Hawaiʻi’s First Flashing Yellow Arrow To Go Live in Kahului

June 27, 2014, 10:14 PM HST · Updated June 27, 11:01 PM
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By Maui Now Staff

The state’s first flashing yellow arrow traffic signal has been installed on Maui and will be activated at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, June 30, 2014, county officials announced.

The flashing yellow arrow was installed at the Kahului corner of West Kamehameha and Kane Avenue, and means that a motorist should turn left with caution as they make sure to yield to oncoming traffic.

When approaching the intersection, motorists are advised:

  • When the light shows a solid green arrow, drivers are clear to make a left turn;
  • When the arrow shows a solid yellow arrow, drivers should get ready to stop safely or complete their turn;
  • When the light shows a solid red arrow, drivers should stop completely; and
  • When the light shows a blinking yellow arrow, drivers must first yield to oncoming traffic or pedestrians, and turn with caution.
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“The flashing yellow arrow is designed to help motorists better understand when they have the right-of-way at intersections,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa in a county press release.

“I ask motorists to familiarize themselves with this new signal by taking a few minutes to watch the instructional video (provided in this post and produced by the mayor’s office and Department of Public Works). Like our traffic roundabouts, this new flashing yellow traffic signal will help maximize safety on the road for both drivers and pedestrians,” said Mayor Arakawa.

Flashing yellow arrow at Kamehameha and Kane in Kahului. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Flashing yellow arrow at Kamehameha and Kane in Kahului. Photo by Wendy Osher.

County officials cited the National Cooperative Highway Research Program, saying engineers have expressed concerns that drivers turning left on the circular green light signals may mistakenly believe they have the right of way over opposing traffic.

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According to county officials, research from the organization on flashing yellow arrows shows that:

  • “Flashing yellow arrows are the best alternative to the circular green when indicating that a left turn is allowed after yielding to oncoming traffic and pedestrians;” and
  • “The flashing yellow arrow was found to have a high level of understanding and correct response by drivers turning left at intersections, and a lower fail rate than the circular green signal.”
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