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Understanding the Flashing Yellow Left-Turn Arrow
Flashing yellow left turn signal
Do you know what to do if you are waiting to turn left and you see a flashing yellow left-turn arrow? It’s simple: be cautious, and after yielding to oncoming traffic and pedestrians, make your left turn.
 
After it flashes, the flashing yellow left-turn arrow then becomes the better-known steady yellow left-turn arrow. The steady yellow left-turn arrow means what it has always meant: stop, if you can do so safely.
 

  A solid red arrow means STOP. Drivers turning left must stop.*
  A solid yellow arrow means stop if it is safe to do so.
  A flashing yellow arrow means turns are permitted, but you must first yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians and then proceed with caution.
  A solid green arrow means turn left. Oncoming traffic must stop. Do not go straight.
 
In Oregon, flashing yellow left-turn arrows are becoming more and more common. Currently, there are several flashing yellow left-turn arrows in the west side Portland Metro area, in Woodburn, in Bend, and throughout Jackson County in Southern Oregon.  Based on national research, the flashing yellow arrow is expected to improve intersection safety in certain locations.
 
Just remember: flashing yellow = turn with caution.
 
Flashing Yellow Signal brochure (pdf)
 
Flashing Yellow Signal brochure in Spanish (pdf)
 
For more information, see page 24-26 in the Oregon Driver's Manual (pdf).
 
*Except where allowed by law. See page 24 in the Oregon's Driver's Manual for more information.
 
For more information about traffic signals, visit the ODOT Traffic Engineering Section website.