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Flashing Yellow Arrows at Reno Traffic Lights

Safer Left Turns at Intersections in Reno


Flashing yellow traffic light arrow in Reno, Nevada, NV

Flashing yellow traffic light arrow in Reno, Nevada.

Photo © Stan White
Flashing yellow left turn arrows are a feature at many intersections in Reno and other parts of northern Nevada. Learn what the flashing yellow arrows mean and how to safely drive through traffic signals using the flashing yellow arrows.

What is New About Flashing Yellow Left Turn Arrows?

What is new is that the yellow left turn arrows now flash. Before this system, the left turn arrow went through the green-yellow-red sequence like traffic lights controlling straight ahead traffic. Some intersections only allow left turns on the green arrow and some permit left turns when the arrow is not lighted and it is safe to make the turn. It is at these latter intersections that the left turn arrow now flashes yellow to indicate it is okay to make a left turn when it is safe to do so. You still must yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians.

Why is This System Being Implemented?

In a word, safety. It is part of a nationwide effort to increase driver awareness during left turns, one of the most dangerous manuevers in driving. The flashing yellow turn arrow is a more specific indicator for turn lanes than the circular green light and it reduces confusion. The turn lane light is no longer the same signal as the one for adjacent through lanes.

This system was developed in Reno and has been approved by the Federal Highway Administration for use nationwide.

Where Are the Flashing Yellow Arrow Intersections?

The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC), Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) and local agencies are working together to install the flashing yellow left turn arrow signals. The opening phase of the project will install signals at 58 intersections in Reno, Sparks, Carson City, and Washoe and Douglas counties.

Get More Information About Flashing Yellow Arrows

The NDOT website has more details about the Flashing Yellow Arrow Turn Signal. Learn more with the downloadable Flashing Yellow Arrows brochure.

Source: Regional Transportation Commission (RTC).

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