Michelle Earl 276-696-3283

Bristol - 15086

Sept. 21, 2015

Additional flashing yellow arrows coming to southwest Virginia
Signals will be installed at twelve locations starting in October

BRISTOL – This fall, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is getting a bit more flashy to improve safety.

The expansion of a new type of traffic signal with a flashing yellow arrow will be added at twelve locations in the 12-county Bristol District starting in October:

  • Alternate Route 58 at three intersections in the Pennington Gap area of Lee County
  • Business Route 23 in the Gate City area of Scott County
  • Route 11 at six intersections between Bristol and Abingdon in Washington County
  • Route 11 at Lowe’s in Abingdon
  • Business Route 23 in the Appalachia area of Wise County.

The flashing yellow arrow is currently used at the intersection of US Route 11 and Route 107 in Chilhowie and the intersection of Business Route 19 and Route 71 in Lebanon. 

The new signal displays four arrows to regulate traffic flow: a red arrow to tell drivers to stop; a steady yellow arrow to communicate that the light is changing; a flashing yellow arrow which means drivers may turn left after yielding to oncoming traffic; and a green arrow to show that the driver has the right of way to make a left turn.

Signs advising “left turn yield on flashing yellow arrow” will be installed temporarily at signal locations for 30 days to communicate this change.

Flashing yellow arrows are more effective than the more common circular green light and other signals at conveying to drivers the need to yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians when turning left.  Studies have shown that after a short learning period flashing yellow signals are better understood, better obeyed and are safer.  A flashing yellow arrow is more intuitive for communicating to drivers the need to yield to oncoming traffic than a solid green light.

The $280,000 flashing yellow arrow project will begin in October and wrap up in early 2016.  When a signal head is being changed out, be alert to lane closures and pay close attention to highway workers. (END)

Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

Page last modified: Sept. 21, 2015