MADISONVILLE, KY (2/8/12) – Motorists will soon encounter a new type of traffic signal on KY 70 at the Breathitt-Pennyrile Parkway Interchange in Madisonville. A new signal phase that includes a flashing yellow arrow turn phase is being installed at the intersection this week.
The new signal has a flashing yellow turn arrow that indicates motorists are allowed to proceed with caution but must yield to oncoming traffic.
“Studies indicate that modifying a standard traffic signal with a flashing yellow light configuration may help reduce crashes and improve safety,” said Kevin McClearn, chief district engineer for highway district 2. “The new traffic signal improves safety by more clearly signaling to drivers that they may turn only when there is no oncoming traffic.”
The new signal display has four intervals:
The flashing yellow arrow signal system has been used successfully at intersections in Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada and Oregon. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has installed a number of the flashing yellow signals to test the effectiveness.
The flashing yellow arrow replaces the traditional green ball for motorists turning left. It is designed to more clearly indicate to motorists that they must yield to oncoming traffic. If the pavement sensor in the left-turn lane detects a constant presence of vehicles unable to turn on flashing yellow, the signal will ultimately display a green arrow, indicating a “protected” left turn for the vehicles. For information about the signal visit http://transportation.ky.gov/Traffic-Operations/Pages/Flashing-Yellow-Lights.aspx.
Motorists who regularly travel on KY 70 through the Breathitt-Pennyrile Parkway Interchange in Madisonville should be aware of the new signal phase and be alert for changes in traffic flow it may create.
The flashing yellow turn arrows are being installed at about a dozen intersections across Kentucky for evaluation. Traffic will be monitored at the intersections to help determine the impact of the new turn signal arrangement on highway safety. Traffic signal technicians plan to install the new turn phase on Tuesday, weather permitting.
Information provided by Keith Todd
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