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March 27-- New traffic signals designed to improve safety and increase traffic flow – especially for left-turn movements – will be installed and activated Wednesday, April 4 at the intersection of Highway 280 East and  Harris Industrial Boulevard in Vidalia.

trafficsignTraffic signals at this intersection will be re-signalized by the Georgia Department of Transportation with what are known as Four-Section Flashing Yellow Arrow traffic lights that will provide an extended period of time for motorists to turn left after yielding to any oncoming traffic.

“The flashing yellow arrow primary purpose is to reduce the often-devastating right angle crashes that occur when drivers turning left are struck by oncoming traffic,” stated Cynthia Phillips, District Traffic Engineer. “This new traffic signal design will give drivers a clear picture of when they may turn left, when to proceed with caution, and when they should prepare to stop.”

The FYA signals will apply exclusively to drivers making left turns. The signal configuration will be a vertical display of four left turn arrows functioning as follows (displayed at bottom):

  • When solid Red arrow is illuminated, no left turn is allowed;
  • When solid Yellow arrow is displayed, drivers should prepare to stop as light is about to turn red;
  • When flashing Yellow arrow is illuminated, drivers may turn left but must yield to pedestrians and oncoming vehicles; and
  • When solid Green arrow is displayed, drivers may turn left.  

Federal Highway Administration studies have shown these signals help reduce crashes of left-turning vehicles by as much as 35 percent.  The FYA also offers clearer guidance to drivers turning left and allows them more movement through the intersection when no pedestrians or oncoming traffic are present, thereby reducing back-ups, engine idling and auto emissions.