Flashing yellow arrow left-turn signals are a new standard for signals where a driver must yield to oncoming traffic to turn left. Research has shown that this new signal is safer, more efficient and a more consistent approach for left-turn lanes.
For a description of the signal’s various states and advantages, see this animation of how the new flashing yellow arrow left-turn signals work provided by the City of Boulder.
Flashing yellow arrow signals will be gradually phased in to replace the traditional circular green signals currently used to let drivers know that they must yield on green to turn left.
A left turn can be one of the most challenging actions a driver can undertake. Left turn signals have been designed to let drivers know when they can safely turn across oncoming traffic, but the wide variety to types of signals used across the country can be confusing.
In particular, when drivers are shown a green turn signal, they may not understand that the turn is not protected and that they must yield to oncoming traffic.
Research has shown that the new Flashing Yellow Arrow signals are safer and more easily understood by drivers than the traditional “yield on green” signals.
These new signals provide additional opportunities for a driver to make a safe left turn than traditional signals.