If you are out driving, you may have noticed a flashing yellow turn arrow popping up across intersections around North Texas.
The way they work, according to the City of Fort Worth, is when the yellow arrow is flashing, drivers are allowed to turn, but they must yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians. If the area is clear and safe to turn, enter the intersection and proceed with caution.
Once the flashing yellow arrow turns solid yellow, treat it the same as a regular yellow light. Clear the intersection and complete your turn, and drivers not already in the intersection should stop.
According to The Texas Department of Public Transportation, the yellow arrow is essentially the same as a solid green circle indicating an unprotected left turn is permitted.
The green lights on left turn signals will eventually be phased out and replaced by yellow arrows, which are "safer and more easily understood by drivers than the traditional 'yield on green' signals," according to TxDOT.
A 10 year study by the Federal Highway Administration found flashing yellow left-turn arrows help prevent crashes. They also keep traffic moving and improve air quality.
What the Arrows Mean
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Steady red arrow = Stop. No left turns allowed.
Steady yellow arrow = Prepare to stop.
Flashing yellow arrow = Left turns allowed, but must yield to oncoming traffic.
Steady green arrow = Left turns allowed and protected.
Still have questions? You can call TxDOT's Traffic Operation Division at 512-416-3118.