In this case he did not blow out a color channel, he blew out a very bright (relative to the rest of the scene) light source. Further, it wasn't reflective light from a variety of light sources, but rather a direct illumination. When I look at the traffic lights in the original picture, I do see yellow, which leads me to believe that it is not totally blown out.
This is not the predominant color in the scene, nor the predominant light source, just a highlight.
While balance is determined by the color of the light illuminating the scene, not necessarily by the color of what you are shooting. That is why, with an Expodisk or color meter, to take your measurement you aim it at the light source, not at the subject.