Dangerous Henrico intersections to get new traffic lights

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - County traffic experts are trying something new in hopes of keeping drivers safe.

Even when the cars go the speed limit, they still go fast, and George Jones will often see a lot more than letters when he goes out to check the mail.

"Totaled. I've seen one [car] on the top there, and I've seen several smashed back to the front seat," he said.

George has seen his fair share of crashes, having lived on Francistown Road for the past 18 years. There's a green light turning signal, and a sign, but apparently that's not enough.

"I guess some people don't realize that light's there," George said. "Something really needs to be done there."

Recognizing the ongoing danger, Henrico County is trying something new. Starting next week, the county will install flashing yellow arrows in hopes of keeping drivers safe.

The technique exists throughout the country, but traffic engineer Michael Jennings said this will be a first for county roads.

"I think part of it is the flashing yellow arrow gets their attention more," Jennings said.

The new signals will go in four places:

Gaskins Road at Ridgefield Parkway

Hungary Road at Francistown Road

Hungary Road at West End Drive

Creighton Road at Cedar Fork Road

"I'm expecting to find what the nation has found with these, to reduce the number of left turn accidents," Jennings added.

Back on Francistown, George is hopeful. Maybe now things won't be so dangerous right outside his door.

"Anything would help!" he said. "Because, the accidents are still occurring."

The yellow arrows are meant to communicate more clearly that drivers must yield before making a left turn at these risky intersections.

The new signals go in beginning next Monday. They'll be monitored for a month. After that, the county will decide whether to install them in other places.