Speak Up! - View Question #65
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Question: What is a signal light and what are the penalties for not using a signal light?
Answer: The Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles website has a lot of information on operating motor vehicles. Here's what their Driver's License Guide had to say about signal lights:
One Arizona Law covers many areas of Signal Lights. Follow this link to read the law for yourself (ARS 28-645). This law defines what each traffic light means (see below). And states that if you do not stop at a red light, you must attend traffic survival school or have your license revoked. It also includes informaiton about pedestrial right-of-way at signal lights.
Signal lights (red, yellow and green) are placed at many intersections to regulate the direction and flow of traffic. These traffic lights apply to pedestrians, bicycle and moped riders, as well as to motorists. You must obey the signals unless a police officer is directing traffic.
This signal means STOP. You must come to a complete stop before you reach the intersection, stop line or crosswalk. Remain stopped for as long as the light stays red. Where not prohibited by signs, a right turn may be made after coming to a complete stop, when motor traffic and pedestrian traffic are clear.
This signal means CAUTION. A steady yellow light is a warning that the light is about to turn red. If you have not entered the intersection, you should come to a safe stop. If you are already in the intersection, you should continue moving and clear it safely. Speeding up to beat the light is illegal and could cause an accident.
This signal means GO. You may go through an intersection in the direction indicated by the signal if the roadway is clear. Check right and left for oncoming
Flashing Red Light
A flashing red light has the same meaning as a Stop sign. You must come to a full stop; then proceed with caution when the roadway is clear.
Flashing Yellow Light
A flashing yellow light means you should slow down and proceed with caution if the roadway is clear.
A lighted red arrow means that you may not turn in the direction of the arrow. You must stop and wait for the green arrow to appear before making
A yellow arrow warns that the light is about to change to red. If you have not entered the intersection, you must stop and wait for a green arrow. If you are already in the intersection, you should continue your turn and clear the intersection safely.
A green arrow appearing alone or with another signal light means that you may proceed in the direction of the arrow, if you are in the proper lane and the roadway is clear.
Inoperative Signal Lights
When approaching an intersection with an inoperative traffic control signal, come to a complete stop before entering the intersection and then proceed when the roadway is clear. If two vehicles arrive at the intersection at about the same time, both must stop and the driver of the vehicle on the left must yield the right-of-way to the driver on the right.