Lights changed after serious accidents at intersection - WSMV News 4

Danger after dark: Lights changed after serious accidents at intersection

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You've probably seen traffic lights that start flashing yellow late at night.

Turns out, that might have been a factor in several serious wrecks, and Channel 4 found plenty of them at the intersection of Woodmont and Belmont boulevards. Fourteen crashes happened within the past five months at that intersection alone.

"It's lately become quite common," said Laura Sullivan, who lives half a block from the intersection.

Sullivan says she hears crashes all the time, but one particular crash she heard was hard to forget.

"On Aug. 23, it was the loudest crash I've ever heard," she said.

Two cars collided, and Sullivan and her boyfriend ran to the scene to find three teenagers trapped in the car.

"They were completely passed out, incoherent ... I couldn't believe how serious the accident was," Sullivan said.

It was after 11 p.m., and the traffic light had switched to flashing mode - yellow one direction and red the other.

Six serious crashes like this one have happened within five months at this intersection when the stop light was switched to flashing mode.

Sullivan can almost set her clock by the crashes.

"I believe they start flashing at 11 p.m. All the accidents I've heard have been around 11:05 to 11:25 right after they start flashing," she said.

When Channel 4 checked the accident reports for that intersection, it was clear the more serious accidents happened after 11 p.m. when the stop light was flashing.

"You called us and said, 'We see this happening, can you check on it?' We did and that led to us removing the flash programming," said Chip Knuff, metro chief traffic engineer. "This signal, as of now, works 24/7."

Sullivan and her neighbors can now rest a lot easier after 11 p.m.

"Thank you! I'm guessing the community will be a lot safer now that they switched," she said.

There have been some close calls, but no serious crashes at the intersection since the flashers were turned off.

Davidson County Public Works says you are their eyes in the field. If you see a problem with a flashing yellow light, give them a call at (615) 862-8750.

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