Left Turn Safety Behind New Georgia DOT Traffic Signal

AASHTO Journal, 8 August 2014

The Georgia Department of Transportation will install new Four-Section Flashing Yellow Arrow (FYA) signals at heavily traveled intersections in the Fayetteville area. The new traffic signals, designed to improve safety and increase traffic flow, are part of a GDOT’s Regional Traffic Operations Program and “Quick Fix” initiatives.

Photo Courtesy Georgia Department of Transportation

“We believe this will help drivers wanting to make a left turn better understand when they can do so freely, when they may proceed with their turn cautiously, and when they may not turn left,” RTOP Manager Gran Waldrop said in a statement. “Our primary purpose is to reduce the often-devastating angle crashes that result when a left-turning vehicle is struck by oncoming traffic.”

Last November, Fayetteville had the new signals installed at 10 locations. Now, the City and County has identified 12 additional locations. Federal Highway Administration studies have shown these signals help reduce crashes of left-turning vehicles by as much as 35 percent. According to GDOT, the new signal also offers clearer guidance to drivers turning left and allows them more movement through the intersection when no pedestrians or oncoming traffic are present, thereby reducing back-ups, engine idling and auto emissions.

RTOP is the Department’s program for maximizing traffic safety and flow by such efforts as ramp meters, synchronized corridor traffic signals, variable speed limits, etc. An award-winning congestion and traffic reduction program, RTOP partners with local jurisdictions in metro Atlanta to maximize travel on major corridors.

The Quick Fix initiative delivers low-cost, high-yield projects that offer immediate benefit to communities and their citizens, such as adding turn lanes, widening roadways, and intersection upgrades.

For more on the GDOT’s use of the signals visit, http://www.dot.ga.gov/travelingingeorgia/trafficcontrol/Pages/FYA.aspx.

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