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Traffic light caution

Every driver knows you must stop at a red light, but did you know you could be fined £100 and gain three penalty points if you stop in the wrong place at a set of traffic lights? To avoid being fined, always stop before an advanced stop line (ASL) and ASL box or cycle reservoir and never encroach into this zone. This is the area ahead of your car which is designated for cyclists so they can be positioned ahead of other traffic and move safely away when the lights turn green. The Highway Code states: ‘Motorists, including motorcyclists, must stop at the first white line reached if the lights are amber or red and should avoid blocking the way or encroaching on the marked area at other times, for example, if the junction ahead is blocked.’ There is one exception to this rule, namely that if the lights change and you are forced to brake quickly, it’s safer to stop in the box, rather than risk braking too suddenly to avoid it. However, if your vehicle enters the box while the lights are on green but is unable to clear the area before they turn to red – no offence has been committed.