Torque shop

Is the amber stage of traffic lights here shorter nowadays? I was fined recently for going through a red light, but I was quite sure it was amber when I crossed. Countdown timers would be useful in such circumstances.

The amber stage is usually between three and five seconds, depending on the size of a junction.

Amber lights are not the end of the green phase. In fact, they represent the start of the red phase.

If you observe speed limits, you will have plenty of opportunity to stop in time before you reach the junction.

Of course, you should not stop if you have already reached the junction or, say, a car length from it.

A vehicle that rear-ends another at the lights is likely to have been travelling too fast or not keeping its distance. Or the driver was using his phone.

Red-light cameras are triggered in the red stage, not the amber stage.

Countdown lights are commonly used in the red and green phases - with mixed results. They are not known to be used for amber because amber is in itself a warning for you to stop.

CHRISTOPHER TAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 15, 2016, with the headline 'Torque Shop'. Print Edition | Subscribe