Traffic Light - Red means STOP, Green means GO, what does YELLOW meant to YOU?

@submerryn (1304)
Malaysia
July 28, 2009 1:27am CST
My 2 year old boy loves car ride. Each time we come to a traffic light, he'll say STOP if the light is Red, or GO if the light is Green. However, we have yet to explain to him what the Yellow light meant. By right, the yellow light means that we are suppose to slow down to get ready to a total halt when it turns red. However, from my observation, the majority of road users tend to regard Yellow as "Go Faster" to beat the red light. That also means a higher risk of accidents occuring at the traffic lights! Tell me honestly, do you slow down when you see that the light is Yellow? Or are you one of the statistic who sped up upon seeing it yellow hoping to beat the red light? Honestly...
5 people like this
31 responses
@cwong77 (2011)
• Malaysia
28 Jul 09
submerryn.. No way that I prepare to slow down if I am just the next car in line for the yellow light. I hate those drivers that purposely slow down over the yellow light, and cause the cars at the back unable to pass the light. Sometimes, we never know whether the party behind is in a rush or not. I would suggest that we as drivers do our part and be considerate on the road. If you are at the traffic light, and it's showing 'yellow', it very much depends on which position are we in. if we are just right at the front, what's wrong put a bit accelerator as then there be more cars able to pass the traffic? But I will be ready to stop, if I am right far behind, just in case...
2 people like this
@Iriene88 (5346)
• Malaysia
28 Jul 09
Dear cwong77, Well said and practical too. That's waht most of us do... thats the solution to avoid being horned by the drivers behind you. Timing is very inportant to avoid unnecessary accident! Tks for sharing and drive carefully...lol
1 person likes this
@cwong77 (2011)
• Malaysia
28 Jul 09
Iriene88.. yes, we got to be considerate on the road.. no point arguing after knocking each other.. it's just plain waste of time.. actually we can save alot of time if we have paid extra careful on the road..
1 person likes this
@Iriene88 (5346)
• Malaysia
28 Jul 09
Dear submerryn, You are fast, I was thinking about this topic yesterday! To be very frank, most Malaysian will 'go faster', if not you will get a "horn' from the driver behind you. I used to say, if they horned me, "If I got a summon ticket, will you pay for me?" in my heart of course! But in Shanghai worse still : If the traffic light turn red, the car won't stop, it will slow deown a bit and just horn and go! I still remember the tour leader told us, careful when you cross the road, here they do not stop on red light! Incredible, that's why I told my son, if you can drive in Shanghai, India and Thailand, you can drive anyway in this world! lol!
@cwong77 (2011)
• Malaysia
28 Jul 09
I totally agree with you Iriene88! I was really amazed how the India driver drive through the narrow road.. and the Shanghai pedestrians in crossing the main huge road.. In that case, I think I am such a 'nice' driver on the road!
1 person likes this
@srganesh (6345)
• India
28 Jul 09
Yellow is the alert signal.When you are in halt,a yellow alerts you to start your vehicle and get ready for the move.When you are running,then yellow alerts you to expect red soon and you have to slow down.It doesn't mean to speed up.To conclude,yellow is an "ALERT SIGNAL".Cheers!
1 person likes this
@Iriene88 (5346)
• Malaysia
28 Jul 09
Dear srganesh, You got a very good point there! I have seen the traffic light system that you mentioned. The yellow light appeared twice, ie. before turning red and one more time before turning green. That' great but they must know which is which...an "Alert Signal". Good! In Malaysia, our traffic system is different, we only have yellow light before it turns red. We do not have the one that before it turning to green! I like those digital traffic light where they have digital numbering to count down to inform traffic of how much longer have to wait on red before it turns to green. These drivers will know when to press the accelarator to go. Same goes to green light, it will count down to inform whether you have enough time to cross, you have to see the traffic conditions and your car speed, if you can't, you better slow down and get ready to stop!
@submerryn (1304)
• Malaysia
28 Jul 09
I agree with the alert signal. And yes, I forgot to mention the country that I am from does not have the yellow light before it turns green. Thanx Iriene for pointing that out. And I agree with Iriene on the numbered system too.
1 person likes this
@srganesh (6345)
• India
29 Jul 09
I am from India and we too don't have separate yellow light,before red and green.But we can learn it with the roaming traffic easily.If everybody is waiting then the yellow is the sign before red and if everybody is moving then it is after green.And there are this numeric displays in our metropolitan cities which are unambigous.We can clearly justify things.Cheers!
• Netherlands Antilles
28 Jul 09
If I'm in the United States, I definitely slow down when I see the yellow light. Because I have realized that in the U.S. as soon as my light turns red, the other ones turn green immediately! And most of the people, start driving as soon as their light turn green. Over here where I live, Curacao, I speed up sometimes to beat the red light because when my light turns red, it takes about 10 seconds for sure before the other lights turn green. And knowing myself, even if I'm here or in the U.S., when I'm stopped at a red light that's about to turn green, the moment it turns green, I look out first before I start driving. Because sometimes there are crazy people driving around, and I start driving innocently through my green light while other people that tried to beat their red light are still passing through. Basically nowadays you got to look out for yourself and for others when it comes to traffic.
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
29 Jul 09
it depends..if i am driving at a slow speed around 40km or so, yellow means for me to stop.. but if i m driving more than that, i will press on the petrol more to avoid emergency brake and might get "banged" from behind..
@submerryn (1304)
• Malaysia
29 Jul 09
Totally agree with you. It is such a nuisance when I am at the green light and have to stop for those who beat the red light!!!!
@adellene (57)
28 Jul 09
Lol.:P I dont drive acrually but my Husband do, we only got motorbike and we are using it for transport in our everyday transactions. My husband usually use it for his transactions in going to his office and sometimes meeting me up in a certain place that we agreed to go to. and when I'm his backride already he really go slow down when the light is yellow whenever his really far from the crossing area, but when we are nearer the crossing and it's already red. we tend to get faster to avoid reckless cars coming. Coz we don't know the minds of ones person. so we better stay alert.:) He doesn't want any delays.
28 Jul 09
And he hates dust on the road, it's makes him go mad and speak a few words to a person, which I really Hate when we are together.:( I feel sorry always.
@submerryn (1304)
• Malaysia
28 Jul 09
Oh dear, dust on the road are hard to avoid dont you think so? But sand on the road, that can pose quite a hazard. I have a friend who met with an accident due to the sand on the road and losing control of his bike.
@jeg2315 (197)
• United States
28 Jul 09
It depends how close I am to the intersection when the light is yellow, as well as how fast I am going. Of course I always try to take the safe route, but if I feel I can make the light at the speed I am going, I will just go. I don't speed up to make the light, I just judge the distance, say "I can make it," and maintain the speed I have across the intersection. I guess it depends on being in context and how fast you're going.
1 person likes this
@submerryn (1304)
• Malaysia
28 Jul 09
That's rasional enough. At least there are some judgement on your side before rushing through.
• Indonesia
29 Jul 09
Honestly, it depends on the road situation around me. If the road / traffic around me is lonely, i'll speed up my car if I see yellow^^,, but if I'm in a crowded traffic then for my own and othere's safety I'll slow down my car.. I know it's not safe if we choose to go faster if we already see yellow light, but come on, time is money,, is it?
1 person likes this
@chi2nasrin (1102)
• Malaysia
28 Jul 09
I always slow down a bit when approaching a traffic light, even when it is still green, I will reduce my speed a little. When it's yellow and I am still far, I will slow down and get ready to halt too. But if I think there's still enough time then yes, I speed up occasionally.
@submerryn (1304)
• Malaysia
29 Jul 09
Have you ever been honk when you slow down? I have.. those roadusers!!!!
• Malaysia
29 Jul 09
Not too slow but enough to give me time to reduce more when the light turns yellow. I think other users do that too, most of them at least.
@nuar_y (279)
• Malaysia
28 Jul 09
Its me again! For me, it depends on the traffic situation there. If the traffic is light and ok, I'll speed up when the traffic light turns yellow. But if the traffic is heavy, I'll slow down and stop before it turns red. =)
@submerryn (1304)
• Malaysia
28 Jul 09
Hi nuar_y, makes sense. As long as you dont beat the red light. It is dangerous to do so. :)
1 person likes this
@nuar_y (279)
• Malaysia
28 Jul 09
Urgh! Try to avoid accident as I can... =)
@smileonstar (4012)
• United States
29 Jul 09
Hello, first,... let me express myself a little ( hahahhahaha... hahhaha) this is funny. Of course, my daughter always ask me what yellow means too. and I told her in funny thing, I said it means go faster and faster before the red light is coming. and then when she see yellow then she said go faster. lolz. Man, I am a terrible mother or something. well, honestly I will speed up but it also depend how far I am between the light too. if close, then fast and if far then I will stop.
@submerryn (1304)
• Malaysia
29 Jul 09
smileonstar, I soooo love your honesty over there! That is so cute of your daughter to be prompting you to go faster! Haha, just as my son will go stop and GO, one day he might say "go faster" too!
• United States
29 Jul 09
I see what you mean, on most occassions that's what I do as well, but only if I'm already at the intersection. but when I see people that just step on the gas and floor it when they aren't even close to the intersection, wonder to myself and what would happen if they smashed into someone else. Most of the time before they even come close the light turns red. Most of the lights around here now have camera and catch people that run red lights. I'm still trying to figure out how to explain the yellow light to my kids when they get old enough.
@submerryn (1304)
• Malaysia
29 Jul 09
Hopefully when your kids are old enough, they wont learn from you that yellow means rush through! But that kind of like a normal practise worldwide these days eh?
• Philippines
28 Jul 09
well here in phillipines the yellow means be ready to go or prepare to go....
@submerryn (1304)
• Malaysia
29 Jul 09
Really? I see. Different countries have different rules. Thanx for pointing that out.
• United States
28 Jul 09
Slow down at yellow lights. Then again I'm slow no matter what but I drive on old volkswagon bug and they do not go fast anyway. But I have seen a lot of poeple speed up and some very close calls. So thanks for the question and maybe more people will pay more attention to the real meaning of the US traffic signals.
@submerryn (1304)
• Malaysia
29 Jul 09
Aw, you are cute! People should all drive an old wagon and the road will be a much safer place!
@cripfemme (7713)
• United States
28 Jul 09
As a kid, I was always told that the yellow light meant slow down and be extra careful. When I asked my mom why a lot of people didn't seem to obey that rule, she told me pointedly "honey that's because some people are stupid". I laughed at that and should I ever get a driver's listen will remember that story and try not to be one of those stupid people.
@submerryn (1304)
• Malaysia
29 Jul 09
Yes, good for you! Your mom's cool! But after driving for 10 years, somehow, you might end up being one of those 'stupid' fellas!
• United States
28 Jul 09
Honestly I'm a little of both. I've gotten to where if it changes and I think I can go then I will, but if its too risky then I just slow down and stop. The worst thing is that most people don't know exactly what turn on red, no turn on red, or turn on green means. Its hard to tell when you are at a busy intersection what you are supposed to do especially if it is not labeled clearly as some of the traffic light situations can be very confusing if you've never drove down that street before. Its odd though that most people are out driving because they have there driving license and then you figure that the stupid or crazy or insane ones are probably the ones that have nothing to lose. I think thats why they do because they've already lost there license so there is nothing to lose if they hit someone. The insurance will just take it at a lose more than likely and they'll get off on a minimum fine for driving without a license. So, go figure. Then its usually the other person that has everything in order that gets hurt the worse through out the whole thing.
@submerryn (1304)
• Malaysia
29 Jul 09
Yes, unfortunately as we drive longer on the road, and the more experienced we are, we tend to rush to beat the red lights. New drivers will slow down and stop though, but not for long. After sometime, they'll join in the rush too..
@vingyan06 (2488)
• Malaysia
28 Jul 09
Hi Merryn, nice discussion! I like it. Please share with me what you are going to teach your son about the yellow light. I thought it is orange light, LOL.If I am on the road that I need to go straight, then when I see the yellow light meaning I need to speed up! If I need to make a turn, then I normally will slow down once I see yellow light.
@submerryn (1304)
• Malaysia
29 Jul 09
Fuiyo! Rarely I saw lady drivers rush through the yellow light! You must be one of the few. The lady drivers I know will normally slow down. It's the guys who usually rush to try to beat the red lights! Hahaha..
@Sweeten (159)
• United States
28 Jul 09
I try to beat the red light if I can, but normally I just stop because by the time I see the yellow light its too late and it turns red, but if it turns yellow as I am getting really close or passing it I try to beat it.
@submerryn (1304)
• Malaysia
29 Jul 09
You try to beat the red light if you can? That will save you lots of time eh? But becareful though...
@my4tunes (64)
• New Zealand
28 Jul 09
In New Zealand you will be fined for going through the 'yellow' light (here it is orange). It is a warning that it is about to change to Red so the only time a person is legally allowed to go through an orange light is when they are already on the intersection when it changed from green to orange. Yes, many people try to race through when it turns orange but if a traffic officer sees them he will issue a ticket.
@submerryn (1304)
• Malaysia
28 Jul 09
Good for them! I'll issue then a ticket too if I was a traffic officer. How hard is it to just obey the law? But I guess they just hate waiting at the red light...
@murtuza89 (513)
• India
28 Jul 09
For people in big cities, Green light means you can drive away safely without getting stuck at the Reds. However when they see the Yellow light they push the accelerator and speed up to beat the red signal and try to get through the signal. Similar is my case in Mumbai wherein sometimes even when the signal has already turned red, still people go through the signal. But actually this is what helps these cities to cope up with traffic. The more cars pass through the signals the lesser is the line behind the signal. So, we should also look at the positive side of it.
@submerryn (1304)
• Malaysia
28 Jul 09
Danger danger! If more car beats the red light, the oncoming traffic from the green light are going to clash with those that beat the red lights! And when accidents happened, it will make the traffic more chaotic! Not a good way to ease traffic...
@rcjp03 (65)
• Philippines
28 Jul 09
yellow mean make it fast. wahaha XD
@submerryn (1304)
• Malaysia
28 Jul 09
Oh gosh! I sure hope that I wont be on the same road with YOU!