As drivers and pedestrians, we are often challenged with navigating through inclement weather, construction sites, school zones and bumper to bumper traffic. With all the obstacles you must look out for while driving, a faulty traffic signal presents yet another hurdle. Signal equipment can stop working and cause the lights to flash, or a power outage can make the lights go out completely. Knowing what to do if this happens makes you and everyone around you safer.

Common road safety rules such as watching your speed, refraining from texting and looking out for pedestrians are even more important when approaching a traffic signal that is not functioning properly.

Police officers typically direct traffic at intersections where the signal is in flash or is dark, and drivers must heed their instructions. Officers are there to help keep people safe and traffic moving until the signal is repaired. If officers are not on the scene during a signal malfunction, drivers must follow these rules:

  • Treat the intersection as an all-way stop.
  • Come to a complete stop at the stop line.
  • Pay attention to all drivers and be on the lookout for pedestrians and cyclists. People in the crosswalk have the right of way.
  • Once all traffic at the intersection has come to a complete STOP, the person who has stopped first can proceed first.

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