Light signals controlling traffic

Traffic Light Signals

RED means 'Stop'. Wait behind the stop line on the carriageway
RED AND AMBER also means 'Stop'. Do not pass through or start until GREEN shows
GREEN means you may go on if the way is clear. Take special care if you intend to turn left or right and give way to pedestrians who are crossing
AMBER means 'Stop' at the stopline. You may go on only if the AMBER appears after you have crossed the stop line or are so close to it that to pull up might cause an accident;
A GREEN ARROW may be provided in addition to the full green signal if movement in a certain direction is allowed before or after the full green phase. If the way is clear you may go but only in the direction shown by the arrow. You may do this whatever other lights may be showing. White light signals may be provided for trams

Flashing red lights

Alternate flashing red lights mean YOU MUST STOP
At level crossings, airfields, fire stations, etc

At level crossings, lifting bridges, airfield, fire stations, etc.

Motorway signals

Do not proceed further in this lane
Change lane
Reduced visability ahead
Lane ahead closed
Temporary maximum speed limit and information message
Leave motorway at next exit
Temporary maximum speed limit
End of restriction

Lane control signals


Green arrow - lane available to traffic facing the sign.
Red crosses - lane closed to traffic facing the sign.
White diagonal arrow - change lanes in direction shown


Signals to other road users

Direction indicator signals

I intend to move out to the right or turn right
I intend to move in to the left or turn left or stop on the left

Brake light signals

Reversing light signals

I am applying the brakes
I intend to reverse

Arm signals

For use when direction indicator signals are not used, or when necessary to reinforce direction indicator signals and stop lights. Also for use by cyclists and horses

I intend to move in to the left or turn left
I intend to move in to the right or turn right
I intend to slow down or stop

Signals by authorised persons

Police officers


Traffic approaching from the front
Traffic approaching from both the front and behind
Traffic approaching from behind

To beckon traffic on

From the side
From the front
From behind

Arm signals to persons controlling traffic

I want to go straight on
I want to turn left;
use either hand
I want to turn right

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency and Highways gency Traffic Officers

These officers now have new powers to stop/direct vehicles and will be using hand signals and light signals similar to those used by police. You MUST obey any signals given ( see Rules 107 and 108)

School Crossing Patrols

Not ready to cross pedestrians
Barrier to stop pedestrians crossing
Ready to cross pedestrians, vehicles must be prepared to stop
All vehicles must stop