I have just been in my fourth near-miss collision at an intersection with the new flashing yellow left turn signal. It seems that many drivers are not aware that flashing yellow means “yield” and that oncoming traffic has a green light at the same time; rather, they treat the flashing yellow just like a regular yellow. Is the city’s Public Works Department aware of this problem, and are there any plans to put “yield on flashing yellow” signs at these intersections?
When the “flashing yellow arrow” tool was added to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices by the Federal Highway Administration, it was based on significant research around the country, said David Woosley, the city’s traffic engineer. The research also showed that a sign explaining the devices was not needed and did not have an effect on crash experience.
A review of all Lawrence 2010 crash reports does not show any reported crashes related to the flashing yellow arrow, Woosley said.