The traffic light rule you've probably broken – and it could cost you $448

Are you doing the right thing when the traffic light turns from green to yellow?

The law around the country states clearly that you can be booked for running a yellow light.

The Queensland Government website states: “You must stop on a yellow light, unless it is unsafe to do so.

“The yellow light is not the end of the green light phase—it is the beginning of the red light phase.”

The South Australian government explains: “You must not enter the intersection unless you are so close to the stop line that you are unable to stop safely without entering the intersection or risking a rear-end crash with vehicles following you.”

A pamphlet released by Transport for New South Wales revealed ten of the road laws most misunderstood in the state.  

“A yellow (amber) traffic light or arrow means stop,” the pamphlet read.

“A driver approaching traffic lights showing a yellow traffic light must stop if the driver can stop safely before reaching the stop line or traffic lights. 

“Penalties apply for drivers who fail to stop at a yellow light, unless it is unsafe to do so.”

So what are the penalties if you fail to stop at a yellow light?

  • Queensland – three demerit points and $391 fine
  • NSW – three demerit points and $448 fine
  • Victoria – three demerit points and $396 fine
  • Tasmania – three demerit points and $122.25 fine
  • South Australia – three demerit points and $464 fine
  • Western Australia – four penalty units and two demerit points
  • Australian Capital Territory – three demerit points and $474 fine
  • Northern Territory – $100 fine

Article created in partnership with Over60.