Lawmakers in Michigan recently passed a bill that will affect drivers when they are approaching an intersection that doesn’t have power. Under this new bill, traffic signals that have lost power should now be treated as a four-way stop by drivers.
Lt. Governor Brian Calley signed Senate Bill 521, which will require drivers to treat intersections where traffic signals are not working as four way stops. Before, drivers were technically supposed to treat dark intersections as a right-of-way, with the street that has more traffic getting the right-of-way. Calley signed the bill because Governor Rick Snyder was on a trade trip to Europe.
Recent power outages in Detroit had led to confusion about which driver should stop at an intersection. This new law will hopefully clear this issue up. Speaking about the new bill, Calley said, “Clarifying this law will not only reduce the number of accidents during these power outages, but it will also keep Michiganders consistent with what is taught during driver’s training.”
Last year, the issue came up after Michigan State police tweeted about a powerful windstorm that had knocked out power to thousands of people. The police told the public that they should not stop at a dark intersection, and should instead go back to the basic right-of-way requirements. This meant allowing the street with he most traffic to have the right. If two vehicles approached the intersection at the same time, the driver on the right side had the right-of-way.
However, many drivers in Michigan were already using the four-way stop system at dark intersections, which most thought was working fine. The old ways of treating dark lights seemed backwards to most drivers because it conflicted with what they were taught in driver’s education. With the new law now in effect, approaching an intersection that isn’t working will hopefully make more sense to drivers in Michigan.
Have you been injured in an accident at an intersection with dark lights? You should contact our team of Detroit car accident attorneys to schedule your case consultation. Our results are back by more than 75 years of legal experience. We can help you get the compensation you are entitled to.
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