Instead of the traditional red, yellow and green lights, the traffic
controls now have red, solid yellow arrow, flashing yellow arrow and
The new generation of traffic lights will allow protected and permissive left turns from dedicated left-turn lanes. The flashing yellow arrow indicates to drivers that they can make a left turn if there is no oncoming traffic or pedestrians.
Meanwhile, a solid yellow arrow indicates the left-turn signal is about to change to red, and drivers should prepare to stop or complete the turn if they are legally within the intersection and there is no oncoming traffic.
So far, more than a dozen intersections in downtown and northwest OKC are equipped with the new lights, and more are being installed at various intersections.
“This type of signal is not suitable for all intersections with dedicated left turns,” said Stuart Chai, OKC traffic engineer.
“Public safety considerations are the city’s first priority and outweigh efficiency, so the left-turn signal will have to be limited.”
This type of light gives left-turning motorists more chances to pass through an intersection than the older traffic controls, which have the solid steady green “ball” signal.
The new standard for protected left turns was included in the 2009 edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, adopted by Oklahoma in 2012.