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SC-DOT began installing flashing yellow turn arrows in 2013. The practice began in Columbia and has spread throughout the state.
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This change was implemented as the result of a Federal Highway Administration study, which demonstrated that the new signals:• Help prevent crashes• Move more traffic through an intersection• Provide additional traffic management flexibility
• They're safer--The study demonstrated that drivers made fewer mistakes with the new signals than with traditional left turn arrow signals.• They're more efficient--The new signals provide traffic engineers with more options to handle variable traffic volumes.• They're more consistent--You'll see the same signals in every state because the new signals are being introduced throughout the United States.
In short, not exactly. While pedestrian signals are installed to improve visibility, aid pedestrians, and improve safety overall, the signals do not take the place of personal responsibility. Pedestrians must exercise good judgment and remain alert when crossing any roadway.
Pedestrians should keep the following points in mind when considering the safety:
UNJUSTIFIED STOP SIGNS
Stop signs are the most widely used and misused of all traffic signs. Stop signs installed incorrectly usually create more problems than they solve. Many requests are received for stop signs to interrupt traffic or to slow speeding vehicles. However, studies across the country show that there are a high number of intentional violations when stop signs are installed as nuisances or "speedbreakers."
Studies show that speed is reduced in the immediate vicinity of nuisance stop signs, however, speeds are higher between intersections than before the signs were installed. This is caused by motorists making up for lost time. Nuisance stop signs also increase air pollution, waste fuel, and create more traffic noise.
EFFECTIVE USE OF STOP SIGNS
Under the correct conditions, stop signs can play an important role in traffic safety. National standards have been established to determine when stop signs should be installed. These standards consider traffic speed, the number of vehicles, sight distance, and the frequency of gaps in traffic to allow safe vehicle entry or pedestrian crossing.
For safety purposes, when stop signs are used, they should stop vehicles on the street with less traffic. Four-way stops are helpful only when traffic is high and approximately equal on all four approaches. At least 500 cars per hour, for a substantial portion of the day, are needed to make fourway stops beneficial.
Most drivers are reasonable and prudent. When confronted with unreasonable and unnecessary restrictions, motorists are more likely to violate them, and they usually develop contempt for all traffic signs, often with tragic results.
Marked crosswalks are considered safety devices, and must jurisdictions give the pedestrian right-of-way when walking in them. However, many pedestrians feel overly secure when walking in a marked crosswalk, which could lead to undue hazards due to the mistaken belief that a vehicle can and will stop in all situations (even when it may be impossible to do so).
A crosswalk should be considered a warning device to vehicles, yet studies indicate that distance, road alignment, pavement irregularities , and other variables like weather, lighting, or glare may diminish a driver's perception and view of the crosswalk. Pedestrians do not contend with the same visual impediments as drivers may, and make the assumption that a driver's view results in the same clear view of the crosswalk as the pedestrian has. Pedestrians should not feel overly confident and make assumptions as to visibility.