The yellow light is there for a reason!

You don’t sound like a jerk; you sound dangerous. Yellow lights mean stop if you are able, period. If you are already in the intersection (for example, waiting to make a left turn), clear the intersection when safe. I doubt very much that the traffic laws are different where you live. Of course, I fully expect to get rear-ended some day stopping for a red light and then turning right (which is legal here), or stopping for a stop-sign, both of which are almost unheard of lately.

I would like to second featherlou. In California at least, yellow means, “stop if you safely can. Only go through the intersection if it is not safe to stop.”

I’ve never heard of yellow meaning, “Use your judgement and go.” Rather, “Use your judgement and stop.”

:o

I don’t know if I should be sorry, or laughing.

I’m kinda both.
And yeah, Licentious Ectomorph, the guy my post is about had a yellow long before he got to the intersection, and by the time he entered it, the light was red. And lights in this town stay yellow for a good 7 or 8 seconds. (Doesn’t sound very long, but close your eyes and imagine you’re driving down the street and count out 7 seconds.)

At a session at traffic school (speeding ticket) about three years ago, the instructor told us to NEVER brake when entering an intersection and the light turnes yellow. He said that would place your car in a dead stop in the middle of the intersection. He said that as long as the light was yellow while you were driving the speed limit, the timing of the lights would allow you to safely make it through the intersection.

That said, I always look both ways when I am stopped at a red light and the light turns green as I have seen enough idiots flying through a red light at 50 MPH to know that just because the light is greeen, doesn’t mean you can go.

In my jurisdiction, the traffic laws say:

Green = Go if it is safe to do so
Yellow = Stop, unless it is unsafe to do so
Red = Stop

The penalty for entering the intersection on a yellow light when you could have safely stopped is the same as running a red light. A cop once told me that if the light turns red before you reach the other side, you could have safely stopped, or if not, you were speeding by a significant amount. He also said they don’t usually ticket people running the red because it ends up being a judgement call and it’s too easy for the offenders to get off in court. Like many of the traffic laws, this one seems mainly to be used in determining who’s at fault after the accident.

Mind you, very few drivers pay any attention to this and most drivers apparently use the following rules:

Green = Go!
Yellow = Go faster!
Red = Stop, unless it’s just changed from yellow in which case you can still go because the light will be red both ways for a second or two and nobody would ever jump the green, or unless it’s about to turn green in which case you can go because the light will be red both ways for a second or two and nobody would ever run the red. (The innocent faith displayed by most bad drivers that all the rest of the drivers around them are *good * drivers constantly amazes me.)

I agree with this. The problem really is the danger zone in front of the intersection; there is basically a commitment line for driving - if you’re at it or over it, you go through the yellow without changing speed or braking. If you’re not at it yet, you have all kinds of time for stopping. The problem with drivers finding the commitment line is that they have to be paying attention to THEIR DRIVING, not the kids in the back seat or the cellphone.

Years ago a friend from Italy taught me the rules of driving in Naples:

[ul]
[li]If the light is green, you go.[/li][li]If the light is yellow, you go.[/li][li]If the light is red, you go, but be careful.[/li][/ul]
Do Europeans know how to have fun, or what?

This is another thing that has amazed me since moving to the US, and especially Baltimore.

There are plenty of lights around here where there is literally no wait between the light turning red in one diorection and the light turning green in another. They both happen at exactly the same time. This seems incredibly stupid to me.

Everywhere i’ve lived before (Australia, UK, Canada), there was always about a second (often longer) between the red in one direction and the green in the other.

NYC has its own set of rules for intersections with traffic lights.

Like most places, yellow means speed up. Even if you’re a bus. But yellow also means that you have 15 seconds to make it through the red light before the opposing traffic turns green. Yellow also means that if you’re making a left hand turn and haven’t had an empty spot, you have the right to make your turn even if the cars across from you are still coming, and it’ll be their fault if they don’t brake for you.

There is also a rule that if traffic is backed up far enough that you didn’t make it through the intersection after a complete red-green-red cycle, than the red light doesn’t apply and traffic may keep moving until the block is clear. Even if you’re a bus. And if the person in front of you doesn’t want to obey this rule, than the right solution is to get out of your car and verbally repremand her, and ignore the fact that your direction has the green light again 30 seconds later and that you are now holding up traffic yourself. But don’t worry, once you get back into your car, you can still go, even if it has turned red again.

Oh yeah, and you are allowed to run red lights whenever you want, just as long as you hold down the horn.

I’m going to use this the next time I am in any sort of traffic-related incident. Even if I’m on the curb watching a traffic incident.

Heck, just yelling “SWAMP GAS!!” at random moments will relieve many of the pressures associated with daily driving in Southern California.

My cubicle windows face Jefferson Davis Highway and the building is just a few feet from a busy T-intersection with one of those cameras. One day as I was waiting to cross Jeff Davis, this sedan and van set off the lights then promtly stopped in the middle of the intersection! The guy driving the van got out and had words with the woman driving the sedan, I can only assume that they were together. It was the strangest thing.