You May Be Wrong On What A Yellow Light Means In Massachusetts
"What? What did I do?", said Elwood Blues from the iconic "Blues Brothers" movie (1980). "You failed to stop on a red signal", said the officer. "The light was yellow, sir", Blues replied. I think you know what happened after that.
In other states, rules for a solid yellow light may be different, but in Massachusetts, the law is cut and dry, but most people may be confused about what to do when approaching a yellow light.
I was studying for my written driver's test back in April of '97 and for some reason remembered what the actual rule was for yellow lights.
I ALWAYS THOUGHT A YELLOW LIGHT MEANT TO 'SLOW DOWN'
In actuality, Massachusetts law states that when you are approaching a yellow light, you are to STOP, unless it's unsafe to do so. Yes, stop.
SOME PEOPLE ACTUALLY THINK THAT A YELLOW LIGHT MEANS TO GET THROUGH THE LIGHT BEFORE IT TURNS RED...
A steady yellow circle means the traffic signal is changing from green to red. You must stop if it is safe. If you are already stopped at an intersection or a stop line, you may not proceed. -mass.gov
As you can see the rules are different for a flashing yellow light or a flashing yellow arrow.
So, the next time, (unless you think this post is a waste of time because you already knew this information), you approach a yellow light in Massachusetts, STOP if it's safe to do so.