Do you know the rules for a non-functioning traffic signal? Are you a pro at handling the situation? Or, are you THE ONE who screws up the flow of traffic? (snicker, here)

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Not to worry.

The kind folks at the City of Richland have put together an informative guide, in the event that power goes out, due to the extreme heatwave.

Credit: Richland Police Department
Credit: Richland Police Department

Should you encounter a traffic signal that is off:

Treat the intersection as a four-way stop. If you arrive at the same time as another car — or even two other cars — the car farthest to the right goes first.

If four cars approach at the same time, the car that comes to a complete stop first is the first to go, then the car to the right, and so on in a counterclockwise rotation.

This may not always work. In that case, right-of-way goes first to a car traveling straight, then a car turning right, then a car turning left.

If the signal is flashing:

If your signal is flashing yellow, you may proceed through the intersection without stopping. But do so carefully. Keep in mind that other motorists may be confused. Be prepared to stop if necessary.

If your signal is flashing red, you must bring your car to a complete stop before traveling through the intersection.

The following is KEY for who has the right of way. Follow these tips and you SHOULD be golden.

• First to stop = first to go: The first car to the intersection is the first to travel through.

• Farthest right goes first.

• Traffic going straight goes first.

• When in doubt, bail out: If you are unsure of who should go first, let other traffic move through first until you feel it’s safe to travel through.

Please do NOT call 911 to report "lights out" at a traffic signal during a power outage. It's recommended that you call Non-Emergency Dispatch at 509-628-0333 to report a non-life-threatening situation.

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