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.