Information about traffic lights and signals.
The information given in this section is a guide only and is subject to change at any time without notice.
This information is also available in the Road Users Handbook.
You can access the full text of the NSW Road Rules on the NSW Legislation website.
Red means stop. Wait behind the stop line.
Do not go through the intersection.
Yellow (amber) means stop. You can enter the intersection if you are so close that sudden braking might cause a crash.
Green means proceed through the intersection carefully.
Turning arrows at traffic lights
Some traffic lights have arrows to control traffic turning right or left.
A green arrow means you can only turn in that direction.
A red arrow means traffic waiting to turn must wait behind the stop line until the arrow turns green or disappears, even if there is no traffic on the road.
You must not go straight ahead or turn left. You may turn right.
You must not turn right but you can go straight ahead or turn left if the way is clear.
When the yellow (amber) arrow is flashing, you may proceed but you must give way to any pedestrian who is crossing the road into which you are turning.
Bicycle storage areas
Some intersections that have traffic lights contain bicycle storage areas. These painted areas on the road allow cyclists to stop in safety. When traffic lights or arrows are red, drivers must not allow any part of the vehicle to enter the bicycle storage area.
Signs at traffic lights
A STOP sign with three black dots is only seen at traffic lights. It means that if the lights are not working or are flashing yellow and you are approaching this sign, you must stop and give way to traffic as though you are at an intersection with stop signs.
This sign allows you to turn left on a red light after stopping. When turning left you must give way to all traffic approaching from the right.
Left turn on red light is only permitted at intersections where the sign has been placed.
B signals separate buses and other vehicles at some intersections with traffic lights for a safer, smoother traffic flow. To ensure B signals work properly never drive in the lanes marked buses only.
B signals are attached to the usual traffic lights. They show a white B on a black background (some traffic lights have a red, yellow and white B signal attached to them). Shortly before the usual traffic signals change to green, the B signal lights up white. All other vehicles stay while the buses may go. Buses may proceed in any direction unless signs or markings indicate otherwise. When the lights turn green other vehicles may move off.
The red and yellow B signals (or the usual red and yellow traffic lights) tell bus drivers when to stop at the intersection.
Where the traffic at an intersection is controlled by traffic lights, cyclists may have signals that show them when to cross. Cyclists must follow these red, yellow or green bicycle symbols and proceed with care
T signals are special signals for light rail vehicles. These traffic lights display the letter T. Red or yellow T signals tell the drivers of light rail vehicles when to stop or prepare to stop. A white T signal means that the driver of a light rail vehicle can go.
Red light speed cameras
Red light cameras are used to photograph vehicles that go through a red light.
A penalty notice is then sent to the owner of the vehicle, who has the option to:
- Pay the fine.
- Advise Revenue NSW on a statutory declaration the name and address of the person driving at the time of the offence.
- Advise Revenue NSW you want to have the case heard by a court.
If you are crossing the intersection as the light turns yellow (amber) and it is not safe to stop, do not panic. Continue driving through the intersection. The camera only takes a photograph if you cross over the stop line 0.3 seconds after the light has turned red.
Traffic already in the intersection or entering on a yellow (amber) light will not activate the red light camera.
Red light speed cameras use digital technology that is capable of detecting both red-light and speeding offences.
When making a turn at an intersection you must give way to pedestrians on the road into which you are turning.
Where the traffic at the intersection is controlled by traffic lights, there may be signals for pedestrians that show them when to cross.
Pedestrians must follow these signals.