Local News

N.C. DOT installing new left-turn signals

Posted November 3, 2010

— North Carolina drivers can expect to see a makeover for left-turn traffic signals.

The state Department of Transportation said Wednesday that more of the newly designed lights are being installed at intersections throughout the state.

The new style features a flashing yellow arrow that, when active, lets drivers know they can turn left but that they must yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians before doing so.

The signals are designed to make it easier for drivers to know what to do when making a left turn and are taking the place of the traditional signals.

Engineers have installed 380 of the signals since 2005. Since then, those sites have seen a 37 percent decrease in wrecks, the DOT said.

The DOT did not say where the new lights will go up or when.


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  • countrygurl1557 Nov 5, 2010

    valdon... yes i did now wheres toby? guess he has a big mouth til hes shoving potted meat in it HAHA

  • Alexia.1 Nov 4, 2010

    Personally, I think the flashing yellow light left arrow is very confusing. The current green light (not a green arrow) has always meant one can make a left turn if it's possible and safe to do so.

    Flashing yellow lights, on the other hand, have always means "proceed with caution". So, adding a flashing yellow arrow (to some lights, but not others) seems to only add confusion. The first time I saw it, I assumed I had the right-of-way since it was a flashing yellow light. But, no... this flashing yellow light does not mean I have the right-of-way.

    I question the statistics that say accidents are down. What in the world is going through a driver's mind when they make a left turn at a solid green light and get hit by an incoming car? And this flashing yellow arrow clarifies that confusion for them? I am doubtful. I think it's an excuse to sell a more expensive light.

  • valdon721 Nov 4, 2010


  • Lone Voice in the Wilderness Nov 4, 2010

    @Freedom Defender:

    Then all signs should be one shape, one color, one size, and the only differentiator is what the sign says. Therefore, a yield sign should be the same size, color, and shape as a stop sign. People should be able to read the difference and obey likewise. Think of the tax savings!

    I have no problems with the change over to blinking left turn lights. Instead of hanging a modified stop light, with a green ball on top and two amber lights & two green lights and a sign that reads "Left turn must yield on green ball," they now just have to hang one stop signal with LEDs that can blink to indicate that left turn drivers must yield.

    But people do use color, shape, and even blinking lights to help navigate through our traffic system. Whenever I visit Fayetteville, I see plenty of the left blinking arrow lights. Now, if people actually obeyed whatever the traffic convention is, maybe there'd be fewer deaths on the roads.

  • Freedom Defender Nov 4, 2010

    It is obvious to me that the reason the government is doing this is because there are so many drivers on North Carolina roads that have been licenced by the state. Yet can't speak or read simple english. Therefore signs reading "LEFT TURN MUST YIELD" and "STOP AHEAD" are going away and being replaced with flashing yellow arrows, and signs with a red octogon and an arrow pointing up. There is no excuse for the state spending our tax dollars to change our signs, signals, or anything else to accomidate anyone who fails to take the needed steps to assimilate into our society. This is North Carolina. We speak English.

  • countrygurl1557 Nov 4, 2010

    yep its the potted meat valdon... im just sooo addicted.... how bout you eat some potted meat on yer roof and relax and have happy thoughts before you go back to strainin yerself of how to use these here signals!!

  • Lone Voice in the Wilderness Nov 4, 2010

    If given a chance, people will complain about anything. People will even complain about people complaining. But, I have learned one thing: people can adapt. It's a startling concept, I realize.

    People complained about the Hillsborough Street renovation. Now, they don't. People complained about the roundabouts. Now, I don't hear any. People complained about the Glenwood Avenue renovation. Now they don't.

    If you don't like what the NC DOT is doing, then you are free to move to a state where their DOT does everything perfectly, making changes to improve the traffic flow that doesn't require the driver to change any habits, and, of course, all lights turn green as you pull up to them.

  • valdon721 Nov 4, 2010

    countrygurl - "Yer" just jealous? How about "you're" or is that what homeschooling and potted meat do to your brain?

  • vallery Nov 4, 2010

    it's sad that drivers have gotten so stupid that they don't know how to yield when turning left, that a traffic signal has to be created. (at tax payers expense, of course)
    instead of testing just the old folks for road knowledge, maybe everyone should be made to take the road test every 5 yrs to know how to drive to have a license.
    it's not brain surgery folks. common sense, & knowing the rules, & laws of the road.
    of course these same folks that don't know how to turn left, are the more than likely the same ones that talk on a cell phone/text while an emergency vehicle tries to get thru an intersection.
    our society as a whole has gotten dumber & dumber. sad.

  • johnnyboy Nov 4, 2010

    what a bunch of whiny butz!
    They have these in Cary on Maynard Rd. And without any instructions from anyone I had it figured out in less time than it takes to complain about a politician.