The Indianapolis Department of Transportation will soon install flashing yellow arrow lights at a handful of intersections throughout the city. The new yellow lights signal that drivers should yield to oncoming traffic before turning left, and they’re replacing the solid green light that drivers usually see at those intersections.
The law requires left-turning traffic to yield to oncoming traffic, but flashing yellow lights have been proven to help heighten caution and allow drivers to take advantage of cross-traffic gaps.
INDOT says that the new signals will improve safety within intersections because they give drivers clear instructions. A study conducted by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program showed that drivers can understand flashing yellows more easily than ordinary green lights.
The arrow can give way to a red light, letting drivers know that when they see a flashing yellow arrow, they should be prepared to stop. INDOT is installing these lights at five intersections as part of a statewide roll-out, and they’re intended for use at high-volume intersections. Opponents of the new lights claim that they’re distracting and confusing, with some even blaming them for a recent crash.