How to Deal With Yellow Lights for Driver's Test

For a road test, yellow and red traffic lights mean the same.

How to Deal With Yellow Lights to Pass Your Road Test


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Hi there smart drivers.

Rick with Smart Drive Test talking to you today about yellow lights for the purposes of passing a road test.

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For the purposes of a road test, yellow and red lights are the same colour.<p>In other words, you must stop for both!

Yellow lights for the purposes of passing a road test.

You must stop for a yellow light.

Remember a yellow and red light are the same colour for the purposes of a road test.

Now lots of students are somewhat confounded by this: when do you stop; when do you not stop?

And of course, it's a bit experiential.

In other words, you got to go out and actually drive and be confronted by a few yellow lights before you actually sort of figure this out.

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No Vehicle Will Stop In Its Own Length

Now one of the other pieces of information that I will give you about yellow lights is that no vehicle—regardless of class of license, whether it's a truck, a trailer, a bicycle, whatever—will stop in its own length.

Therefore, a car, most cars are between 15 and 20' feet, approximately 5 to 8 metres; therefore that vehicle - if you are that distance from the intersection...if you are approximately 20 feet from the intersection, your vehicle is not going to stop.

So, therefore you have to proceed through the intersection on the yellow light.

No vehicle will stop within its own length.<p>Therefore, if you're closer than 1 vehicle length, you will proceed through the intersection by covering the brake and scanning.

If You Proceed - Big, Big Risk

When you proceed through the intersection, make sure you're scanning the intersection and you're covering the brake.

And I'll leave a video up here for you in the corner on covering the brake.

Stopping May Be Aggressive With Screeching Tires

Otherwise you have to stop, and the bigger the vehicle - if you got a tractor-trailer that's 75' feet long or 23 metres you have to bring the vehicle to a stop.

And some times that's a fairly aggressive stop with some...you know...burning smoke and rubber and those types of things.

So know that for the purposes of a road test that no vehicle will stop in its own length.

When you stop on a yellow light, DON'T be in the intersection.<p>And DON'T ever backup at an intersection.

Stop So You're Not Physically In the Intersection

You'll have to proceed through the intersection, but proceed defensively or otherwise you're going to have come to an aggressive stop.

I caught here on dashcam during one of the other videos that I was shooting coming up to the yellow light.

I ended up past the stop line, but I still stopped before the crosswalk.

So some times that's going to happen that you're going to be beyond the stop line, and you're going to have to come to a stop.

And that's alright for the purposes of a road test.

As long as you're not in the intersection.

But it was a fairly aggressive stop.

I kind of got caught out.

And without further ado we'll go to that footage and you can see how I stopped for the purposes of a road test.

And you saw there that the light went yellow as I came up to the intersection.

Never, Ever, Ever, Ever Backup At An Intersection

I'm past the stop line; however, DO NOT back up! Simply stop.

That's OK for the purposes of a road test.

Because you had to stop for the yellow light.

It kind of caught you out there.

So, that's perfectly acceptable - you came to a stop.

And do not back up.

When stopping aggressively, be sure that the traffic to the rear is coming to a stop as well so you don't get into a rear-end collision.

There's a little bit of room to back up if a truck or something came around here; then you would back up for the bigger vehicle to get around.

But for the most part, you're going to be alright sitting there.

Okay, and we've got construction here.

It is summer time and there's construction everywhere.

So, we're simply going to turn left according to the temporary signs. Shoulder checking.


Quick review of yellow lights for the purposes of a road test.

For the purposes of a road test yellow and red lights are the same thing.

They mean the same thing.

That you must come to complete stop.

Unless you're beyond the...if you're closer than one vehicle length to the intersection than you're going to proceed through the intersection.

When you proceed through do it defensively.

Cover the brake, and you're scanning the intersection and there aren't any road users in the intersection.

You proceed though the intersection.

Farther Back Than One Vehicle Length

If you are farther back from the intersection than one vehicle length you are going to have to come to a stop.

And the bigger the vehicle the harder it is, and you're going to have to make a fairly aggressive stop.

And there may even be some screeching tires and smell of rubber smoke on the pavement as you're coming to a stop.

I have had students do that when they're trying to get the vehicle stopped for the purposes of a road test.

More so with tractor-trailer and those bigger vehicles.

So, know that for the purposes of a road test that you must come to a stop if you're farther back than one vehicle length.

If you're closer than one vehicle length to the intersection, you're going to have to proceed through defensively.

Have you ever been caught out by a yellow light...what happened?

Questions for my smart drivers:

Have you been caught out on a yellow light and had some difficulty with yellow lights as you're preparing for your road test?

Leave a comment down in the comment section there.

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As well, later this summer we're releasing "Air Brakes Explained Simply."

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I'm Rick with Smart Drive Test.

Thanks very much for watching.

Good luck on your road test.

And remember, pick the best answer, not necessarily the right answer.

Have a great day.

Bye now!



I'm sitting at the intersection talking to my camera and other people are wondering what I'm doing.

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