Most drivers understand that red means stop and green means go, but there is a different traffic signal that is grabbing the attention of motorists.
The Arizona Department of Transportation started a pilot program in May that introduced a flashing yellow arrow at Interstate 10 and 32nd Street.
The addition of the flashing yellow arrow is designed to increase the number of northbound 32nd Street vehicles than can make a left turn onto the westbound I-10 entrance ramp, according to ADOT.
We asked drivers Friday what they thought.
"It's the first time I've seen it," said Joan Barry.
"I've never experienced one before so I'm not sure," said one driver. We asked why it is confusing and the same driver responded, "It's just something new, I'm not sure what to do."
Another motorist said, "I just saw the yellow arrow for the first time today," and he jokingly went on to say, "I have no idea what to do. I think I yield."
ADOT said they are testing this signal to improve traffic flow and decrease accidents, but admit there can be some confusion.
While we interviewed Timothy Tait, a spokesperson with ADOT, a motorist nearly caused an accident while we were discussing the flashing arrow signal.
"Now we've got the flashing yellow arrow, that's allowing traffic to proceed when it's safe," said Tait. Right after he said this a driver turned into oncoming traffic while turning left during the flashing yellow arrow. Tait went on to say, "And you can see these vehicles are starting to proceed, somebody has proceeded a little too far into the intersection. That's what we want to avoid."
"We're testing it, we're watching, we're evaluating, and we're going to see how it performs, if traffic performs better, if it reduces or has an impact on collisions," said Tait.
Tait said so far, there are only positive results that have come from the signal and that there had not been an increase in accidents.
The signal has been in place at other intersections across the Valley, in some cases, for a few years.
The city of Scottsdale said they started installing them in 2008 and now have several locations including Raintree Drive and Northsight Boulevard and 68th Street and McDowell Road and have no increased reports of accidents because of the light and believe it is a traffic relief.
According to the city of Scottsdale, this traffic signal is meant to eliminate motorist confusion as to the meaning of the circular green light, which can be mistaken as a protected left turn, and provide more opportunities for drivers to turn left.
A city of Scottsdale spokesperson said this new type of signal was approved by the Federal Highway Administration after research showed the flashing yellow arrow heightens driver awareness when turning left in front of oncoming traffic.
The cities that have these lights include Scottsdale, Chandler, Mesa and Gilbert.
This standard signal is anticipated to be used more widely in the future.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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