You might be wrong about the meaning of a yellow light in Massachusetts


“What? What did I do?” Said Elwood Blues from the iconic movie “Blues Brothers” (1980). “You failed to stop at the red signal,” the officer said. “The light was yellow, sir,” replied Blues. I think you know what happened after that.

In other states, the rules for a steady amber light may be different, but in Massachusetts the law is tough and dry, but most people may not know what to do when an amber light approaches.

I was studying for my written driving test in April 97 and for some reason remembered the current rule about amber lights.

In reality, Massachusetts law says that when you approach an amber light you must STOP, unless it is dangerous. Yes, stop.

A solid yellow circle means the traffic light turns from green to red. You have to stop if it’s safe. If you have already stopped at an intersection or stop line, you cannot continue.

As you can see, the rules are different for a flashing yellow light or a flashing yellow arrow.

So next time (unless you think this message is a waste of time because you already know this information) you approach an amber light in Massachusetts, STOP if it is safe to do so. .

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