PennDOT debuts flashing yellow arrow signal

From Mirror staff reports

HOLLIDAYSBURG — The Pennsylvania Depart­ment of Transportation has announced it will activate a new type of left turn signal that has been proven to improve left-turn safety at intersections.

Flashing yellow arrow signals are new to Pennsyl­vania, but they have become commonplace in many states across the country over the last 10 years.

Based on many national studies and transportation agency testimonials, flashing yellow arrow signals improve left-turn safety by helping motorists recognize that they should yield while making left turns when there is oncoming traffic and pedestrians.

The first flashing yellow arrow signal in the region will be activated this week along Route 22 in Allegheny Township, Blair County.

“This change is an added reminder that once the green left arrow is no longer illuminated, drivers need to yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians before proceeding to make a left turn,” said PennDOT District 9 Ex­ecutive Thomas Prestash. “The flashing yellow arrow alerts the motorist to yield for oncoming traffic and then to proceed with caution.”

PennDOT’s District 9 covers Blair, Bedford, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon and Somerset counties.

According to research funded by the Federal High­way Administration, left turn crashes can be reduced by as much as 20 percent after the installation of a flashing yellow arrow signal.

Also, flashing yellow arrow signals can be adjusted depending on the time of day, reducing delays and improving mobility.

The current signal configuration features a green left turn arrow to allow left turns followed by a yellow arrow and then a circular green indication.

The new configuration will feature four left turn arrows:

n Steady green left arrow, meaning the left turn is protected and oncoming traffic is to stop.

n Flashing yellow arrow, meaning drivers must yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians before completing the left turn.

n Steady yellow arrow, meaning left turns should stop because the signal is about to enter a stop pattern.

n Steady red arrow, meaning left turns must stop and cannot proceed.


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