It may be a subtle change, but left-turn signals are changing for motorists in Ohio. The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is in the process of updating 643 left-turn signals at nearly 400 intersections to comply with federal regulations.
Today, when you use a designated left-turn lane, the signal transitions from a green arrow to a yellow arrow, and then to a solid red circle. The new signal will transition from a green arrow to a yellow arrow and then to a red arrow. This doesn’t change the way you would drive through the intersection, as you still can’t turn on red arrows.
ODOT is making this change to maintain consistency with operations in other states and to follow new mandates from the Federal Highway Manual Uniform of Traffic Control Devices that require designated left-turn lane signals to have red arrows instead of red circles.
Since drivers expect consistency, this change will likely lead city and county governments around the state to change out the red circle lenses from their signals as well.
ODOT began installing the red arrows statewide in April as part of its annual systematic signal improvement program. Be on the lookout for the new red arrow, and see if you can spot when the signals in your community change.