DELAWARE DRIVERS MANUAL
Unfortunately, understanding traffic signals is not as easy as the Drivers Manual states.
RED – Stop (OK)
GREEN – Proceed when Safe (OK)
ARROWS – Apply to only the direction indicated (OK)
YELLOW – Prepare to Stop (Problem)
The YELLOW TRAFFIC SIGNAL is the most misunderstood traffic signal not only in the State of Delaware, but also in the entire United States. It has just one legal meaning – the YELLOW TRAFFIC SIGNAL is going to turn RED – see Title 21 below!
Operation and Equipment
CHAPTER 41. RULES OF THE ROAD
Subchapter II. Traffic Signs, Signals and Markings
§ 4108. Traffic-control signal legend.
(2) Circular yellow or yellow arrow:
a. Vehicular traffic facing the circular yellow signal is thereby warned that a red signal for the previously permitted movement will be exhibited immediately thereafter.
A “Smart Defense” motorist constantly updates the stop/go decision while approaching the GREEN traffic signal in case the YELLOW appears. If the YELLOW appears, the motorist will not have to rapidly make the decision to stop or go – because it has already been made.
“The D Team” takes the position the more times the decision to GO or STOP is made on GREEN the safer our roadways become.
ADDED BENEFIT – the odds of a picture of your vehicle being taken will decrease (see picture below).
TRAFFIC SIGNAL SUMMARY POINT
1. It is LEGAL to enter an intersection on GREEN and YELLOW.
2. It is ILLEGAL to enter an intersection on GREEN or YELLOW if the traffic in the intended direction of travel will prohibit continuing in that direction.
3. It is LEGAL TO be in an intersection after the TRAFFIC SIGNAL has turned RED as long as you entered the intersection prior to the RED.
4. A RIGHT-TURN ON RED after a FULL STOP can be made as long as there is NO SIGN TO PROHIBIT such a TURN ON RED.
5. A LEFT-TURN ON RED after a FULL STOP can be made from a ONE-WAY ROAD onto another ONE-WAY ROAD as long as there is NO SIGN TO PROHIBIT such a TURN ON RED.
6. A SOLID RED ARROW prohibits continuing in the direction of the SOLID RED ARROW.
7. A FLASHING RED ARROW requires a FULL STOP before continuing in the direction of the FLASHING RED ARROW.
8. A LEFT-TURN on a GREEN LIGHT and a SOLID YELLOW/FLASHING YELLOW LIGHT are automatic YIELDS.
9. The following TRAFFIC SIGNALS provide the “COURTESY” (safe to proceed) RIGHT-OF-WAY:
(a) SOLID GREEN – straight/right turns
(b) SOLID YELLOW/FLASHING YELLOW – straight/right turns
(c) SOLID GREEN ARROW – straight/left & right turns
(d) SOLID YELLOW ARROW — straight/left & right turns
(e) FLASHING YELLOW ARROW – check the definition from the Delaware Drivers Manual
A repeat of the Delaware Drivers Manual concerning understanding traffic signals: “UNDERSTANDING TRAFFIC SIGNALS IS NOT DIFFICULT IF YOU LEARN FOUR (4) SIMPLE RULES”.
“The D Team” response: GOOD LUCK! Use “Smart Defense” and be aware TRAFFIC SIGNALS ARE COMPLEX so other roadway users may be CONFUSED even if you are not!