The Georgia Department of Transportation announced in a press release that a newly upgraded traffic signal on S.R. 20 at its intersections with Cline Smith Road is scheduled to be fully operational on Wednesday.
This newly upgraded traffic signal is part of a 2.15-mile construction project to widen S.R. 20, beginning at U.S. Highway 41/S.R. 61 and extending to I-75 in Bartow County.
“This upgraded signal allows for a flashing yellow left turns. The flashing yellow arrows help drivers better understand when to make a left turn freely, when they should proceed with their turn cautiously and when they cannot turn left. Our primary purpose is to reduce the crashes that result when a left-turning vehicle is struck by oncoming traffic. Please be cautious until you get familiar with the changes at these six intersections. Remember, other drivers may be surprised by the new signals, so give yourself plenty of space between you and the driver in front of you,” stated Dewayne Comer, district engineer at the GDOT office in Cartersville, in the press release.
Traffic signals with flashing yellow left turn arrows are proven to be safer, the release states. A decade-long national study by the Federal Highway Administration found that drivers had fewer crashes with the flashing yellow arrow. They are reportedly also more efficient, as they provide more options for controlling traffic-based issues during variable traffic volumes, since the timing sequence can be made to vary throughout the day.
GDOT also included in the press release how motorists should react if they encounter a malfunctioning traffic signal. Motorists should proceed with caution if they are facing a flashing yellow light and yield to vehicles and pedestrians who are already in the intersection. A flashing red light means motorists should come to a complete stop, just like at a stop sign. If power is out and the traffic signals are off, motorists should treat the intersection as an all-way stop. When it is safe to do so, call 511 to report the malfunction to GDOT.