Clark County makes changes to left turns on flashing yellow arrows
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - You may have noticed during the morning and afternoon commutes around Clark County that those flashing yellow arrows to make left turns have been turned off.
According to the county, they shut the arrows off between the hours of 6 a.m. until 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. during weekday commute hours to “increase safety.”
“So, what we noticed with the flashing yellow in those intersections there was an increase in accidents and what we noticed is motorists were taking more chances in the intersection and actually getting out into the intersection before they can actually clear it,” said Jimmy Floyd with Clark County Public Works.
According to Nevada Revised statue 484B.253, drivers are allowed to enter any intersection to turn left unless prohibited. However, the county feels people are cutting it too close with those uncontrolled left turns during commute hours, so they decided to put a stop to it, frustrating some drivers who feel the changes are a bit draconian when no oncoming traffic is approaching for a lengthy period of time. The county insists they needed to make this change.
“So, during the high demand during high peak hours there was less chance for those motorists to get through and so they were trying to sneak through between cars, and we were seeing more accidents in the intersections,” Floyd added.
FOX5 reached out to the cities of Henderson Las Vegas to check on their flashing yellow arrow policies, and Henderson public works stated “they take each intersection on a case-by-case basis.” The city of Las Vegas spokesman Jace Radke provided a statement saying in part, “We collect traffic volumes and crash history and compare it to nationally accepted standards. Safety is our top priority while also balancing unnecessary driver delays.”
Critics of the move say that not all intersections are the same and the county shouldn’t arbitrarily change all of them without a closer look or a traffic study. However, Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft thinks “better safe than sorry. I think my personal view is it will improve safety, I think having particularly when it’s so busy on the 100-foot arterials where people are driving. Let’s face it more than 45mph it’s better to be safe than sorry.”
The county said the changes are permanent, but as we all know in Las Vegas, the thing that constant is change but in the meantime, when you see that red arrow during commute hours, you’ll need to be patient and wait for the green arrow to make a legal left turn.
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