CLEARWATER, Fla. - UPDATE: After our ABC Action News story aired, FDOT has decided to restrict blinking yellow left hand turns. From 7am-8pm Monday through Friday, drivers will only see a solid red, yellow or green arrow. The flashing yellow arrow will only occur outside of those times. Pinellas County and FDOT will monitor and adjust the signal as needed.
After two crashes at the intersection of Roosevelt Boulevard and Dodge Street this weekend, drivers are calling attention to the intersection and saying a flashing yellow left turn signal is putting drivers and pedestrians in harm.
Drivers have nicknamed the busy intersection “dodge and death.” Although there haven’t been any fatal accidents over the past 5 years, FHP says there have been 131 crashes and 73 people injured. FDOT records show at least 34 of those crashes have been drivers making a left hand turn or U turn at the light.
Typically, drivers making a protected left turn have a green, yellow and red arrow. However, at the intersection of Roosevelt Boulevard and Dodge Street, there is a flashing yellow turn signal as well. That allows drivers to yield to oncoming traffic, but people tell ABC Action News people aren’t correcting judging the speed of oncoming traffic, darting out and getting hit.
Drivers also report having trouble seeing around the traffic.
On Friday, 5 cars were involved at a crash at the intersection. On Monday, there was another crash.
Drivers are begging FDOT to get rid of the blinking yellow turn signal, but FDOT says it is up to drivers to be more careful when yielding to oncoming traffic. FDOT added the blinking yellow left turn signals to several intersections around Florida and across Tampa Bay to help reduce congestion.
FDOT plans to study the intersection following the most recent crashes to see if any changes need to be made.