Flashing Yellow Traffic Signal
Three new traffic signals were installed in the Hoover area. The lights have four arrows, including a flashing yellow arrow, to help with safety during left turns.
Drivers will see a new traffic signal, featuring a flashing yellow arrow, when they travel on Ross Bridge Parkway and Chapel Lane.
The traffic light involves a new pattern that was approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation. It includes a green arrow, flashing yellow arrow, solid yellow arrow and red arrow. Drivers can turn as usual on a green arrow, and the inclusion of a flashing yellow signal is intended to make left turns safer by indicating caution.
When there is a break in oncoming traffic, the driver can make a left turn. Once the arrow stops flashing, however, drivers should be prepared to stop. This means the light is about to turn red.
Two new signals were installed on Ross Bridge Parkway and are currently in flash operation, meaning the lights are not fully operational at this time. City Engineer Rod Long said this is standard procedure and lights are set to flash for their first few weeks after installation. The signal at Chapel Lane and Al Seier Road is fully operational.
Long said Hoover will trend toward more signals with flashing yellow arrows, but funds must be budgeted to change existing signals.
“The wiring required to change to the flashing yellow will cost a little bit of money per existing signal, so we’re proceeding with this new flashing yellow only on our new signals,” Long said.
Although the flashing yellow arrow is new to Hoover, Long said national studies show the traffic signal improves safety and makes permissive left turns clearer to drivers.
“There may be a time of adjustment for people to get used to it … but it should be self-explanatory that you have a flashing yellow arrow for a left turn, and it basically means caution,” Long said.