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Flashing Yellow Arrows at Traffic Signals

Flashing Yellow Arrows at Traffic Signals

At the August 9, 2011 meeting of the HRTPO’s Hampton Roads Transportation Operations (HRTO) Subcommittee, VDOT traffic engineers presented a new type of traffic signal display- flashing yellow arrows.  In Hampton Roads, many traffic signal heads positioned over left-turn lanes include colored arrows as shown here:

A new type of signal head has a flashing yellow arrow (FYA) and looks like this:


R: Red
SY: Steady Yellow
FY: Flashing Yellow
G: Green

*The third indication from the top is a yellow arrow which flashes—following the display of a green arrow and prior to the display of a red arrow—informing the driver that he/she is permitted to cautiously enter the intersection to make a left turn.

VDOT engineers related that the benefits of flashing yellow arrows are:
•    Improved safety
•    Improved operational flexibility
•    Efficiency

VDOT has installed FYA signal heads at three intersections on US Route 60 near Busch Gardens, and has prepared a draft version of Guidelines for Flashing Yellow Arrows for Permissive Left Turns showing traffic engineers where to consider FYA and where not to consider FYA.


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