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:
SY: Steady Yellow
FY: Flashing Yellow
*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
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.