Last weekend’s heavy winds downed power lines and wreaked havoc at intersections, where many traffic lights went dark.
Even today, there may still be some intersections where traffic lights aren’t operational due to power outages in the vicinity. In some instances, traffic lights may be completely dark. Others may show a flashing red light, while some may show a flashing yellow light. Motorists should act differently in each case.
The Laurel Police Department offered a helpful guide on what to when approaching an intersection with a non-working traffic light.
NO LIGHT - If there is no light at all, treat the intersection like a four-way stop sign. If you remember your driver’s ed training, this means that you can stop, then proceed if you were at the intersection first. If one or more cars arrive simultaneously, the car on the left must yield to the car on the right.
FLASHING RED LIGHT - Treat the traffic light as if it is a stop sign. So the rules here are essentially the same as above.
FLASHING YELLOW LIGHT - Drivers should proceed with caution if traffic permits.
Of course, if traffic lights are out, it could also mean there are other problems with the roadway, such as downed power lights or trees. So it’s always wise to proceed with caution.