New type of traffic signal in Hillsborough County: the flashing yellow arrow

03/02/12 Olivia Kabat
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Hillsborough County has a new type of traffic signal: a flashing yellow arrow. Drivers traveling on Fowler Avenue near Thonotosassa may encounter the new type of light at the Jefferson Road intersection.

The flashing yellow arrow directs motorists in the left turn lane to turn with caution after first yielding to oncoming traffic. Kris Carson, Florida Department of Transportation spokesperson says a national study shows the benefits of the new signal.

“The flashing yellow arrow is something new we’re trying in Hillsborough County, the one that we just installed in on Fowler Avenue at Jefferson. I think slowly these will become the norm around the Bay Area.

Carson says if successful the plan is to install many more flashing yellow lights in the area.

“The Federal Highway Administration is having a DOT moved towards this and this was a new signal we were installing so we decided to go and try it at this particular intersection. What they found is that it’s a low cost safety measure that can help prevent crashes. A lot of motorists unfortunately when they see green they think they automatically have the right-of-way to turn left. Not realizing that of course they have to wait until the traffic is clear. So this will hopefully help the motorists realize they have to proceed with caution.”

According to Carson, the traffic study showed motorists are less likely to make left-hand turn mistakes when obeying the flashing yellow arrows.

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