When turn arrow flashes yellow and through signals are red…

The in basket: Ann Sevaaetasi e-mailed me to say, “I was turning left from Lund onto Jackson (in South Kitsap) and in the left-hand turn lane. The left-turn arrow turned yellow blinking.

“I understand that it is legal to make a left, after checking traffic. My problem was that the straight away signal turned red, (but) I still had a blinking yellow turn arrow.  I felt very uncomfortable turning left with the yellow arrow while the traffic signal was red.

“This is the first I had ever seen the light turn red with a left yellow arrow. Should I have made the left turn?”

The out basket: Ann was lawfully able to make the turn through the blinking yellow after yielding to other traffic. The signals next to yellow flashing left turns will display red for through traffic when a car using the opposing left turn light got there in time to get a green arrow, providing a protected opportunity to turn.That protection is provided by holding oncoming through traffic at a red light.

Ann evidently didn’t arrive in her left turn lane in time to get a protected turn with a green arrow, so got a flashing yellow signal and had to yield to oncoming traffic, which would have had a green light.

3 thoughts on “When turn arrow flashes yellow and through signals are red…

  1. To the jackwagon soccer moom, yes moom as in moo moo, who almost killed my entire family on Kitsap Mall Blvd. this past Thursday afternoon. JUST STOP AT ALL FUTURE FLASHING LIGHTS YOU ARE TOO STOOPID TO INTERPRET TRAFFIC SIGNALS!!!

  2. The signal protected you from the hazard called “yellow trap” by doing this.

    Yellow trap occurs when the signals turn yellow for one direction, but leave the opposite direction green. The flashing yellow arrow keeps flashing until the oncoming signal changes from green to yellow, keeping you from being trapped in the intersection.

  3. On this subject; when we were stopped in the right lane for a red light at Greaves way and Kitsap Blvd. on Monday 2/18, right before the turnoff to go south, TWO cars in the left lane beside me went barreling through the red light at high speed one right after the other. Just had to mention this. “Chill”, people; de-stress!

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