I ran two yellow lights today.
I think neither would get me in trouble if there had been a policeman watching, but the first was stretching it a little bit. I've never run a yellow light thinking, "I need to get through here because I'm in a hurry," I think that attitude is extremely dangerous and leads to traffic collisions. I only run lights because I can't stop in time to stay out of the intersection, which is my understanding of what the yellow light means.
I think if you talk to 10 people, you'll get 5 different meanings for a yellow light. People in general don't know what the laws that effect them actually say. Traffic law in particular seems to be a haven for folklore; a friend of mine insists that it's not illegal to exceed the speed limit if you're traveling at the "speed of traffic", that is, the general speed of the cars around you.
Anyway, does anyone have a rule of thumb for approaching green lights that are bound to change to a yellow any second now? I've been trying to think to myself, "I'm going to stop unless I get to that point up ahead", when I remember to, but it's an awkward system.
I wish we had the traffic lights I've heard other countries have, where the light actually changes in appearance as it approaches a change.