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Flashing Yellow Arrows
You may have seen some new types of traffic signals installed throughout the metropolitan area. The Flashing Yellow Arrow (FYA) signals are the new standard for permissive left turn movements. A permissive turn is one that can be made through gaps in oncoming traffic. Protected turns occur when all conflicting movements are stopped.
When approaching a flashing yellow signal, it is important to wait in your lane behind the stop bar or crosswalk, the oncoming traffic has the right-of-way. When your crossing path is clear of pedestrians, and oncoming bicycles and vehicles, proceed into the intersection and make your left turn. If a gap is not available, your presence on the loop detectors will bring up a solid green arrow, allowing you to make a protected left turn.
In general, FYAs will increase intersection efficiency and have been found to be a safe alternative to other permissive signal configurations. Several Lake Oswego signals have been upgraded to incorporate FYA. Not all intersections are good candidates, however. Our staff regularly monitors intersection safety and efficiency.
Here’s what to know (from ODOT’s website):
A solid red arrow means STOP. Drivers turning left must stop.*
A solid yellow arrow means stop if it is safe to do so.
A flashing yellow arrow means turns are permitted, but you must first yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians and then proceed with caution.
A solid green arrow means turn left. Oncoming traffic must stop. Do not go straight.
*Except where allowed by law. See page 24 in the Oregon's Driver's Manual for more information.
Just remember: flashing yellow = turn with caution.
- Click on the instructional video link to to watch Washington County, Oregon Traffic Engineering explain proper driving technique when coming upon a flashing Yellow Arrow.
- Click on the link to see how the signals work