New Law About Broken Traffic Lights Starts Oct. 1
Maryland drivers who fail to stop and check for pedestrians at nonfunctioning traffic signals will soon face larger fines and points on their licenses.
Maryland drivers have a new set of rules to follow when they come upon a traffic signal that's broken, according to a Maryland State Police press release.
The new law, which goes into effect Oct. 1, requires a driver approaching a nonfunctioning traffic signal from any direction at an intersection to 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.
"Just because a traffic control signal is not functioning at an intersection does not mean drivers are relieved of their duty to exercise care and caution," according to the press release. "The new law makes clear the procedures each driver must now follow."
These new procedures also come with fines for drivers who violate them. If a driver is caught disregarding these rules, he or she could face a fine of $90 and two points. If the violation contributes to a crash, the fine is $130 and three points.
Maryland Police also reminded drivers that a flashing traffic light does not mean the light is nonfunctioning—even if it normally operates green, yellow and red lights. Drivers are supposed to follow existing laws regarding flashing lights, which are to slow down if it's yellow or stop if it's red.
Drivers also are reminded that if a police officer is directing traffic, they should obey the officer, regardless of the signal indicated on the light.