration of Amber Light

When approaching any intersection, it's important to prepare yourself for the worst. A controlled device such as a traffic signal, requires that the operator of a vehicle must try to "meet" NOT "beat" the amber light. Preparation for this requires the operator of their vehicle, begin by slowing down for an older green light, and make an adjustment with their foot position, covering the brake about a 1/3 of a block back and checking the rear view mirror while doing so. The yellow light is there for your protection. If the person following you thinks that you're going through the intersection, they may attempt to go through the yellow or early red with you. Not a good idea.


Response posted on 31st October 2019 by:
Allan Jones

E: allanvaljones@gmail.com
T:

Duration of Amber Light

The 3 second leaving amber gives you plenty of time to stop if you are travelling at 40 mph or less, but at 50 mph it becomes more challenging. I think that in the U.S.A. and some other countries they use longer ambers (up to 6 seconds) on higher speed roads.


Response posted on 7th November 2019 by:
Lisa Bunyan

E: lisamay1@talktalk.net
T:

Duration of Amber Light

Thank you very much for your response to my question. I have taken the option for attending a driving awareness course. I still think the 2.8 second amber light was far too short for a 50 mph road, but apart from going to court and incurring legal fees, there's nothing I can do about it I guess.


Response posted on 8th November 2019 by:
mottershaw stuart

E: stuart.mottershaw7309@leicestershire.pnn.police.uk
T:

Duration of Amber Light

All drivers should anticipate on approach that the lights may change at any time. As an ex driving instructor and advanced driver myself, I taught and was taught that you should back off the throttle slightly on approach to traffic lights to give yourself extra time to stop if the lights change. A vehicle travels roughly 22m a second at 50mph, so an early anticipation of the lights changing with nearly 3 seconds of warning from an amber light means you would have be the best part of at least 60+ meters from the lights before they change. Stopping distance from 50 to zero is 53 meters which is plenty so either the driver was going faster than 50, or not paying due care...


Response posted on 10th November 2019 by:
David Carter

E: Ralge@sky.com
T: 07791382519

Duration of Amber Light

The duration of the amber light may or may not be significant or appeal-worthy.
What hasn’t been mentioned is that amber on its own after green means “stop” (unless you have already crossed it or unless you are so close to it that stopping would cause you or someone else a problem). It doesn’t mean “you have 2.8/3 seconds before you have to stop” (so carry on).
Treating a green seen from a long way off as “go” and “go” is the way drivers increasingly push the envelope of passing through every amber to passing through a red. Stopping at most (anticipated) ambers is a good way to avoid ever passing through a red.


Response posted on 14th November 2019 by:
Danny

E: Mail@drivetoperfection.co.uk
T:

Duration of Amber Light

Hi Lisa, Assuming you are being prosecuted for going through on Red...

Amber means Stop the caveat you are referring to (unsafe to stop in time) applies to the Amber light , not Red which means you had 2.8 seconds notice to stop, if you are approaching a set of traffic lights that have been on green for some time then the likelihood is they could change at any time soon. In essence your defence would not stand up I court.

If you are offered a course instead of points I highly recommend this, the courses have a lot of information and I would suggest anyone would benefit from attending (plus you don't get any points of course!)

Danny


Response posted on 15th November 2019 by:
Lisa Bunyan

E: lisamay1@talktalk.net
T:

Duration of Amber Light

thanks again for these comments. Unfortunately I had come onto the road from a slip road, so had no idea of how long the green lights were showing. I particularly like the comment about thinking of Amber as stop. I must admit, since this happening, I have certainly changed my approach to traffic lights. I have been offered a course, which I am happy to take as I have been driving for 33 years now and am sure this will 'refocus'things. That said, I always stick to the speed limits, much to the disgust of others travelling within a few inches of me!


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