CALCUTTA - A change in left-turn-lane signal lights should help prevent accidents at busy intersections in the county, said Chief Don Hyatt of St. Clair Township Police Department.
Ohio Department of Transportation District 11 officials said crews are working to change 21 left-turn-only traffic lights in the region, part of the 2009 Federal Highway Manual Uniform of Traffic Control Devices. ODOT began changing traffic lights across the state in April.
Two have been changed in St. Clair Township, at State Route 170 and Dresden Avenue and at State Route 170 and St. Clair Avenue.
The changes are being done as traffic lights need replaced, ODOT officials said in a press release. ODOT officials explained the change is that left-turn-lane signal lights have had a green arrow and a red arrow, and when the light turns to red, it is a solid circle rather than an arrow. The new lights change from green arrow to yellow arrow to a red arrow. ODOT officials emphasized that motorists cannot turn left when the red arrow is lit.
"The change will take away the confusion," Hyatt said. "When you are looking at the red arrow pointing left, you know what light you are looking at. You know that you are looking at the left-turn indicator, and that it is red."
Hyatt said he thinks the change will help motorists because a green or red indicator with an arrow pointing left is a definitive indicator. He said sometimes motorists can be confused when watching several traffic lights in an intersection. They make a left turn when they shouldn't because they are looking at a green light, but it's the wrong one.
"Green does not always mean go," he said. "This will alleviate the confusion, and a lot of the crashes at those intersections where people think they can go through. They will be looking at the light in the left-turn lane, and know with the left arrow whether they can turn or not. With the increasing volume of traffic we're seeing, it's a great idea."