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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.

James P. Miller September 15, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Can you site the Bill number that makes this a law?
Deborah A Cox September 17, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Just another way of many for the State of Maryland to get more of the peoples money. What will they do when our pockets are empty??????????
Justice September 18, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Isn't this just sound and prudent judgement?? I don't barrel through intersections with malfunctioning lights. We are creating a nation of morons with all this political correctness and idiotic laws that should just be common sense.
Marcus Aurelius September 18, 2012 at 05:17 PM
This is of course commen sense, let stop waisting valuable time worrying about this stuff, how about working on making sure the people who do not understand the driving laws in Maryland have car insurance, maryland is the 2nd worst state in the country with uninsured motorists, yup 2nd worst. 1 out of every 7 cars has a driver in it that does not care about you or me or our children, as long as the yca ndrive that is all that matters. They make the first payment to insurance companies go get theri tags and never pay again till it is time to get new tags and they pay the fine, it is going to be the same with these people when Obamacare kicks into high gear, they are never going to go get insurance, and really will nevr pay the fine because it will be paid out of the tax refund they do not deserve already, so they will not care, typical actions of Maryland democrats.
Mike June 19, 2014 at 10:39 AM
One potential problem is that you may know the law and proceed to stop when the traffic signal is not functioning, but what if the driver behind you doesn't? You take the very real chance of getting rear ended for abiding by the law and attmepting to come to a stop.

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