Is "I brake at the reds." a different expression for the same meaning of I stop when the traffic light turns red, please? I reached that conclusion because in the previous lines the author stated:"I write memoir and I teach it. I blog daily about the now and the then. Silence may seem a luxury in a noisy world—a throwback, an artifact—but for me it increasingly becomes my rescue raft. It allows me to dig deep and go long, to sort out and restore. I know the name of that guy on the show. I brake at the reds. I’m finding the end of the story I promised to write. I am finishing what I already promised to do and promising to do less. I listen to the sound of my feet going forward, and not to the buzz of my phone."
Silence, Please | Psychology Today
"And then one day, driving to a party, I looked up at the traffic light that had started to bleed red. You stop at those, don’t you? I asked myself. Uncertain."
That's a little odd. You are supposed to stop at red lights.
Some people go faster at a yellow light, hoping to get through before it turns red, instead of braking at the yellow light to ensure you are completely stopped by the time it's red.
I would expect someone to say "I brake at the yellows" to mean they are caution. Everyone should brake at the reds.
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.