Flashing red lights may be confusing but still need to be obeyed

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2019 | Criminal Defense

Disobeying traffic laws is a major cause of car accidents in Tennessee and around the country. You may have witnessed many drivers change lanes or make turns without signaling, fail to yield the right-of-way, drive at excessive speeds or run red lights. In some cases, you may also have witnessed an accident take place or almost occur due to these violations.

In cases of running red lights, most people know that a solid red light at an intersection controlled by traffic signals means to stop. Of course, this does not always ensure that drivers do stop, but most drivers do want to heed the law. However, some other forms of red lights, especially flashing ones, may cause more confusion for drivers.

Stopping at flashing red lights

Flashing red lights and solid red lights typically have the same purpose in that whenever you or other drivers come to these lights, you should stop. In cases of flashing red lights, the amount of time to stop typically remains up to the driver because flashing red lights do not turn green and indicate that a driver can proceed. These lights are common in areas that may also have stop signs.

When to proceed

Because people use driver discretion when deciding when to move through an intersection with a flashing red light, some drivers may feel confused about when they should go. Generally, a driver should not start moving again until the way is clear. At intersections, the driver who reached the intersection first should proceed first and then others should proceed in order of arrival. On the other hand, some intersections may not require drivers in all directions to stop, which is why it is important to make sure the way is clear.

Locations of flashing lights

As mentioned, some intersections with stop signs may also have flashing red lights, but flashing red lights may also appear at other locations, like railroad crossings and crosswalks. You may also need to watch out for other types of flashing lights, like flashing yellow turn signals at traffic-controlled intersections.

Though flashing lights can be confusing to some drivers, it is vital to follow the proper rules of the road. In addition to possible traffic tickets, failing to stop at a red light or stop sign could cause a serious accident. If a driver who failed to abide by the law caused an accident in which you were injured, you may want to look into your legal options for pursuing compensation.


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