Red lights with green arrows for new drivers

Red Lights with green arrows – a question

We have received a question here on the blog regarding red lights with green arrows. Here it is :

I’ve read that if a green arrow is shown with a red light, you can go in the direction of the arrow if the way is clear.

I haven’t come across this red-light-and-green-arrow situation yet while driving. I’m unsure if you’re supposed to stop before turning in the direction of the green arrow. Or if you can just go through.

I’m thinking you can just go through…some pictures on Google Images seem to suggest that you can. But I wonder if that’s generally the way it works.

red lights with green arrows
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Red Lights With Green Arrows

This is actually a good question. I’ve heard a few stories of new drivers who stopped when they shouldn’t have. The driver behind was not ready for this unexpected action. The result was a rear-end collision.

Apparently, the the new driver was confused as to which traffic light was his/hers/theirs.

Normally, if you are facing a green arrow, you may simply turn in the direction of the arrow. This works as long as you’re in the appropriate lane first of course. (make sure you Scan the Intersection first).

You do not have to stop first – Please Don’t. If you’re not in the turning lane, then you must stop and wait for the red light to go green before you can proceed.

A tip for figuring out which lane is yours: when you’re approaching any intersection, do not be overwhelmed by all the shiny traffic lights!

It is good to get the big picture, and figure out what’s going on in the entire intersection whenever possible.

But, if you are simply trying to figure out which light is for you, then start by looking for appropriate signs hanging above the intersection:

intersection signs
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Also, if you look straight ahead (or straight ahead on whatever angle you are on) there should be a traffic light with your name on it.

OK, it won’t literally (see how I used the word literally, like, the right way?) have your name on it.

But is it just me or is there often a traffic light straight ahead of each individual lane?

I know this is not always the case, but it should help you to get an idea.

Hmmm, 4 lanes & 4 traffic lights

which lane is my light for
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Hmm, 2 lanes and 2 traffic lights

two traffic lights for two lanes
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Is it just me or is this very profound?

green arrows and red lights
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Hope that makes some kind of sense.

Carmen Cohoe

Carmen became a driving instructor in beautiful North Vancouver at the age of 22 due to some crazy people who agreed to hire her. After that, there was never a dull moment teaching many different folks from many different places how to drive using automatic and standard vehicles and a minivan.

One thought on “Red lights with green arrows for new drivers

  • Antonio Soares

    If you approach a red light with a green arrow ….what is the correct way to treat this light ??? according to RMV ?? Please help ASAP ….I’m taking a test tomorrow ???

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