New traffic light law passed

Published: Apr. 12, 2018 at 2:12 PM EDT
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A bill clarifying what drivers need to do at non-working traffic lights has been signed into law.

The bill, Senate Bill 521, sponsored by Senator Rick Jones of Grand Ledge, requires drivers to treat intersections as a four way stop when a traffic light is out.

“This is about improving safety on our roads when the power is out and a traffic light isn’t working,” said Jones. “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.”

Previous law called for the intersection to revert back to the basic right of way requirements. Drivers approaching the intersection must yield to vehicles already in the intersection. When two cars enter at the same time, the driver of the car on the left yields to the car on the right.

Jones says the new law will end confusion and ensure drivers are on the same page.

“Most drivers already believe that treating an intersection with a nonworking traffic signal as a four-way stop is the law, and with this reform, it now will be,” Jones said. “This will end the confusion in Michigan’s law and ensure that all drivers in our state are on the same page when approaching an intersection with a nonworking traffic light.

The Michigan State Police supported the bill, which was signed by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley on Tuesday.