A red light will mean different things in different contexts to different people.
A photographer see it as a signal that a developments process is under way.
An actor sees it as an indication which camera is currently on.
A cop sees it as a means of traffic control.
A machine operator sees it as a signal that power is on.
A vice cop sees it as an indication that prostitution is happening.
A kid sees it as a sign that a holiday is approaching.
 It would be kind of silly for a traffic cop to write a ticket for someone who drives past a brothel without stopping.  But that is exactly what happens when someone tries to impose *their* interpretations on
 Having said that, it IS important to remember that the *law* (as distinct from the meanings of the symbols) is clear that when someone operates a motor vehicle, he agrees to abide by the rules.  Among those rules is one about stopping at intersections where a red light is displayed.  Failure to stop may mean being cited for an offense, or even that physical harm may come to someone.  These would not be good things - so we drivers enter into a social contract to abide by the rule, or suffer the penalties.
 But abiding by a rule, and agreeing with an interpretation of a symbol are COMPLETELY separate matters.  No contradictions, no interaction.
 A red light means whatever it means to the individual.  The law requires that we stop under certain conditions.  Neither has any effect on the other.  Neither subordinates it's importance to the
other.  Separate and distinct.