Flashing Yellow Lights Causing Some Confusion - 8 News NOW

Flashing Yellow Lights Causing Some Confusion

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LAS VEGAS -- Motorists know red means stop and green means go, but some drivers are getting confused by newly-installed flashing yellow arrow lights at hundreds of valley intersections.

Millions of dollars are being spent on more than 400 new traffic lights to reduce car crashes.

Before the flashing yellow arrow, we had a solid green light, and drivers yielded when making unprotected left turns.

But all these changes are giving some drivers mixed signals.

Flashing yellow arrow lights are designed to put the brakes on traffic trouble.

Motorist Cindy Williams said she sometimes finds herself dodging danger on Desert Inn Road and Arville Street.

"It's supposed to be a caution light, not a light saying I can go," she said. "I think it's dangerous. I've witnessed the accidents."

She said she sees more driver confusion, but studies show flashing yellow arrow lights are safer and cut down on crashes.

"The accidents will be reduced because of the flashing yellow arrow," said Capt. Mark Tavarez of Metro Police's Traffic Bureau.

The public is receiving a lesson in drivers' education because of these new traffic lights. Police are reminding drivers to slow down, use turn signals and look both ways before turning left. Their message: yellow means caution.

The yellow flashing arrow gets cars moving and expedites traffic.

"It opens up the roadway, specifically for those motorists that sit at red lights and there's absolutely no traffic," Las Vegas City Councilman Ricki Barlow said.

Each new light costs an average of $26,000.

Across southern Nevada, 409 flashing lights are being installed at a total cost of almost $11 million.

Nevada got the green light on this project from Washington, D.C. and federal taxpayers are picking up part of the tab.

The Nevada Department received nearly $4 million in federal safety funds for the installation of the lights, said Tracy Larkin-Thomason, the state transportation's deputy director of southern Nevada.

Metro Police did not have any information on crashes that could be blamed on the lights.

More than half of the 400-plus planned signals have already been installed.

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