Traffic signals will flash red, not yellow, to alert drivers, NCDOT says

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The yellow flashing traffic signal that indicates a malfunction at an intersection is turning red, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

The change, meant to improve safety, means all drivers must stop at an intersection, treating it as an all-way stop, when a traffic signal malfunctions.

Currently, traffic signals flash yellow when they malfunction due to an equipment failure or other problem, causing drivers to slow down and proceed carefully.

The flashing yellow lights will turn red over the next year, prompting all drivers to stop. According to the NCDOT, drivers should treat intersections as all-way stops when signals are dark or flashing.

“We are making this change to improve the safety of our intersections and provide a consistent display when the signal is not operating normally,” said Nick Zinser with the NCDOT. “If a signal is in flashing mode or dark due to power loss, it becomes an all-way stop condition for vehicles and pedestrians.”

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