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Operation Safe Roads: What to do at a four-way stop if the power is out

Posted at 5:55 AM, Jun 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-03 14:22:22-04

PHOENIX — Monsoon storms will soon make their way into the Valley. The season officially starts on June 15, and with the downpours, there is a possibility the power can go out. Then, you could be stuck in the driver's seat at a traffic signal that does not work.

So, what do you do?

Jennifer in Mesa reached out to Operation Safe Roads in an email to in 2019 writing, "The traffic lights stopped working and I was three cars back and NO ONE was moving. After five long minutes... one truck went across. It seems like people don't know that when a traffic light goes out... I was wondering if this is something you would like to talk about."

We do want to talk about it!

When the signals aren't working because of a storm or technical difficulties, drivers are supposed to treat the intersection as a four-way stop.

How do you act a four-way stop properly?

For that answer, we must flip back through the Arizona Driver's License Manual.

When you approach a four-way stop, you proceed in the order in which you arrive.

The manual states, "The driver of the vehicle on the left must yield the right of way to the driver on the right."

Traffic experts advise drivers to always look to their right and use caution when they approach.

The City of Phoenix Street Transportation Department asks that drivers call their 24-hour emergency response phone line to report traffic signals that have gone dark. The number is 602-262-6021. They also have an online submission form, which drivers can access here.

Once monsoon strikes, the department will post power outages or storm-related signal outages here to help those behind the wheel to avoid trouble spots.

Do you have a question you would like Operation Safe Roads to answer? Call (833) AZ ROADS or email