How to tell if the light will change to yellow soon

(Last Updated On: January 11, 2017)


A Fresh light is a green light you know for sure is going to stay green. The only way to be 100% certain is to see the pedestrian “Walk” signal advising the pedestrians that they may start walking across the crosswalk.


A Stale light is one that you think might change to yellow soon. Clues are: if the light has been green for a long time; if you see the pedestrian “don’t walk” signal; and if there are any vehicles waiting on the other street (on the traffic sensor) and/or pedestrians who have pressed the pedestrian buttons.

Traffic lights don’t just change randomly; they change due to demand from vehicles on the sensor or pedestrians.

Traffic Sensors on the pavement

Many moons ago, Carmen became an ICBC-approved driving instructor at the age of 22 in North Vancouver, and has spent many years working with new and experienced drivers around the lower mainland. She can be found reading the Motor Vehicle Act for fun while receiving strange looks from others. May the quest for great driving continue!

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