Knowing the rules when a traffic light malfunctions can prevent a driving violation or worse, a traffic accident. Here’s what to do in a variety of common traffic light situations.

Solid Red Light:

Proceeding on a solid red light is always illegal and can lead to a serious crash. Be alert and make sure it is safe to enter before proceeding through the intersection. 

Flashing Red Lights:

When drivers approach a flashing red signal light, they must come to a complete stop. If the intersection flashes red in all directions, treat it as if each direction has a stop sign.

Flashing Red and Yellow Lights:

There is no need to come to a stop when approaching a flashing yellow light, but be alert for drivers entering and proceed with caution. If you are approaching a flashing red light, follow the same rules as any two-way stop intersection, including yielding to oncoming traffic when turning left, and yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks.

All Dark Signal Lights:

If you are proceeding a traffic signal that has lost power, follow these steps.

  • Reduce speed and prepare to stop.
  • Vehicles have right of way in the order in which they arrive, regardless of which road they arrive from. If traffic is heavy, this may require a complete stop.
  • If two vehicles arrive at the intersection at the same time, the vehicle on the left must yield to the vehicle on the right, and left turns must yield to oncoming traffic.