Last night’s powerful lightning storm knocked out traffic signals in scattered areas and Maryland drivers need a refresher course in what to do when they come to an intersection with no working traffic lights.
A law that took effect Oct. 1, 2012, requires a driver approaching a nonfunctioning traffic signal from any direction at an intersection to stop at a clearly marked stop line, before entering any crosswalk or before entering the intersection.
After stopping, the driver must yield to any vehicle or pedestrian in the intersection and remain stopped until it is safe to enter and continue through the intersection.
Any driver caught disregarding these rules could face a fine of $90 and two points. If the violation contributes to a crash, the fine is $130 and three points.
Baltimore Gas & Electric reports thousands of power outages Thursday morning, with locations ranging from Annapolis to Bel Air to Baltimore and Crofton.
In the DC area, Pepco’s outage map showed small numbers of outages in Montgomery County, with more service problems across Prince George’s County.
Maryland State Police say a flashing traffic light does not mean the light is nonfunctioning—even if it normally operates green, yellow and red lights. Drivers are supposed to follow existing laws regarding flashing lights, which are to slow down if it's yellow or stop if it's red.
If drivers come to an intersection where a police officer is directing traffic, they should obey the officer, regardless of the signal indicated on the light.