NewsOperation Safe Roads


OSR: How to handle a four-way stop when the power goes out

Posted at 6:00 PM, Jul 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-24 22:57:58-04

MESA, AZ — Monsoon storms have finally come to the Valley this year. But, we know with the downpour, there is a possibility the power can go out. Then, you could be stuck in the driver's seat at a traffic signal that will not work.

So, what do you do?

Jennifer in Mesa reached out to Operation Safe Roads in an email writing, "The traffic lights stopped working and I was 3 cars back and NO ONE was moving. After 5 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!

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

But, then we got another question to our Operation Safe Roads inbox from Sharon in Mesa. How do you act a four-way stop properly?

She wrote, "Seen many near miss accidents. When turning left, do you have to wait for the on-coming car to go first before you turn left? I wait for the on-coming car to go through the intersection before turning left. But, many do not wait.'"

For that answer, we have to flip back through the Arizona Driver's 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."

They advise to always look to your right and use caution when you approach.

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