Traffic Control Lights Not Working!?
Even with the hurricane season on the decline, we continue to urge Florida drivers to be prepared for possible power outages. As a personal injury attorney in Florida, I have seen many car accidents at intersections where power outages have occurred. Often times, the accident is a result of drivers not understanding the ‘rules of the road’. I would bet that you have driven through an intersection during a power outage and as you are entering the intersection you begin to wonder if you have the right-of-way. Failure to know the appropriate procedure can result in sever injuries and damages to you, your loved ones and others.
Question: Do you know what the law says on your duties as a driver when you come upon an intersection controlled by an inoperative traffic light?
I am sure that your knee jerk response is very close to the right answer. Florida Statutes state:
“The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection in which the traffic lights are inoperative shall stop in the manner indicated in s. 316.123(2) for approaching a stop intersection. In the event that only some of the traffic lights within an intersection are inoperative, the driver of a vehicle approaching an inoperative light shall stop in the above-prescribed manner.” § 316.1235, Fl. Stat. (1999).
Just in case you wanted to know what 316.123 (2) says:
” At a four-way stop intersection, the driver of the first vehicle to stop at the intersection shall be the first to proceed. If two or more vehicles reach the four-way stop intersection at the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right.” §316.123 (2), Fl. Stat. (1999).
So, the lesson today is BE CAREFUL! Use more care when approaching an intersection that is controlled by a traffic light and is without power. For the most part, residents of Okaloosa, Walton, and Santa Rosa County have been very fortunate not to experience any hurricanes or serious weather that can cause such outages. I hope that the trend continues.
If you have been injured in a car accident, bicycle accident, slip and fall, or any other type of accident, call the personal injury lawyers at Brannon & Brannon for a free consultation or visit our website www.BrannonCanHelp.com.
C. Paul Brannon, Esq.