Flashing yellow arrows could be to blame for increased Bonham accidents

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BONHAM, TEXAS -- Bonham police are concerned that drivers don't understand the new flashing yellow arrows.

Before the new lights went up at 121 and 56, police worked about an accident a month there.

Now that the flashing yellow arrows are in operation, accidents have quadrupled -- averaging four accidents a month.

The new flashing yellow arrows are still causing confusion and leading to accidents.

"I'd say in the last six to eight weeks I've worked four totals out there; major damage," David McBroom said.

McBroom operates McBroom Body Shop in Bonham.

He used to work minor accidents at 121 and 56. That changed when the new lights went up in September.

"Minor accidents, maybe rear-enders or minor fenders, but now we're having very heavy damage. People are confused with the yellow flashing," McBroom said.

Bonham police say prior to the new light installation, they worked about seven accidents here each year.

Now, they're doing four a month, likely because of these new flashing arrows.

"Since the activation of the flashing yellow light, we've had twelve accidents and nine of those twelve were injury accidents. With the speed limit through that particular intersection, instead of it being an injury, we could possibly look at it being a fatality," Bonham Police Sgt. Terry Edington said.

Edington says people just don't understand the new lights.

The flashing yellow arrow indicates that motorists may make a left turn, but they may do so if and only if there is no oncoming traffic.

"They think that the light is getting ready, I think, to turn red, so they're trying to beat it," McBroom said.

Both accident responders say drivers need to just pay more attention.

"You know, if you just see a light that's yellow, just use caution. That's what it means," McBroom said.

These flashing yellow arrows have been implemented in many states nationwide.

David Selman with TXDOT says sometimes new traffic installations are a learning curve, but Sgt. Edington hopes that learning curve will be over soon.

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