You’ll have noticed that, when turning left in an intersection, the traditional green signal lights are being phased out and replaced with flashing yellow arrow signals, letting drivers know that they must yield to oncoming traffic when turning left (in case you didn’t already know that, right?). Research has shown that this new signal is a safer, more efficient and a more consistent approach for left turn lanes. It has been the standard in England and Canada for quite some time.

While it may be found that this is a safer approach, I doubt that I am the only driver who misses those green arrows in left turn lanes. If there is heavy oncoming traffic the left turn lane should always get a green arrow to move some of the congestion out of that lane (which is usually backed up into the next lane for a mile!). At times, I have found that I am better off to go through the light, do a u-turn on the other side of the intersection and turn right onto the street I am trying to route to, but this too can be dangerous in heavy traffic. And, in some cases, u-turns are illegal. As for me, I try to avoid intersections altogether if I can help it, or at least the ones where the left turn light goes to red, then a yellow flashing arrow and back to red.

I do realize that the change, as they say, is all about safety and consistency. But now that they seem to be active just about everywhere, you may want to bring a razor in the car with you. Because, although you may leave the house clean-shaven, by the time you get to work, you’re guaranteed to have grown a full beard.

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Flashing Yellow Arrow Signals – Comedy Defensive Driving