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Out of Order – Traffic Lights Not Working

Wisteria - Photo by Andrew Bossi

What should you do when you approach a malfunctioning traffic light?

Treat it as a 4-way Stop

If a traffic light is out of order or shut down, you should approach the intersection as if it is controlled from all directions by stop signs (a 4-way stop intersection). In most states, the law requires you to come to fall stop, just like you would do if there was a stop sign.

This means that all traffic to this intersection should stop and yield the right-of-way to traffic that has already reached or stopped at the intersection. If two or more vehicles reach the intersection at the same time, the vehicle on the left should yield to the vehicle on the right.

Vehicles on you right should be given the right-of-way.

Report Malfunctioning Traffic Lights

Traffic lights that are out of order can cause delays, traffic jams and an increased accident risk. If a traffic light is out of order or you believe the traffic light is malfunctioning, you should report it. Contact the local police or highway patrol.

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