Texas Could Use Yellow Arrows For Drivers Turning Left

ARLINGTON (AP) – Drivers making left turns at busy intersections across Texas could get some colorful, flashing help to stay safe.

The Federal Highway Administration wants cities and states to begin replacing solid green lights with flashing yellow arrows, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Monday.

A solid green light sometimes confuses drivers into thinking they always have the right of way, in spite of other traffic. The flashing yellow arrow makes it clearer that drivers must proceed cautiously before turning left, federal officials say.

A pilot project is planned for Arlington, host of Sunday’s Super Bowl at Cowboys Stadium between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers, but not until long after the game is in the sports history books.

The pilot project will involve selected intersections, said Paul Iwuchukwu, Arlington traffic engineer. The most likely candidates are major north-south routes, such as Collins and Cooper streets.

Arlington, a city of nearly 400,000 located midway between Dallas and Fort Worth, is a tourist draw along Interstate 30 as the home of the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers Ballpark, Six Flags Over Texas, and numerous other attractions and businesses.

Motorist wanting to turn left would first get a green arrow, as they currently do, giving them the right of way. Under the plan, the green arrow would switch to a steady yellow arrow, then a flashing yellow arrow, giving motorists permission to turn left after yielding to oncoming traffic.

The flashing yellow arrow would then change to a steady yellow arrow, and then a steady red arrow, when turning is no longer permissible.

Arlington has 340 signalized intersections, and about three-fourths of them could be candidates for a flashing yellow arrow, according to Iwuchukwu.

No total cost estimate was available, but a typical traffic intersection device with five signal heads costs around $700, he said.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


One Comment

  1. will Jones says:

    This is more confusing than the green light and some moran judge sitting in his chambers with no common sense no doubt dreamed this up. How about getting Dart bus drivers in Dallas to quit blocking traffic by jumping out of their buses to get a box of fried chicken?

  2. yvonne says:

    Another great idea from a non-driving brain trust behind a desk. Many NTX drivers don’t understand the big red triangle with the word YIELD boldly centered in english….Let’s stop dumbing down America!.

  3. Glenn says:

    Just what we need when our citys and counties are in budget trouble….more money to out lay on changes that dont need to me made. I think they need two arrows….one regular and one in spanish. Just in case.

    1. LLG says:

      NO,NO Glenn, nothing eles in spanish, learn english or get off the road!!

  4. Elmer says:

    Bad idea. You are not supposed to enter an intersection on yellow.

  5. zach says:


    most texas drivers wont turn left on a yellow light as it is.

    dallas – worst & rudest drivers i have encountered

    1. kathy says:

      You haven’t lived in Bryan/College Station have you? Try living around a bunch of people who text, yap on the phone, are constantly drunk or high and just can’t drive. And I’m not talking about the students.

      Last time I was in Dallas the traffic was bliss compared to this.

  6. rod says:

    instead of red light cameras I believe a great solution that would save thousands of lives a year and is so simple would be just to delay when a light turns green after the opposing light turns red.Just a 2 or 3 second delay would let the traffic clear of those people that run the lights trying to beat the light while it is tuning yellow to red. It won’t of course stop red light runners in general,but it would stop the wreaks of people take off on the green light while the other traffic is trying to beat the red.

  7. joe says:

    why not teach drivers ED in school and teach people to drive prperly. Get rid of all the green arrow left turns and teach how to make a proper left turn without the arrows, we’re not all idiots. if you can’t negotiate a left turn without an arrow (and I’ve sat behind many a moron waiting for the arrow that will never be) you shouldn’t be driving. Eliminating the arrow turn will also speed up traffic flow.

    1. dh1 says:

      There’s just to much oncoming traffic for one left turn per cycle. You DO realize that only one car can legally enter on the yellow, right?

  8. GDK in DFW says:

    This has already been implemented in Tyler, Coppell and on Jupiter in Richardson / Garland
    I have no problem with the yellow arrow — I just wish it would strobe rather than the slow blink (because when I check the light, often the arrow is dark).
    I think this is needed – and an impovement.
    The only thing I could think that would be better is to create smart roads that essentially drive our car from Point A to Point B. That way, we won’t have to worry about left turns, right turns, running red lights, exceeding the speed limits, etc. As long as the technology was ‘hands free’, after you punched in your designation, you and you passengers could text, talk on the phone, watch videos, read, eat, drink, apply makeup, smoke, change clothes in your car without being a nuisance to your fellow drivers.

  9. Richard says:

    Good project at a wrong time. This should only be done with budget surpluses. I think I’ve seen this in Plano and it is more confusing than most people can imagine. I know some people wanna look busy so they don’t lose their jobs, by being innovative, but not flashing yellow arrows please!

  10. Randy Miller says:

    How about understand who has the right of way in the first place. The green light is too confusing….. Seriously……… Wow. Raise you hand if you’re really that stupid. If you actually use this as an arguement, immediately take an IQ test before you make a law. And I repeat, please take an IQ test if the green light is too hard.

  11. T H Cass says:

    remember: “NO NEW TAXES” means you live without somethings

  12. Kelly C. Pierce says:

    Just another atempt by someone in our federal government to try to look important and to keep their job. If you change the light signals you confuse people and cause accidents and threaten texasns lives, ontop of costing alot of money to replace the lights. This idiot needs to read his drivers handbook also because a green arrow means you have the right away. The Federal Government needs to stay out of Texas when it comes to our highways and driving laws we have the best in the Nation.

  13. mack says:

    Those that want the changes flunked drivers ED too. Some drivers cant see over the wheel with their head in their arse, putting on makeup, changing clothes.

  14. Diana says:

    Oh please make it unlawful for motorist to use mobile devices while driiving.

  15. Elizabeth says:

    Many of these issues would be resolved if our civil engineers were required to have an IQ above that of an artichoke…

    God help us if our drivers DRIVE as poorly as they SPELL…

  16. WCU80MT says:

    We already use these in Carrollton and Irving. This is old news.

  17. Mike says:

    Carrollton and Plano have already installed these flashing yellow lights in many intersections. I think they are horrible. Very confusing. You never really know when the light will turn red and end up running red lights when turning.

  18. Bob Barker says:

    I these times of layoffs and reduced state and local budgets….DO WE REALLY NEED TO SPENT FREEKIN MONEY ON THIS CRUD? Sounds like someone has a brother in law in the traffic light business…

  19. MidiMagic says:

    The reason is not driver misunderstanding. It is to prevernt a dangerous condition known as yellwo trap, and allow more signal sequences that the circular green can not allow.

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