traffic lights

15-VIII-2015 22:28

They follow the world's standard scheme. The layout and the sequence may be a tad different.

Layout: they are on your side of the crosing (aka intersection... which I wouldn't call that, specially not in cases of T and more than two streets meeting). The one for the left turn may be on your left - if not between the lanes, then where the pedestrian crossing ends. There may be one above, but still there should be one at eye level, as you can't see the upper one when it's practically just a meter in front of your wheels.

Rhythm: after the red, the yellow turns on for about two seconds with red still on - so you know green is next. If you see yellow alone, red is next. When the green is about to end, it blinks three times. It still counts as green, and the general rule is that if you're on the arrows when it starts blinking, you're still good to go.

In Belgrade many pedestrian lights, and in tightest places the traffic red lights, have counters - they count down the seconds to the next light change. In some places they even try to persuade you to turn your engine off, "enjoy the air before it becomes visible" - which is bogus, starting a car consumes more than 30 seconds of idling.

When you have a green arrow for left turn, it's your own - the incoming lanes from the other direction have a red. The recent law makes conditional right prohibited (i.e. no right turn on red). In some places you get a side light with green arrow to right (without its own yellow and red), that means you may turn right. It's unclear whether it has anything to do with the incoming left from the other side; if there is, you have priority because you got nobody coming in from your right (yes, that rule is still in effect for unprioritized crossings, of which there are just a few left, on backwater roads where rule isn't even needed).

Pedestrians and cyclists, when they have their separate paths (more of latter are being built these years), may have their separate lights. The pedestrian and bike lights are usually in sync; the cyclists' have a bike sign and the pedestrians their old pedestrian silhouette. If you're turning right or left, they'll have theirs green at the time, so watch out, they have the priority so you let them pass.