It never fails. Anytime a traffic light in Maine isn't functioning (usually due to a power outage or line down), drivers have no idea what to do.

Several traffic lights in Topsham were out because of an accident that occurred at a monster truck show at the Topsham Fairgrounds when a monster truck took down overhead power lines. Several people were injured, including two who were taken to the hospital when the lines and poles came crashing down.

Because of the accident, the power was turned off for several hours near the Topsham Fair Mall. That caused traffic lights to go dark, and drivers to forget what they learned in driver's education.

Google Maps
Google Maps

The simple rule to follow when a traffic light is without power is to treat it like a four-way stop. Here's how Maine traffic laws describe who has the right of way:

The operator of a vehicle at intersecting public ways has the right-of-way over a vehicle on the operator's left and must yield the right-of-way to one on its right. An operator of a vehicle who intends to turn left must yield the right-of-way to a vehicle approaching from the opposite direction when the approaching vehicle is within the intersection or so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.

It's pretty basic stuff, but the right of way often gets ignored.

TC of the Bangor Police Department explained it perfectly with his brand of humor in December of 2023, when Maine got hit with a storm.

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