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Is it mandatory for a motorist to stop at a non-functioning traffic light? Is that the law?

So lets say you're driving down the road and you come up to a set of traffic lights that are not working. Do you have to stop at these lights, or are you breaking the law by stopping at them.

This police officer tells a motorist that he broke the law by stopping at a non-functioning traffic light, he says to the motorist: Quote: " inoperable lights are not considered stop signs."

Here's the video; watch it yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVry0ByRICI

Youtube thumbnail

So the next time I zoom through a non-functioning set of traffic lights at 50 mph, and a police officer stops me and gives me a ticket, can I use this video in my defense to prove that I did nothing wrong and that a motorist would be actually breaking the law if they stop at non-functioning traffic lights?

Update:

That motorist got a ticket, a pretty hefty one too, and the police officer was really, really upset at him for breaking the law like that. I watched that video and now I'm confused, i used to think it was the law that everyone had to stop at traffic lights that are not working, but now I don't stop, I just cruise right on through them at high speed because I don't want to break the laws.

Update 2:

Here's another link to the video: http://tinyurl.com/pwjn39t

name of the video: "sumner gallatin tennessee illegal traffic stop detention arrest cop police ticket"

8 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    6 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    That cop is an idiot. Typically the intersection becomes a 4-way stop. Cops like that should be fired. There was a power outage downtown in my city a few months ago, everyone stopped at the non-functioning lights and traffic was only slightly backed up compared to usual. If people just blew through them we'd all be dead.

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  • 6 years ago

    That is confusing. I guess it would be prudent to slow down for the light at least. It is so frustrating when the police do not know the law pertaining to something that used by people each day. We had a cop stop us for a left turn in the right lane that a traffic light allowed. He followed us through and stopped us. He insisted we were wrong, but was fair enough to go back and look.

    If that light is not needed, the government should remove it.

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  • 6 years ago

    The rule is you treat a broken stop light as a stop sign unless there is an officer there directing traffic. I can't see the video, but giving a motorist a ticket for stopping should be thrown out in court.

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  • Beery
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    Stop lights are there for a reason. If the police officer was right, then what would be the use of stop lights there at all.

    Just goes to show that police officers don't know the law. That's why we need courts.

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  • 6 years ago

    The problem here is not whether the man should have stopped or not but the opppressive nature of American law and the utter stupidity of most American police as well as the gullibillity and pussified nature of the average American. If I were in that situation here in the UK I would have told the policeman to fvck off then I would fight the matter in court and I would probably win my case. If I lost such a case I would tell the magistrate to go and fvck himself and I would refuse to pay any fine. If you Americans continue to put up with this kind of abuse from the state you will just carry on sleepwalking into a police/totalitarian state.

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  • Teekno
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    No, the officer was wrong. This is an old video, I am quite confident that the judge threw this one out.

    "The driver of any vehicle approaching an intersection that is controlled by a traffic-control signal that is inoperative because of mechanical failure or accident shall come to a full and complete stop at the intersection, and may proceed with due caution when it is safe to do so"

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  • 0110
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    In my state non working traffic signals that are not covered are the same as stop signs. Must stop. Very dangerous not to anyway.

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  • 6 years ago

    50 states, 50 sets of laws.

    Source(s): #DS
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