Driving during a power outage: Stop or not?

Traffic lights were out at Wealthy Street, Norwood Avenue and Lake Drive SE in Eastown on March 8, 2017 amid high winds.


ROCKFORD, Mich. (WOOD) — Strong winds Wednesday knocked out power to nearly 300,000 Consumers Energy customer, including traffic lights across West Michigan.

When traffic lights are out, there are drivers who think every intersection becomes a four-way stop and those who think the rules differ depending on the type of road.

Thursday morning, Reporter Tom Hillen was advising drivers to treat intersections without working traffic lights as four-way stops. After the report, a viewer said he was incorrect.

24 Hour News 8 also found a publication from Michigan State Police that told drivers to treat intersections more as a yield and “it does not become a four-way stop, as is frequently reported in the media.”

But what should drivers do at intersections without working traffic signals? 24 Hour News 8 spoke with Michigan State Police to find out.

“You’re going to want to treat that as a four-way obviously with caution, but first and foremost as a four-way stop,” said Sgt. Jason Nemecke. “Unfortunately, if the traffic signal is not working, we would want you to stop and every single one of them because we want make sure everybody else is paying attention as well.”