Bill to make intersections 4-way stops when traffic lights are out passes state house

Western and Fourth in Muskegon - Feb. 2016

LANSING, Mich. – The question of what drivers should do at an intersection where the traffic light isn’t working has been a vexing issue, but a bill heading to Governor Rick Snyder may help bring some resolution to the problem.

Legislation brought by State Senator Rick Jones was passed Wednesday by the Michigan House of Representatives.  Senate Bill 521 requires drivers to treat intersections where a traffic signal is not working as a four-way stop.

While many drivers believe this is the case in Michigan, it actually isn’t.  Michigan law now says that the “dominant” street has the right-of-way and doesn’t have to stop, even though many people believe it does.  Also, it is not clear at some intersections which is the “dominant” street.

“This is about improving safety on our roads when the power is out and a traffic light isn’t working,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge in a press release. “It can be dangerous if two drivers have different expectations when approaching an intersection where the traffic light is out. If one driver thinks everyone is stopping and another driver thinks he has the right of way, that’s a recipe for disaster.”

Jones acknowledges that the new law may slow traffic on major roads during an outage, but “it’s worth it if it can help save lives.”

Michigan State Police have supported the bill.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

3 comments

  • Clucko

    Okay. I’ll try to comment again since my first comment wasn’t up to the censor’s standards. The idea of yielding to the driver on the right has been around since forever. The real problem is teaching drivers of dull normal intelligence the difference between right and left.