Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions, or personal experiences.


There was a time not that long ago that traffic signals in Maine were only red light, yellow light and green light. But as roads got busier and intersections more complicated, new versions of traffic lights have been popping up. Even still, most of those new versions have been simplistic and easy to understand. That is, until the newest traffic signal arrived and has left even the most experienced and understanding drivers confused.

Red and green traffic lights against blue sky backgrounds

The Red Arrow PLUS the Green Light

Certain intersections in Maine that include heavy vehicular traffic and heavy pedestrian traffic will start seeing this new traffic signal. According to the MaineDOT, the dueling red arrow and green light is intended to enhance pedestrian safety while maintaining vehicular traffic flow. Drivers who have encountered it already are finding it perplexing.

Getty Images, Maine DOT
Getty Images, Maine DOT

Here's What You Can and Can't Do

If you come across this unique new traffic signal, here are the do's and don't's. While the red arrow is lit, left turns are prohibited. The MaineDOT states the red arrow will give pedestrians extra time to proceed through a crosswalk. While there is a red arrow, there's also a green light which allows motorists to continue along their path as long as it doesn't include a left turn.

Traffic light at night

The Flashing Yellow Arrow

Flashing yellow arrows are becoming more prominent in congested areas of Maine to alleviate traffic problems that come along with full light cycles. Red and green arrows have been common in Maine for decades, but a flashing yellow light is intended to allow drivers to turn left at busier intersections but should do so with extreme caution.


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