Virginia Beach, Va. (WTKR) - New lane-use control signals launched along Interstate 264 Tuesday to let drivers know when it's okay to drive in the shoulder lanes.
The 20 signals were activated at 6 a.m., indicating when the the use of the shoulder lanes from Rosemont Road to Witchduck Road is allowed or prohibited.
The LED overhead signals display a red X when the shoulder lane is closed.
The signals show a green down arrow when the shoulder lane is open.
When a diagonal yellow down arrow is displayed, the lane is closing and drivers need to merge left.
While the signals are new, the rules governing travel in the shoulder lane have not changed: drivers can only use them eastbound on weekdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m and westbound between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. weekdays.
Dwayne Cook, Regional Operations Director for VDOT in Hampton Roads says the signals should make things easy for drivers to understand and be less maintenance intensive.
"This is an international symbol - very easy to understand and just a quick glance - red X, green arrow, is it open or is it closed," Cook told NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo Tuesday.
"The old signs along the shoulder were dynamic message boards- they were 3 lines, 13 characters. They were about 20 years old and getting expensive to maintain and weren't as clear as the new signs," he continued.
In addition to the overhead signals, there are 29 ground mounted signs along I-264 indicating what times the shoulder lanes are open for travel.