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The N.C. Department of Transportation has installed a new four-head traffic signal at the intersection of N.C. 73 and Gold Hill Road (State Road 2408) in Concord. The North Carolina Department of Transportation is evaluating the new traffic head as part of a national study sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration.

This new signal includes a flashing yellow arrow between the solid green and solid yellow arrows indicating that left turns are permitted, but motorists must also yield to oncoming traffic before turning. The signal became operational on Wednesday, July 1.

The new signal head is designed to make it easier for drivers to know what to do when making a left turn and reduce accidents. Not a bad idea in my view as we see far too many accidents arising from left turn situations.

Often the problem is that the person turning left on a green ball (not an arrow) will proceed into the middle of the intersection hoping for a gap in the oncoming traffic. If the light turns yellow and there is still oncoming traffic, the left-turning begins to feel pressured. The driver may then attempt the turn when he or she is unclear whether the approaching traffic is slowing to stop or intending to proceed through the intersection.

If you’ve had experience with one of the new signal heads, please drop a comment. I’d love to know what you think about them.

I’m not the only one. The Department of Transportation would also like to hear from you. Contact Sean Epperson, Deputy Division Traffic Engineer, at (704) 982-0101 or

You can see the new design and read more about it here or here.

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