Avoid Skipping the Red Light

This article is published in association with Ministry of Interior in public interest.

Jumping the red signal is a sure recipe for disaster, and in many cases, for death. Even crossing the ‘yellow’ before it turns ‘red’ could turn out to be a dicey game of death because most often one swishes past the signal consoling oneself that one has made it just in the nick of time without realizing that a serious accident may be in the offing just seconds away.

Remember, when you are desperately pressing the accelerator to catch the ‘yellow’ before it turns ‘red’, someone ahead, coming from either your left or right, might have legitimately started to drive past their green light which may have just turned so from the ‘red’.  If you bang into them, (for no fault of that driver who has every right to go past his green signal), both of you may end up in the hospital but the medical and insurance bills might all be yours to pay.

The sensible thing to do is to slow down if you see a green light in the distance. Do not try to speed up to ‘catch’ it. For you never know when it might turn yellow and then red very quickly thereafter. If you zoom towards a traffic signal speedily, it may be too late to screech to a halt if it does turn red. Approach the ‘green’ normally and if it is still ‘green’ when you are there, of course go ahead and cross it. But in case it suddenly turns red, you will still be in control of your vehicle and should be able to come to a stop without anxiety or screeching of tyres.

However, there are occasions when you must not cross the ‘green’ light either. This is when you see a traffic jammed ‘yellow box’ in front of you.

This pattern of crisscross yellow lines painted on roads of perpetually busy inner city areas plays the important role of preventing severe congestion and clogging of busy roads.

How? Consider that the traffic ahead is not moving and you are left stranded in the middle of a junction. Once your signal turns red, your vehicle will be blocking the oncoming traffic from another direction of the junction, creating chaos and mishaps. The ‘yellow boxes’ were devised to avoid such situations and to forewarn the drivers that while ‘green’ does give you the right of way, there are situations when you have to forego that prerogative.

Happy driving!