Police Chief

Ask the Chief

“Ask The Chief” is a weekly post allowing readers access to useful information about law enforcement issues in the city of Red Wing. This communication tool has been developed to enhance our community policing efforts by providing residents and visitors with the opportunity to ask questions about local laws, programs, and the Department in general.

Submit your question to askthe.policechief@ci.red-wing.mn.us. 

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Dec 03

December 2, 2019 - Flashing Yellow Left-Turn Arrow

Posted on December 3, 2019 at 3:51 PM by Kate Berg

December 2, 2019

Ask the Chief

Q: The women in my coffee group were discussing the new flashing turn arrows in town; can you clarify the difference between a flashing yellow arrow and steady yellow arrow?

Image of traffic light next to the words "Understanding the flashing yellow left-turn signal"

A: Thank you for your question.  Evidently you are not alone, regarding the flashing yellow arrow: during the most recent Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) fatal review meeting, it was noted that there were a few crashes and near misses related to the new flashing yellow arrows. On October 7, 2019, we briefly discussed how to turn at a flashing yellow arrow at the Spring Creek Road intersection.

In the City of Red Wing, there are two traffic signals that utilize the flashing yellow arrow; one is at Spring Creek Road and Hwy 61 and the other is at Hwy 58 and Flower Valley/Pioneer Road. Minnesota Statute 169.06, Subdivsion 5 covers Traffic Control Signals. On a “Flashing Yellow Arrow” you may make a left turn when it is clear to do so.  Remember, you must still yield to on-coming traffic as they have the green light/right of way. When the flashing yellow arrow turns to a steady yellow arrow, you may finish completing your turn if it is safe/clear to do so.  All other traffic approaching a steady yellow arrow should prepare to come to a stop, as the light will be changing to solid red.

References and Resources:

1. Minnesota Statute Chapter 169.06, Signs, Signals, Markings. Located online at: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/169.06

2. Michigan Department of Transportation, Turning at Yellow Flashing Arrow YouTube video, located online at: https://youtu.be/uIkanxT72KI

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