User Alerts

Understanding the Flashing Yellow Arrow


  • FDOT Flashing Yellow Arrow PSA -  This video explains how to understand a flashing yellow arrow

Martin County Public Works will begin installing flashing yellow left-turn arrows at certain roadway intersections In October and November of 2019. As these changes are made at the various intersections, electronic message boards will be placed to advise motorists of the change.

The flashing yellow left-turn indication will be added at the following intersections in Martin County:

  • Indian Street and Aster Lane
  • Pomeroy and Willoughby
  • Martin Highway and Mapp Road
  • Martin Highway and Whispering Sound Drive
  • Martin Highway and Palm City School Avenue
  • Martin Highway and Berry Avenue
  • Martin Highway and Hidden Oaks Middle School
  • Martin Highway and High Meadow Avenue
  • Indian Street and Willoughby Boulevard

How does a flashing left-turn arrow work?

A flashing yellow arrow means left turns are permitted, but you must first yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians and then proceed with caution. The flashing yellow arrow does not replace the solid yellow arrow and its meaning. Drivers should always remember: a flashing yellow = turn with caution.

How should drivers approach a flashing yellow left-turn signal?

Drivers should stop at the intersection and yield to oncoming traffic. If and when it is safe, make your left turn and proceed through the intersection. When the available time for the flashing yellow arrow ends, the solid yellow left-turn arrow begins. The solid yellow retains its standard meaning: the left turn signal is about to go to red and they should prepare to stop, or prepare to complete their left turn if they are in the intersection.

Why not use a solid green light instead of the flashing yellow arrow?

The solid green light is often misunderstood as a left turn indicator. This is because drivers naturally think "green means go." Traffic making a left turn on a solid green light sometimes does not yield to oncoming traffic, which can result in more crashes.

The flashing yellow arrow allows left turns but at the same time communicates the "caution" message to drivers. The flashing yellow arrow is especially effective at intersections with high volumes of traffic.

Why use the flashing yellow arrow?

Safer: A national study demonstrated drivers had fewer crashes with the flashing yellow left-turn arrow that with the traditional, yielding left-turn indication.

Less delay: Motorists have more opportunities to make a left turn with the flashing yellow left-turn arrow than with the traditional, yielding left-turn indication, which keeps you moving.

More flexible: The new display provides traffic engineers with more options to handle variable traffic volumes.

For more information:

Contact the Martin County Public Works Traffic Divison at (772) 288-5466.

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