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New Traffic Signal Lights

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Flashing Yellow Arrow Left Turn Signal

Broken Arrow is in the process of adding the next generation of traffic signals that allow protected and permissive left turns from dedicated left turn lanes.

If the signal is a...

  • Red Arrow: Stop. Left turn is not permitted.
  • Green Arrow: Safe to turn left. Oncoming traffic must stop.
  • Flashing Yellow Arrow: Left turn is permitted, but driver must yield to oncoming traffic or pedestrians.
  • Steady Yellow Arrow: Driver must prepare to stop as arrow is about to turn red.

Watch the video below to see how it works.


The National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) studied the flashing yellow arrow (FYA) configuration and compared it to various protective/permissive left turn (PPLT) control devices and signal arrangements. The study determined that a flashing yellow arrow PPLT display was consistently found to be equal to or superior to existing PPLT displays, both in a laboratory environment and field experiments in cities. This configuration is now adopted in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).

The new standard for protected left turn signals was included in the 2009 edition of the MUTCD, which the state adopted in 2012. The flashing yellow arrow gives left turning traffic more opportunities to pass through an intersection than its predecessor, which was the solid steady green “ball” signal.

Below is information about the use of flashing yellow arrows.


  • The FYA left-turn signal gives traffic engineers the flexibility to use specific signals during different times of the day. In some locations, it is possible that either the Flashing Yellow Arrow or steady green arrow may not be seen every time a driver approaches the intersection. This reduces wait times at signals using the FYA.
  • There are more opportunities to make a left turn with the FYA than with the traditional three-arrow, red, yellow and green indications, thus reducing delays.
  • The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) encourages the use of FYAs.
  • FHWA studies found that FYAs:
    • Help reduce left turn crashes by 35 percent
    • Move more traffic through an intersection, easing traffic congestion
    • Reduce vehicle idling
    • Reduce air pollution


The following criteria is used to help select appropriate locations:

  • Intersections where traffic congestion is a recurring problem.
  • Most “eligible” intersections have standard “dog house” 5-section traffic signal - drivers make “permissive left.” 
  • Most “eligible” intersections have high traffic volumes and accident rates.


FYA signals have been shown to help drivers make fewer mistakes. They keep motorists safer during heavy traffic and reduce delays when traffic is light. A national study demonstrated that drivers found FYAs more understandable than traditional yield-on-green indications (green "ball").


The City will monitor traffic flow at the new signal locations to evaluate if its use would be beneficial throughout the City and for future road/intersection improvements.