Without traffic signals, many drivers don't know what to do
Posted October 10, 2016
With power out in many areas in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, the traffic signals drivers depend on are offline, too.
A glance at some busy roads in Raleigh Monday showed that not every driver knew what to do when approaching a darkened signal. The rule is clear: If the light is out, treat the intersection like a four-way stop, granting right-of-way to the driver on the right.
It was anarchy on Avent Ferry Road at the intersection with Varsity Drive. Brandon Mork waited and waited to navigate the traffic on a bike.
"I'm just waiting for other cars to go through the intersection and use them as a bit of a shield," he said.
Mork was able to make it across safely.
Moments later, Cody Addington tried his luck on foot.
I see chaos," he said. "I saw a car totaled yesterday! I don't know where the police are."
Raleigh police say they don't have enough officers to direct traffic at every intersection where lights are out, so they are counting on drivers to know the law.
All vehicles should stop at any intersection where lights are out, even a major one with multiple travel lanes. The first vehicle to arrive has the right of way. If two vehicles arrive at the same time, the one to the right proceeds first.
At Avent Ferry, the drivers who obeyed the rules where hearing horn blasts from others who were not as patient.
The key, police said, is to stop then proceed slowly and safely.