Take turn signals. Not the ones on your car but the traffic signals which allow you to make a left turn. The red arrow means ‘stop’. The green arrow means ‘go’. The yellow arrow means, turn with caution, yielding to oncoming traffic, or does it mean prepare to stop? Wait, I’m not sure…
Ah-ha! Even the best defensive drivers can sometimes get confused by exactly what a turn signal is telling them to do. Of course, never turn in front of an oncoming vehicle regardless of what the light may indicate. You’re better off alive and right than dead and right any day. But still, how do you know exactly what you are supposed to without quickly referring to your driver’s manual?
In Texas, the state department of transportation thinks they have a solution. At a particularly dangerous intersection they are installing a new kind of traffic signal. It has a red arrow, a green arrow, a solid yellow arrow and a flashing yellow arrow.
Red means stop.
Green means go.
Solid yellow means prepare to stop.
Flashing yellow means you may proceed with caution yielding to oncoming traffic.
The TxDOT will install the traffic signals at the intersection of SH 56 and SH 121 in Fannin County, and the intersection of SH 11 and FM 2297, Hopkins County, in the Paris District. It is hoped the new traffic signals will create safer intersections by clarify who can turn when, taking some of the guess work out of turning into a busy intersections.
In the meantime all you defensive drivers can keep right on choosing to err on the side of caution and only turning when the way is completely clear.