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Traffic lights, U-turns and overhead lane controls

Traffic lights control the flow of vehicles and pedestrians to improve safety and access to roads. You should drive at a speed that gives you time to react if the traffic lights change.

If you go through a yellow or red traffic light, you may receive an infringement notice. The notice could either be from a police officer or arrive in the mail for a camera-detected offence.

You may drive through a flashing yellow light or arrow with caution. You need to apply the give way rules to avoid colliding with other vehicles.

Obeying traffic lights

Stop

Traffic lights showing the red light lit up

Red traffic light

You must not drive past the stop line on the road at a red traffic light or, if there is no stop line, the traffic light.

Example of red traffic light—with the top light lit up






Traffic lights showing the red arrow lit up

Examples of red arrows

You must not drive in the direction of the red traffic arrow past the stop line at the traffic light or, if there is no stop line, the traffic light.

Example of red arrows on traffic lights—with arrows lit up in the top light to the right


Stop if it is safe to do so

Traffic lights showing the yellow light lit up

Yellow traffic light

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.

If it’s safe to stop, you must not drive past the stop line at the yellow traffic light or, if there is no stop line, the traffic light.

Example of yellow traffic light—with the middle light lit up


Traffic lights showing the yellow arrow lit up

Examples of yellow arrows

If it’s unsafe to stop—such as being close to the light when it changes from green to yellow—you may proceed through the yellow light.

Example of yellow arrows on traffic lights—with arrows lit up in the middle lights on the right


Drive with caution

Drive past the light

Traffic lights showing the green light and green arrow lit up

Green light or arrow

You can drive past the green traffic light or arrow, as long as the intersection is clear.

Example of green traffic light or arrow—the green light is lit up in the bottom left, with the green arrow lit up in the bottom right




Traffic lights showing a white B light

Traffic lights showing the white B light lit up

White B light

If you’re in a bus lane driving a bus, taxi, limousine, or riding a bicycle, you may drive/ride past the white B light.

Example of white B light—with the white B lit up in the bottom right




Turning right at traffic lights

If the light is green and there are vehicles approaching from the opposite direction, you can move forward into the intersection past the stop line if you can do so safely.

If there is a safe gap in oncoming traffic, you may complete the right turn. If you’re in the intersection and the oncoming traffic continues until the lights turn yellow or red, you must complete the turn on the yellow or red light.

Video of yellow traffic lights

Watch the video to better understand yellow traffic lights.

transcript

U-turns

You can only make a U-turn at traffic lights when there is a U-turn permitted sign. When you are doing a U-turn, you must give way to all other vehicles and pedestrians—even if other vehicles are facing a give way or stop sign.

At intersections without traffic lights or at breaks in the centre island of the road, you must not do a U-turn if there is a no U-turn sign.

You must also not do a U-turn:

  • across a single or double continuous centre line
  • across a continuous centre line to the left of a broken line
  • over a painted island in the centre of the road.

Making a U-turn

A car making a U-turn, going back the same direction it came from

Making a U-turn

To safely make a U-turn, you must:

  • have a clear view of approaching traffic
  • complete the turn without blocking the free movement of traffic
  • give way to all vehicles and pedestrians.

Example of vehicle making a U-turn

To safely make a U-turn, you must:

  • have a clear view of approaching traffic
  • complete the turn without blocking the free movement of traffic
  • give way to all vehicles and pedestrians.

Video of U-turn rules

Watch the video to better understand the rules of U-turns.

transcript

Overhead lane control devices

You must not travel in a lane marked with an illuminated red diagonal cross or pass a traffic sign above a lane displaying a red diagonal cross.

Overhead lane control devices with cars in their lanes

Example of an overhead lane control device

If an illuminated red diagonal cross is flashing above your lane, you must leave the lane as soon as it’s safe to do so.

If there is an overhead lane control device above the road, you can drive in a lane if there’s a:

  • white, green or yellow arrow pointing downwards—or in a particular direction—above the lane
  • speed limit sign above the lane.

Other road rules

Find out about other important Queensland road rules.

Last updated
13 April 2015

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