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Flashing arrow foolish
July 19, 2011 - Jim Smith
Just what we need, another traffic signal for some motorists to ignore.
Apparently our friends in Washington don't have enough to do trying to stimulate the economic recovery or attempting to reach a compromise over the U.S. debt ceiling, federal officials have decided states and communities need to add a yellow flashing arrow to traffic signals to indicate when drivers may make a left turn with caution.
Huh? How does a flashing yellow arrow make making a left turn safer, especially when countless drivers already ignore red traffic lights, green turn arrows, stop signs, non turn on red signs, yield signs , continuous right turn signals, etc?
An Ohio Department of Transportation spokesman said yellow arrows will begin showing up in the state next year as part of major renovations or new construction. Public education campaign are expected to be launched before motorists see their first flashing yellow arrow and the new signal in December will be added to the state's updated traffic control device manual.
If a motorist isn't observant enough or smart enough to know when to make a left turn across approaching traffic, it seems likely a flashing yellow light isn't going to help and, who knows, it actually might make it worse by giving the turning motorist an improper feeling of safety.
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