Stop on Yellow

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Yellow light running is an ongoing problem in Hamilton.

We all know when we see a red light we must stop right? Well the same goes for the yellow light (unless you're so close to the intersection that you can't stop safely).

Cars entering intersections after the lights have turned either yellow or red is problematic in the City and puts unnecessary risk to other motorists.

To reduce the number of crashes at intersections there are few things you can do to keep yourself and others safe while travelling through signalised intersections:

  • Be prepared to always stop on a yellow light especially if you notice it has been green for some time.
  • Focus on what is going on in front of you so you can be alert to any sudden changes in the traffic flow.
  • Trying to beat the light won't save you any time.  Research says when you factor in traffic light, congestion and other drivers travel times don't vary as much as you think.
  • Red light running is the largest cause of injury crashes at signalised intersections, so take a second look before you enter the intersection.

For more information visit 

Things you may not know about signalised intersections

The time between green lights is typically about 90 to 110 seconds in peak traffic.  Off peak the wait is usually less than one minute.

There are vehicle sensors in each lane, which help a system to adjust the timings when traffic flow changes.  Sometimes it won't pick up people on bicycles or scooters.

The system that adjusts the light timings is based on the change in traffic flows.

Signalised intersections and red light running

Crash facts and statistics at signalised intersections due to red light running in Hamilton City* from 2012 - 2016

  • In Hamilton, between 2012 and 2016, there were a total of five fatal and serious injury crashes at signalised intersections due to red light running. These crashes resulted in two deaths, with three people being seriously injured.
  • 96 per cent of crashes occur while crossing or turning at an intersection.
  • 46 per cent of the drivers, at fault or part fault in these injury crashes, were in the 30 to 49 year old age group.
  • 71 per cent of these crashes occurred on urban roads in dry conditions and 59 per cent of crashes occurred in light to overcast conditions.
  • 88 per cent of crashes occur on urban roads compared to 12 per cent on open roads.
  • The worst month of the year for intersection red light running crashes is in March
  • 73 per cent of crashes happen on a week day, with the majority of occurring on a Friday
  • 62 per cent of drivers involved had a full licence and 26 per cent of drivers had a learner or restricted licence.

*NZTA Crash Analysis System (CAS) Data

Red light running fines

New Zealand Police can issue a $150 infringement notice if you:

  • Failed to stop at a red signalised traffic light.
  • Failed to stop at a yellow signalised traffic light (unless you are so close to the intersection that you can't stop safely).​

Page reviewed: 03 Oct 2017 9:46am