Maryland State Police Say Travel Cautions Still in Place
On Tuesday, the Maryland State Police issued the following information:
Maryland State Police are urging people to continue to stay off Maryland roads until highway crews are able to locate, assess and clear blocked roads and traffic hazards.
Fallen trees, downed power lines and wind-blown debris are blocking travel lanes and entire roadways across the state. Motorists are urged to remain off the roads and to avoid the risks of unexpected hazards by venturing out.
Power failures have extinguished traffic lights around the state. For those who are driving, motorists are reminded of the state’s non-functioning traffic light law. A driver approaching a non-functioning traffic control signal from any direction at an intersection shall stop:
- at a clearly marked stop line;
- before entering any crosswalk; or
- before entering the intersection.
After stopping, the driver must:
- yield to any vehicle or pedestrian in the intersection; and
- remain stopped until it is safe to enter and continue through the intersection.
If two vehicles approach an intersection without a traffic control device or with a non-functioning traffic control signal from different roadways at the same time, there is motor vehicle law that applies. In this situation, the driver on the left must yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on his or her immediate right.
There are also times when a traffic control signal that normally operates green, yellow, and red lights may be in ‘flashing’ mode. This usually means red lights may be flashing in one direction and yellow lights are flashing in another direction. In this situation, the drivers approaching the red flashing light must stop and can only proceed when the intersection is clear. Drivers approaching the yellow flashing light should slow down and use caution, but are permitted to proceed through the intersection without stopping. Drivers are also reminded that if a police officer is directing traffic in the intersection, they should obey the directions of that officer, regardless of the signal indicated on the traffic control device.
It is difficult to describe every potential intersection situation. Above all, drivers are reminded that it is their duty to always drive with care and caution, especially when approaching an intersection with a non-functioning signal. If other drivers are present at the intersection, remember to be courteous, use caution, and do everything possible to try to determine the intentions of other motorists and communicate your intentions, if you are unsure of how to proceed. Even if you have the right of way, it is better to allow another driver to proceed if it appears he or she is going to do so, instead of risking an intersection crash.
For the latest statewide emergency information, citizens are urged to visit the Maryland Emergency Management Agency website at www.mema.state.md.us. Up to the minute statewide traffic information, including the locations of roads that may be closed due to flooding, is available on-line at www.511md.org, or by calling 511. Road conditions and views of live traffic cameras are also available on the State Highway Administration website at www.roads.maryland.gov. Citizens are urged not to call Maryland State Police barracks simply to check on road conditions. Calls to police or 911 centers during the storm should be for emergency situations only.
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