You can pull out into the intersection on a flashing yellow light. It's true! Please do!

If I've seen it once, I've seen it a hundred times. Sitting in the left-hand turn lane, facing East, at the intersection of 40th Avenue and Summitview Avenue, the vehicle directly in front of me had a flashing yellow arrow inviting the driver to PROCEED WITH CAUTION.

Heck, we learned that in the form of a rhyme in elementary school! Do you recall this:
"Red means no, green means go, yellow means wait -- even if you're late!"

Just a few years ago, the city's engineers made the traffic light a flashing yellow before it turned fully red to allow at least one, if not two, vehicles, to be able to pass to alleviate congestion at one of Yakima's busiest arterials. You CAN pull into the intersection and wait until through traffic passes to take a left. You do not have to stay at the stop bar and wait until all other motorists have passed before you attempt taking a turn.

I hope this helps if you weren't sure as to how to approach this particular situation and I hope it helps keep all of our days moving as efficiently as possible!

According to the Revised Code of Washington (i.e., the law):

Flashing signals.

(1) Whenever an illuminated flashing red or yellow signal is used in a traffic sign or signal it shall require obedience by vehicular traffic as follows:
(a) FLASHING RED (STOP SIGNAL). When a red lens is illuminated with rapid intermittent flashes, drivers of vehicles shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, before entering a marked crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or, if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering the intersection, and the right to proceed shall be subject to the rules applicable after making a stop at a stop sign.
(b) FLASHING YELLOW (CAUTION SIGNAL). When a yellow lens is illuminated with rapid intermittent flashes, drivers of vehicles may proceed through the intersection or past such signal only with caution.
(2) This section shall not apply at railroad grade crossings. Conduct of drivers of vehicles approaching railroad grade crossings shall be governed by the rules as set forth in RCW 46.61.340.

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Rock on! \m/ \m/
Todd E. Lyons, Esquire

10 Stupid Washington State Laws