Malfunctioning traffic signal? Treat it as a four-way stop

People have been asking Honolulu police and KHON2 what you are supposed to do if traffic signals are malfunctioning.

Power outages and weather have caused signals around the island to either be out, display a yellow light, or show flashing lights.

This has drivers confused.

According to HPD, if a traffic signal goes out because of a power outage and an officer is not there to direct traffic, then drivers should treat the intersection as a four-way stop.

“Whenever you approach a four-way stop with another vehicle at the same time from different roadways, you should always yield to the vehicle on your right. Also, the first vehicle stopped at a four-way intersection has the right of way.”

4way

If the traffic signals are flashing, drivers with the flashing red light should stop and yield to other drivers before going through the intersection. Drivers with the flashing yellow light should proceed with caution.

You should also report the malfunctioning traffic signal to authorities. If it is causing a traffic hazard to call 911. Otherwise, you can report the light to the Department of Transportation Services Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at (808) 768-8387 or (808) 768-5323, or call HPD if it’s after hours.

"There was a blackout in the Waipahu area, a few hours later, the power was restored but the traffic lights were malfunctioning, it displayed yellow instead of green or red, it caused confusion among drivers and dangerous for pedestrians." (Credit: Mike Sawyer)
“There was a blackout in the Waipahu area, a few hours later, the power was restored but the traffic lights were malfunctioning, it displayed yellow instead of green or red, it caused confusion among drivers and dangerous for pedestrians.” (Credit: Mike Sawyer)

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