Flashing Yellow Left-Turn Signals


The City of Chico Public Works Department is implementing a new type of traffic signal to provide safer, more efficient left-turns for motorists. The Flashing Yellow Arrow signals are a new display that will replace the circular green signals for left-turns at signalized intersections. The Flashing Yellow Arrow is published in both the Federal and California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices and has already been implemented successfully in other states and jurisdictions in California.

Benefits of Flashing Yellow Arrow:

  • More intuitive to motorists that their left-turn is not protected
  • Reduces delays for drivers
  • Can reduce left-turn collisions by up to 20% according to national data
  • Allows more opportunities for left turns to be made versus protected-only left-turn phasing
  • Implementing this type of signal is consistent with other jurisdictions in California

How to Use a Flashing Yellow Arrow:

How to use a Flashing Yellow Turn Signal

It’s simple! Just understand that a Flashing Yellow Arrow means to first YIELD to oncoming vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians, then turn left with caution. Remember, oncoming vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians will have the right-of-way. During the traffic signal cycle you will see the Flashing Yellow Arrow change to a solid yellow arrow – this means what is has always meant, that the phase is about to turn red and you should prepare to stop.

Signal Display Changes Traditional vs New:

New Flashing Yellow Arrow    Traditional Signal

Location of the First Flashing Yellow Left-Turn Signal:

  • First deployment will be at Mangrove Avenue and East 5th Avenue
  • More widespread deployment to follow as the City of Chico Public Works staff continues to monitor the need for Flashing Yellow Arrows at other intersections.

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