To Go or not to Go!

The yellow light dilemma......

Fri, 27/04/2012 - 09:42

Since the beginning of time motorists have agonised over what to do when that green traffic light turns yellow.....

Well thats easy, the official New Zealand road code says:

1. ‘A yellow signal means stop, unless you are so close to the intersection that you can't stop safely’

and

2. ‘A yellow signal indicates that the lights will soon turn red.’

Hmmmm..... not quite so straight forward, not everyone’s perception is the same, some motorists ‘stopping safely’ distance is longer than others, which is when unnecessary crashes happen. So let’s take a closer look and explore what we need to teach our learners.

When driving towards traffic lights and they have been green for awhile (in driving educator terms we call this a stale green light) lift your foot off the accelerator, which centres the weight of the car and hover it over the brake, both these actions will reduce your reaction time and shorten the distance it takes to stop if the stale green light turns yellow.

When travelling at 50km/h it will take the car around 35 metres to stop so if you are closer than that to the lights when the lights turn yellow I suggest you keep driving to avoid stopping past the intersection,

So, if you teach this and more importantly practice this yourself, we could start changing the crash statistics right now.....

Traffic signals, red light, yellow light, nz roads, teencoach
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