Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
Several intersections in Vidor will experience a change with red lights and turning signals in early December.
The Texas Department of Transportation has announced it will start a change mandated by the federal government in Vidor beginning Dec. 2. TxDOT work crews will make changes to several signal lights where left turns are permitted by a solid green light.
According to Sarah Dupre with the TxDOT public information office in Beaumont, work will begin on Monday, Dec. 2 at four signal light intersections in Vidor where a solid green light allows a left turn from the left turn lane.
“Drivers will find a flashing yellow arrow reminding them to take caution when turning,” Dupre said. “Green and red arrows for protected left turns will remain.”
Dupre said the intersections will not revert to unprotected left turns. TxDOT is only eliminating the solid green light for unprotected turns at these already protected turn intersections. The solid green light is used at these intersections after the green arrow light has ended, which means motorists may turn left but must use caution. The yellow arrow is meant to serve as a reminder to use caution while turning left.
Intersections scheduled for the left turning lane light change include the signal light at South Main Street (FM 105) and Orange Street, the intersection of North Main Street where East and West Bolivar cross, Lakeview Cutoff and North Main Street (FM 105) and FM 1131 and FM 105.
“The new lights come from a new federal traffic manual adopted by the Texas Department of Transportation,” Dupre explained. “The hope is that the flashing yellow arrow will remind drivers to take caution when turning at a non-protected left turn. Drivers need to remember that oncoming traffic still has the right of way at those types of left turns.”
Chief Dave Shows of the Vidor Police Department hopes these changes to the intersections prove beneficial.
“There really is no history of major problems at these intersections,” Shows said. “We have safe intersections with lights and left turns throughout Main Street in Vidor. These changes will just be a reminder to drivers to be very judicious when making left-hand turns at these intersections.”
The installation of the new left turn signals is beginning in Vidor, and then will occur in other cities such as Beaumont, Lumberton and Orange in the upcoming months.