Posted: Thursday, August 28th 2014 at 11:29am
New signal technology coming to Dawsonville Hwy. intersection
GAINESVILLE - New traffic signals designed to improve safety and increase traffic flow – especially for left-turn movements – are coming to a busy Dawsonville Highway/SR 53 intersection next week.
The new flashing yellow arrow will be for two of three “legs” of the intersection with Sardis Road. Both directions of Dawsonville Highway will get the new flashing yellow arrows. The new signals will be operational Wednesday, September 3 if weather permits.
“A review of the intersection showed the need for left turn arrows (that) will enhance the traffic flow and overall operation of Dawsonville Highway. The new flashing yellow arrows are installed. They will become operational next Wednesday. It will improve the flow through the intersection by allowing left turners to move after yielding on yellow,” explained Bayne Smith, Georgia DOT District Engineer.
This is the second flashing yellow arrow installed in Hall County and the ninth flashing yellow arrow installed in Georgia DOT’s Northeast service area, known as District One.
The new traffic lights are called Four-Section Flashing Yellow Arrow (FYA) signals and are being deployed at intersections with historically heavy left-turning traffic volumes. The FYA signals will apply exclusively to drivers making left turns. The signal will be a vertical display of four left turn arrows functioning as follows:
· When solid red arrow is illuminated, no left turn is allowed;
· When solid yellow arrow is displayed, drivers should prepare to stop as light is about to turn red;
· When flashing yellow arrow is illuminated, drivers may turn left but must yield to pedestrians and oncoming vehicles; and
· When solid green arrow is displayed, drivers may turn left.
DOT says federal Highway Administration studies have shown these signals help reduce crashes of left-turning vehicles by as much as 35 percent. The FYA 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.
“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,” Smith added. “Our primary purpose is to reduce the often-devastating angle crashes that result when a left-turning vehicle is struck by oncoming traffic.”
FYA will now be Georgia DOT’s preferred left turn traffic signal for eligible locations – those with high numbers of left-turn movements and resultant traffic back-ups and related accidents. In addition to the Georgia DOT locations, cities and counties throughout the state will identify eligible locations and apply to the Department for permits for the new traffic signals.
During heavy traffic volume the traffic signal may skip the flashing yellow phase to increase safety at the intersection. It is important that drivers not try to anticipate what the traffic signal is about to do; just “drive and obey the signal.”
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