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PennDOT has announced it will soon be activating a new type of left turn signal in the region that has proven to improve safety at intersections.
Flashing yellow arrow signals will first be activated next week along U.S. Route 22 in Allegheny Township, Blair County.
New to Pennsylvania, the flashing yellow arrow signals have become commonplace in many states across the country over the last 10 years.
Based on national studies and transportation agency testimonials, they improve left-hand turn safety by helping motorists recognize they should yield during left-hand turns when there are oncoming traffic and pedestrians, according to PennDOT.
“This change is an added reminder that once the green left arrow is no longer illuminated, drivers need to yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians before proceeding to make a left turn,” PennDOT District 9 Executive Thomas Prestash said in a press release. “The flashing yellow arrow alerts the motorist to yield for oncoming traffic and then to proceed with caution.”
Research funded by the Federal Highway Administration found that left turn crashes can be reduced by up to 20 percent after the installation of the flashing yellow arrow signal. Flashing yellow arrow signals can also be adjusted depending on the time of day, reducing delays and improving mobility.