Traffic Tip: Traffic-control signals in general
This week's traffic law is found in The Texas Transportation Code, section 544.007
Sec. 544.007. TRAFFIC-CONTROL SIGNALS IN GENERAL.
(This is just section (I) of this traffic law dealing with a driver facing a traffic control signal not working as one approaches a signal)
(i) An operator of a vehicle facing a traffic-control signal that does not display an indication in any of the signal heads shall stop as provided by Section 544.010 as if the intersection had a stop sign.
Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1325, Sec. 19.04, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.
(Section 544.010 referred to in the above law governs stop signs and yield signs)
Why the emphasis on this particular traffic law?
Coming up to a traffic light that is not functioning due to a lack of power or other issue can be confusing. Fortunately, lawmakers took this into consideration when passing laws that provide for safe travel for motorists on our roadways.
The lack of public awareness about this particular traffic law leads to a lot of confusion, and many cell phone calls to the 911 center about near crashes.
If you are faced with a traffic signal that is not functioning think of the intersection as a four-way stop and yield to those vehicles that stopped at the intersection before you.
During times of outages at traffic signals, city crews and police are sent to alleviate traffic flow issues in as timely a manner as possible. To prevent confusion that leads to accidents, drivers should familiarize themselves with this law or, as a basic rule of thumb, remember to stop at any intersection where the lights appear to be malfunctioning.
The Victoria Police Department reminds you to drive safe, and obey all the traffic laws. The life you save may be your own.
If you have a traffic law question, contact Senior Patrol Officer Zac De La Rosa, Victoria Police Department Traffic Safety Unit, 361-485-3700.