Police Advising Drivers to Take Caution During Power Outages - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Police Advising Drivers to Take Caution During Power Outages

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NBCRightNow.com - NBC Right Now got an email from a viewer about Saturday's power outage throughout the region, including parts of Richland, West Richland, and even as far as Benton City and Prosser.

Martin pace says "There were an alarming number of vehicles that ignored the requirement to treat non-functioning traffic lights as four-way stops and blew through the lights on Keene Road at speeds of 40 plus miles per hour. Very scary."

Richland police are reminding people when there is a power outage and a street light is out, drivers are supposed to treat it like a four way stop. However, the lines get blurred when it comes to being accountable for driving judgement.

An officer can not cite someone for not stopping at a light when it is not working so it is up to the drivers sharing the road to work together.

"Can't be cited for failing to obey a traffic control device when there is no functioning traffic control device there. However, you have to use the appropriate level of care when going through the intersection," said Capt. Mike Cobb with the Richland Police Department.

Drivers are required yield to traffic and maintain the speed limit when street lights are down. However, police advise drivers to use extra caution during a power outage, and look for cars that take advantage of the situation.