Monday, Dec. 9, drivers may have noticed a difference when making a left turn at some traffic lights in Vidor.
Instead of a solid green light for a permitted left turn in a left turn lane, drivers will find a flashing yellow arrow reminding them to take caution when turning. Green and red arrows for protected left turns will remain.
The new lights are being implemented in many other states across the U.S. as well and come from a new federal traffic manual adopted by the Texas Department of Transportation. The installation of the new left turn signals will begin with four locations along FM105 in Vidor — FM105 & Orange Street; FM105 & Bolivar Street; FM105 & Lakeview Cutoff, and FM105 & FM1131. All installations should be completed by Thursday, Dec. 12, said Sarah Dupre, Public Information Officer at Texas Department of Transportation.
What the Arrows Mean:
According to the TxDOT website, “A left turn can be one of the most challenging actions a driver can undertake. Left turn signals have been designed to let drivers know when they can safely turn across oncoming traffic, but the wide variety to types of signals used across the country can be confusing.
“In particular, when drivers are shown a green turn signal, they may not understand that the turn is not protected and that they must yield to oncoming traffic.
Flashing yellow arrow left-turn signals are a new standard for signals where a driver must yield to oncoming traffic to turn left. Research has shown that this new signal is safer, more efficient and a more consistent approach for left-turn lanes.
“Research has shown that the new Flashing Yellow Arrow signals are safer and more easily understood by drivers than the traditional "yield on green" signals.
These new signals provide additional opportunities for a driver to make a safe left turn than traditional signals.”
Other cities throughout the Beaumont district of TxDOT including Lumberton and Orange can expect to have the lights installed in the upcoming months, Dupre said.