LANSING, Mich. -- Despite popular belief, state law says you are supposed to give right-of-way to the more trafficked road when a traffic light is out. But not everyone knows that. In that situation, most driver’s treat the intersection as a 4-way stop.
The inconsistency between what's actually the law and what most people learned in driver’s training is causing accidents. One state lawmaker has a bill hoping to clear that up.
"I can tell you that I spent 31 years in law enforcement, and we never debated this. We never would write a ticket for somebody that uses a 4-way stop because it was common sense," State Senator Rick Jones said.
It's something you may have learned in driver's training school.
"We had these massive power outages throughout the state and local police and sheriffs went to the media and said 'Tell everybody to treat it like a 4-way stop," Jones recalled.
"The state police had to report this isn't the law. You've got to yield to the right or the major road. Very convoluted, very confusing. So I contacted the state police and said, 'Why don't we just do a common sense bill that says let's treat it as a 4-way stop when the traffic lights go out?' And they said, 'Please, let's get it done'," Jones explained.
So basically, if you've been treating the intersection as a 4-way stop when traffic lights go out then keep doing what you're doing. The House and Senate signed off on this bill, and Jones said the governor is expected to sign it soon.