traffic light [noun] [het stoplicht, de stoplichten]

This week’s theme is “traffic objects” 🙂

Dutch traffic lights change from green to orange/yellow to red. However, they change directly from red to green, contrary to some other countries (like Germany for example).

A big source of annoyance in the Netherlands is the inefficiency of traffic lights. In the Hague it is quite normal to wait a long time and when you finally get a green light, you move for 30 metres and queue up at the next traffic light, or just see it turn to red as soon as you approach. There is no such thing as a green wave (and no, this is in no way based on our personal experience and no we are not frustrated 🙂 ). However, we advise you to never drive through red but just increase your speed between the traffic lights as the fine for speeding is lower than for ignoring a red traffic light 🙂 . See ‘Extra’.

Also, it can take quite some time before your traffic light switches to green after the crossing traffic has halted. This is supposed to be a safety measure but of course only encourages people to still dare to cross, like pedestrians and cyclists often do. Sometimes, we all just look at each other for 30 seconds before a light turns to green. Quite often cyclists have had enough by then and choose to ignore the red light. Of course at exactly that moment the other traffic light turns to green and again a dangerous situation occurs.

Maybe we should all just drive like the people in Naples, Italy 🙂

– “Bij de stoplichten linksaf.”
(“Turn left at the traffic lights.” Literally: “At the traffic lights to the left.”)

– “Als het stoplicht op groen springt, mag je doorrijden.”
(“When the traffic light turns green, you can drive on.” Literally: “When the traffic light jumps to green…”)

– “Ik heb een boete van 130 euro gekregen omdat ik door rood ben gereden.”
(“I got a fine for driving through a red light.” Literally: …because I drove through red.”)

Related words:
– “Kruising”: crossing, junction.