Flashing yellow lights to be activated in Kingsport

KINGSPORT, Tenn. - Six flashing yellow turn signals are being activated in Kingsport along Fort Henry Drive in the Colonial Heights area from Interstate 81 to the intersection with Moreland Drive, with the Traffic Department set to deploy the signals during the next 24 hours.

The first flashing yellow caution signal head outside of the downtown area went live at the Interstate 81 off ramp Monday afternoon, according to Kingsport Traffic Engineer Tim Elsea.

"Flashing yellow turn signals have shown to be a more efficient way to allow left turn movements at busy intersections by lengthening the period where turn movements are authorized," Elsea said. "The Federal Highway Administration has demonstrated that these signals allow additional traffic flexibility while preserving safety."

The signals are placed over left-turn lanes at intersections.

The first light at the top of the traffic signal head is a steady red arrow meaning no turning movements are allowed.

The second is steady-yellow arrow meaning unrestricted turning movements are allowed as gaps in oncoming traffic allow, but that opportunity is about to end, as the signal turns to a red arrow.

The third signal from the top of the signal head is a flashing yellow arrow allowing turning movements when oncoming lanes are clear.

And the fourth light is a steady-green arrow meaning left turns are unrestricted.

"When the flashing-yellow arrow is displayed, motorists are allowed to turn left when there are gaps in oncoming traffic or no pedestrians in the intersection," Elsea said.  "Motorists may also turn left normally when a green arrow is displayed and oncoming traffic has stopped. They should not turn left when the red left-turn arrow is displayed."

For more information please, visit to watch an informational video and review literature regarding the flashing yellow arrow effort, or contact the Traffic Department at 229-9487 with questions.

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