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When the Traffic Lights Go Out

March 21, 2001|JOHN O'DELL

With rolling blackouts now part of the Southern California landscape, drivers increasingly will find themselves approaching intersections where the traffic signals aren't working.

Getting through safely, and ensuring a smooth flow of traffic, depends on motorists remembering that when the lights are out, an intersection should be treated as if it were posted with stop signs on each corner, says Arline Dillman, traffic safety manager for the Automobile Club of Southern California.

At such an intersection, she said, the rules call for drivers to come to a complete stop, then cross the intersection in turn.

If two vehicles traveling in different directions arrive at the intersection at the same time, the driver on the right has the right-of-way.

At a major intersection with multiple lanes, drivers should cross in an alternating pattern and allow opposing traffic to make left turns.

And, of course, always be on the alert for drivers who don't know or won't follow the rules.

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