What to do turning left with a solid yellow left turn arrow

I’ll start over and make this simple.

I’m driving in the left turn lane with my left blinker on at 30 MPH and I am 1 second from crossing the line to enter the intersection to make a left turn. At this exact moment, the left arrow on the traffic signal becomes solid yellow. What do I do? edit2: To clarify things, just prior to switching in to the turn lane and slowing down a bit the light ahead of me was green.

edit1: I’ll add some multiple choice to keep things within reality:
A) Attempt to panic stop and end up stopped in the intersection a bit after the line, and take the risk of being rear ended.
B) Halt the left turn and brake harder than normal coming to a stop in the middle of the intersection. Take some risk of being rear ended. Yield to oncoming traffic and continue the left turn when safe.
C) Halt the left turn and brake harder than normal coming to a stop in the middle of the intersection. Take some risk of being rear ended. Wait for a right of way signal from the traffic signal to complete the turn.
D) Continue the left turn during the solid yellow arrow and do not yield to traffic.

Use common sense.


No way to answer this without knowing what traffic is coming the other way.


You need to have it before you can use it.


you should not be driving 30 mph in a turning lane.


So 25 would be better or 35 would be better? I don’t know if you’re one of the everybody goes too slow people or the other way around. There’s a lot of flip flop going on these days.


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I know I put you between a rock and a hard place if your solution is to drive like a 95 year old person.

to answer your question. if the light is any color other than green, you come to a stop. just like a yield sign. if the light just turned yellow and no cars are coming then you can go. if you are not sure when it turned yellow than treat it like being red and wait for it to turn green again.


You’re not required to stop at a yield sign.

What light was present before it turned to solid yellow? Flashing yellow or flashing red? Solid green? Is this the point you were trying to make with your other post, that your actions might be different depending on what kind of light preceded the solid yellow?

If it were solid green right before, you would be assured that the oncoming traffic still has a red light and will have that red light for a couple of seconds after your solid yellow arrow turns red. If it were anything else right before, you don’t have any assurance of what the oncoming traffic is permitted to do and should not have been traveling toward the intersection at such a speed that more reasonable options than your multiple choices were eliminated.

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If the light changed from a green arrow to a sloid yellow arrow, you have 1 to 1 1/2 seconds to complete the turn.

If the light changed from flashing yellow arrow to a solid yellow arrow, you have 1 to 1 1/2 seconds to complete the turn but you must still yield to oncoming traffic.


Yes it is the point from the other thread. The example here is that you don’t know what light was displayed by the traffic signal on the left turn portion just prior to the solid yellow. You know that you had a green and you were looking in your mirror to see if it was safe to change in to the turn lane while braking. Suddenly you see the light change to yellow. The light had to have previously been either a right of way to turn left (green left arrow) or a yield to turn left (flash left yellow). The point is now you don’t know because you were paying attention to other traffic instead of looking at the light prior to it turning yellow.

I know that going 30 MPH and not knowing what turn arrow is present shouldn’t happen since the person shouldn’t be going 30 MPH in a turn lane 1 second away from the line and not know what light is there, since it could be a red arrow. But mistakes happen while driving and the dual meaning solid yellow arrow compounds the situation even if you shouldn’t have been in the situation in the first place. This situation can occur at lower speeds as well when there is time to stop before the line, even though traditionally (before the dual meaning yellow arrows) most cars at that speed and distance from the intersection would continue to turn left.

Is there any reason why the solid yellow left arrow that comes on for a few seconds after the flashing yellow air be kept a flashing yellow? It would eliminate this whole situation if green arrow is going to follow anyway. If a green arrow does not follow, then the flashing yellow should be turned off and drivers should look for the normal round yellow traffic light, or the flashing yellow could change to fast flashing, or turn on the yellow and red arrows at the same time. The problem is that leaving the flashing yellow on when a green does not follow tells drivers that they can still enter the intersection from a stop.

Yield to oncoming traffic may require stopping.


I think this Guy needs to go back to DRIVING SCHOOL 101


In the days before and the flashing yellow arrow and the solid yellow arrow that follows it, the answer would always be D. Now the meaning depends on what arrow was previously displayed. And if you’re going 10 MPH right in front of the intersection and it just turns solid yellow, and you weren’t paying attention to what it was, now you don’t know what the solid yellow arrow means and you don’t know if you have to yield or not if you go in the intersection.

Where I live we only have solid green arrows, solid red arrows or flashing yellow arrows. One can always see a new driver as driving school if there is no arrow do not enter the intersection until it is clear to turn. It sometimes takes a couple cycles of lights before they go.The police enter the intersection to wait for the eventual red that stops oncoming traffic so I figure it is ok for me. Flashing yellow arrow proceed when safe. Driving is not that hard for me. Stop and go turns yellow, stop if you can safely. Not that hard! Though to some people the red if you are close enough means go! Yes many times light turns red while in the intersection waiting to make a turn, not a problem

Car Talk is now Learn to Drive Talk. LOL


That is NEVER correct. Failure to yield to somebody coming at me? Not going to happen, regardless of the light configuration.


OK here’s the bottom line as we learned in drivers training in 1964. You enter an intersection at your peril. Regardless of who had the green, red, flashing yellow, yellow, or what, you need to be aware of other vehicles to avoid a collision. Doesn’t really matter who is right or what the light said. Be aware and take defensive action. I’ve stopped many times when I was in the right and the other person was in the wrong and even earning a salute from the other driver going through a stop sign thinking they were right.