Flashing Green Lights And What They Mean

flashing greenPop Quiz!

Red means stop, yellow means prepare for a red (stop if safe), and green means go.

But what does flashing green mean?

Someone recently asked us if we could clarify this for them and here’s the answer.

A flashing green light on a traffic signal means the signal is pedestrian activated. So, when you approach a flashing green light, use caution, because the signal could be activated by a pedestrian at any time and you might have to stop and let the pedestrian to cross.

We’ve been using flashing green lights in BC since the 80s and they are usually found either mid-block in the city or at intersections on city roads and provincial highways.

This question is usually asked by people hailing from Ontario, where a flashing green light was commonly used as a protected left turn signal. Ontario has since adopted Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) standards and is slowly moving away from using the flashing green light in this way. An interesting side note: Our green ball flashes at 60 flashes per minute (a little on the slower side) whereas the Ontario flash rate was a higher (or faster) flash rate.

So, there you have it. Hopefully this answers the question and helps you understand the history of flashing green lights.

Do you have any other rules of the road you are curious about? Tell TranBC or let us know in the comments below and we will try to get an answer for you.

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