Flashing Yellow Arrows Help Keep Traffic Moving

One of the latest upgrades to the East Baton Rouge Parish transportation system is the new flashing yellow arrow left-turn signal.

The new signals are being installed on some state projects and will be included in MOVEBR projects in the near future. In 2009, after extensive testing, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) authorized the use of the signals nationwide and they have been installed in several states. 

The new signals feature a flashing yellow arrow in addition to red, yellow, and green arrows. When lit, the flashing yellow arrow allows waiting motorists to make a left-hand turn after yielding to oncoming traffic and pedestrians.

The new flashing yellow turn signals are proven to be safer and more efficient. A FHWA study found they reduce left turn crashes by up to 35%. They also help move more traffic through the intersection, easing traffic congestion and reducing vehicle idling – and that helps ease pollution.

“But any change has the potential to cause confusion, so we are working closely with the MOVEBR program managers and DOTD to bring these to the attention of drivers, so they know what to expect,” Mayor Broome said. 

The left-turn signals will consist of arrows only. The steady red arrow means drivers turning left must stop and wait; the steady yellow arrow means stop if you can do so safely; the flashing yellow arrow means drivers can proceed with a left turn after yielding to oncoming traffic and pedestrians; and the steady green arrow means proceed with a left turn -- opposing traffic is being held.

DOTD reports motorists will eventually encounter the new flashing yellow arrow signals on all state roadways across Louisiana at locations where a single turn lane is currently protected by a left-turn signal. These upgrades are part of a federal standard for implementation of signals. 

The MOVEBR program is providing public service announcements to educate drivers of the changes, such as the video below.