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Can I Drive Through an Orange Light?

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The rules regarding traffic lights are covered by the Reglamento General de Circulación, or the general driving laws. In particular, Article 146.

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In Article 146 it details how a steady red light means stop and prohibits vehicles from passing it, and, where it exists, the accompanying white stop line. Similarly, where the red light is displayed beyond a junction, the vehicle must not cross or block that junction when a red light is displayed, stopping at the stop line where it exists.

However, the question here relates to an orange light, but we have to be clear of the red light rules before we can explain this. Where a static (non-flashing) orange light is displayed at traffic lights, the same rules apply as if it were red. You must stop. The only exception being if you are unable to stop your vehicle safely in the time you are approaching, although this can be lessened by anticipating the light change sequence.

On the other hand, if that orange light is flashing, it means that drivers may proceed, with extreme caution and, if necessary, giving way to other road users who have priority. The flashing orange light does not replace any other light, and so a stop indication will always take priority.

This sort of light is common at junctions where vehicle wishing to proceed forward are stopped by a red light, whereas vehicles turning right, for example, may be permitted to proceed with caution and giving way as necessary, such as to vehicles on the main road or pedestrians.

Remember, static red or orange means stop. Flashing orange means give way but you must proceed with extreme caution.

This article first appeared in issue 2 of the N332 RoadWatch magazine…

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