BATON ROUGE, La. (KPEL News) - There's a running joke in Lafayette that drivers will go through great lengths not to make left turns in the city. Well, apparently, left turns are a problem for drivers across Louisiana as well.

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The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has begun an $11 million project to address this issue by upgrading 1,200 traffic signals across the state to include flashing yellow left turn arrows, as pointed out in this Louisiana Radio Network article. DOTD spokesperson Rodney Mallett tells LRN that more than 900 have been installed already with 350 more to go.

It’s a safety mechanism because turning left is a tricky maneuver for many drivers. The flashing yellow gives more of a warning then the green bulb. The flashing yellow is more of a way to communicate with the drivers that you need to be careful here. Yellow means caution. The flashing yellow will grab your attention so if you’re turning left right here let’s be very cautious.

W. Broussard at Johnston Street, google street view
W. Broussard at Johnston Street, google street view

While red, yellow, flashing yellow arrow, and green traffic signals are all part of the massive project that began seven years ago, the flashing yellow arrow signals are a big focus of the project. In 2010, a study by Bradley University made an eye-opening discovery: flashing yellow arrows reduce left turn-related crashes by 32 percent.

Mallett says they are just trying to get drivers to think twice about oncoming traffic.

The project is expected to be completed in two years.


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