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Yellow Left-Turn Traffic Signals

MnDOT Raising Awareness of Flashing Yellow Arrow Traffic Signals
We all want safer roads. MnDOT is implementing new techniques to provide safer driving conditions for Minnesotans. You may have seen yellow flashing arrows for left turn signals recently. If you haven’t found one yet, you may in the near future. MnDOT’s website reports that a majority of new traffic signals installed will have flashing yellow arrow options. Favorable conditions to use the flashing yellow arrow are low volume and low speed traffic.

Why Use Flashing Yellow Arrows?
Safer – Less Delay – Flexibility
Minnesota has used flashing yellow arrows in the past when the traffic light was in flash mode. A national study has shown that flashing yellow left-turn arrows are more understandable to drivers. MnDOT also states there is less opportunity to make a left turn with the traditional red, yellow, green signals and having the flashing yellow arrow option provides traffic engineers with more traffic control options to handle a range of traffic volumes.

What Do Left Turn Arrows Now Mean?

  • Solid red arrow
    • Stop and wait.
  • Solid yellow arrow
    • Left-turn signal is about to change to red. Prepare to stop or complete left turn.
  • Flashing yellow arrow
    • Turn left after yielding to all oncoming traffic and pedestrians. Oncoming traffic has green light.
  • Solid green arrow
    • Left turn has right of way and oncoming traffic has red light.

To learn more about roundabouts and view a brochure on the topic, please visit

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