What is this blinking yellow arrow?

What is this blinking yellow arrow?
Posted on 11/05/2012

You may have noticed that transportation departments and local entities across the country are implementing a flashing yellow left turn arrow at signalized intersections, and Cottonwood Heights is no exception.


The city now has two of these signals, one at Fort Union and Wasatch Boulevards and the newest one at Fort Union and Union Park Avenue. This has prompted a few calls to the city asking why these signals are being used and how to navigate through the intersection.

First, the why.

  1. Less Traffic Delay – Drivers have more opportunities to make the left turn movement with a flashing left turn arrow than with a traditional signal, which keeps cars moving.
  2. More Flexible – The new yellow flashing turn display provides more options to effectively handle ever-growing traffic volume and reduce traffic back-ups.

Now, the how.

As always, a green left turn arrow means you may make a protected left turn since oncoming traffic will be stopped. The flashing yellow left turn arrow indicates that oncoming traffic is not stopping and you may only make a left turn only when it’s safe to do so. Just as before, a steady yellow arrow means the red light is coming and you should not enter the intersection if you can stop safely. A steady red arrow means stop.

So remember this when you encounter the flashing yellow light: you may proceed into the intersection, but before making your left turn you must yield to oncoming traffic until your turn can be made safely!  Pleasedrive safely and always remain aware of your surroundings.

For more information on blinking yellow arrows, you can visit udot.utah.gov or stop by the city office and pick up a brochure.