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Traffic lights baffle motorists

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The vast majority of drivers on Britain's roads do not fully understand the traffic light sequence, according to a new poll.

The survey of 1,000 motorists by esure car insurance found that more than three in five had gone through a red light, risking a minimum £60 fine and three penalty points on their licence.

Just one in 10 drivers knew that they should not pass through or start moving until the green signal, with 1% even thinking that the red signal means they should be prepared to go.

Alarmingly, almost eight out of 10 motorists (77%) said they had accelerated when approaching green lights in order not to have to stop, with 14% saying they did this on a regular basis.

The head of risk and underwriting at esure car insurance, Mike Pickard, said: "The fact that millions of UK motorists are unable to correctly identify the basic traffic light signals they encounter on a daily basis is a huge cause for concern.

"It's also worrying that so many admit to speeding up at lights to try to avoid having to wait, or even jump a red deliberately, as this can put other road-users and pedestrians at risk."

© Press Association 2009