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Highway code and temp. traffic lights

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Booldawg | 10:57 Tue 19th Apr 2011 | Motoring
11 Answers
I've often heard that if you come up against a red light on temp. traffic lights (roadworks) and you can see there is no traffic coming the other way you can proceed with caution through the red light. This of course wouldnt apply if the roadworks extended beyond your view, round a bend etc.

Is this true? Cant see it being practical as it leaves judgement to the motorist.


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it is true although if anything happens your liable for prosecution
Question Author
thanks for clearing that up Dan.
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after reading this I'm not so sure now?
It's not true.

used to be many years ago, the law was changed, temporary lights now have exactly the same standing as normal lights.
Temporary traffice lights bacame the same in law as permanent ones in 1994
The point about temporary traffic lights is that they need road orders in place to make them legal, this can take days if not weeks to do and so many companies dont bother unless they are going to be there for a long period of time!

The key word in this is "SAFE" it may be legal to proceed but if you have an acccident once you've passed the red light then it obvioulsy wasn't safe and you'll be prosecuted, if a police officer sees you doing it then they have to use their judgement as to whether it was safe or not for you to go through the red light 9 times out of 10 they'll probably decide it wasn't and you'll get prosecuted! The chances of them charging you for driving through a red light is very slim and it would more likely be a case of dangerous drive/driving without due care and attention!
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It would appear not to be legal. The only time you're going to get away with it is based on the contractor not submitting a work order to the local Highway agency.

Its not like you're going to know that at the time.
Plain and simple. Highway Code paragraph 109:

"You MUST obey all Traffic light signals and traffic signs giving orders including temporary signals and signs..."

The use of the word MUST means there is legislation covering the activity and in this case it is the Road Traffic Act 1988 Section 36 and various sections of the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions.
Many years ago it was OK to pass such lights at red - but at that time all such lights consisted of only two lights, red and green. Since then such lights have become illegal (on public highways) and the conventionial three-colour ones come under the same laws as permanent ones.
Last week, I was just about to pull out to proceed when the light turned green at roadworks and was almost obliterated by a flatbed lorry whose driver obviously thought the red light at the other end did not apply to him.
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