Residents of Riverside may have noticed new traffic signals popping up at some intersections in the city. But why the change and how do they work?
The new signals will have a flashing yellow left-turn light that is meant to signal drivers they must yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians. The hope is to prevent crashes where drivers don’t know whether opposing traffic is required to stop for them, or who misjudge the gaps between oncoming cars, city officials said.
instructional video on its official YouTube page as part of its public education campaign to help motorists unclear on what to do when they encounter the new signals.
The flashing arrow signal is currently used in in more than a dozen California cities, and in states including Florida, Kentucky, Michigan and Nevada.
Data has shown these types of signals can reduce the number of crashes at intersections. Information from the Highway Administration’s Office of Safety demonstrated crashes were reduced by 7.8 percent to 24.7 percent after flashing arrows were installed at intersections in three states. How much safety improved varied by how intersections were configured before the change.
According to city traffic engineers, the flashing arrows work best depends on the volume of traffic, history of accidents, what signals are already in place and other factors.