Signals Out? Tips to Keep Houston Motorists Moving!

September 25, 2008 - Due to Hurricane Ike, the City of Houston experienced unprecedented power outages and damaged traffic signals, resulting in many intersections with flashing red lights or no lights at all. This has caused a great deal of discussion and some confusion about how motorists should navigate these intersections. Below is a quick checklist to help motorists navigate through a four- way stop:

  • First in time, first in right - The vehicle arriving at the intersection first should be allowed to proceed through first.
  • If both vehicles arrive at the same time -The vehicle on the right goes in the event of a tie (two-way or multiple way ties are handled the same way). This should continue all the way around the intersection.
  • Turning vehicles should yield to vehicles going straight, so use your vehicle’s turn signals to communicate with other motorists as required by law.
  • Side and small streets or less traveled service roads should yield to wider more traveled streets.
  • Drive slowly and never assume because you are first and have the right of way that the intersection is clear. It is a four-way STOP! Be sure other motorists know you are going through before you proceed.

In short, you may just have to inch your vehicle into the intersection and rely on each other to be patient and take your time getting to your destinations. If you are attentive (no cell phones or other distractions) and drive with an attitude of care for your fellow motorists, you will know when it is their time or your turn to proceed through the intersection.


For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.

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