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Police: Treat traffic light outages like a 4-way stop

Posted at 4:52 PM, Sep 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-12 19:56:31-04

As clean up after Hurricane Irma continues, thousands are still waiting for their power to come back on in Palm Beach County.

That means traffic lights are without power as well, resulting in a lot of impatient drivers.  

For Angela Rivero, Hurricane Irma has been enough trouble.

“I drove six hours to Orlando and it was awful," she said of her evacuation experience.

And now that she’s back home, she encountering even more trouble on the roads.

“People are rude. I mean, under the circumstances that we’re under right now, I think we should be able to take care of each other, especially on the road," she said.

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With traffic lights out due to power outages, police say major intersections have turned into a free-for-all. Florida law requires you treat a traffic light that is out like you would a stop sign. Stop and look both ways before proceeding when it's safe.

West Palm Beach police said there are a lot of drivers who are not following that rule.

“Oh boy, it’s a lot of mayhem, a lot of impatience," said Officer John Radzuil, who works traffic enforcement for the West Palm Beach Police Department.

We strapped a GoPro to the hood of our news vehicle and drove through some of the worst areas experiencing traffic light outages, including Belvedere Road, Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard, and Okeechobee Boulevard. We watched countless vehicles blow right through the lights.

Over on Okeechobee Boulevard, we saw cars cornering each other and another car almost hit our photographer as he used the crosswalk.

“All it is is just a little bit of courtesy you know, and a little patience," said Officer Radzuil.

West Palm Beach police are patrolling as many intersections as they can.

“There’s so many intersections around the county that are in this condition and we just urge everyone to please, just slow down just a little bit," added Radzuil.

Like most drivers, Vincent Williams told me he had a close call.

“One lady actually didn’t stop at all going through the traffic light," he said. "She probably was just so used to that light being green, she’s just not paying attention," he said.

For now, he's decided to stay off the road until the coast clears.

“If you can, just try to remain home and be patient, we’ll be back to normal in no time, guys," he said.

West Palm Beach police told me they haven’t issued any direct citations yet and are just making sure everyone gets through the intersections safely until the power comes back on -- which in some places could take another few days.

The following is a list of the county’s most active intersections that currently have inoperable traffic lights.  The county is working diligently with FPL to restore power as soon as possible.
 
West County
Northlake Boulevard and Coconut Boulevard in West Palm Beach
State Road 80 and State Road 15 (Hooker Highway) in Belle Glade
Martin Luther King Boulevard and Main Street in Belle Glade
Main Street and SW 16th Street (715) in Belle Glade
Connors Highway and State Road 80 in Loxahatchee
 
Central
10th Avenue North and I-95 in Lake Worth
6th Avenue South and I-95 in Lake Worth
6th Avenue South and Dixie in Lake Worth
10th Avenue North and Dixie in Lake Worth
Community Drive and Military Trail in West Palm Beach
Lantana Road and Congress Avenue in Atlantis
Forest Hill Boulevard and Military Trail in West Palm Beach
Lake Worth Road and U.S. 441 in Lake Worth
Congress Avenue and Forest Hill Boulevard in West Palm Beach
 
South
Clint Moore Rd. and State Road 7 in Boca Raton
Glades Road and State Road 7 in Boca Raton
Glades Road and Turnpike in Boca Raton
Glades Road and Powerline Road in Boca Raton
Palmetto Park Road and Military Trail in Boca Raton
Lantana Road and Jog Road in Lantana
Lyons Road and Lantana Road in Lake Worth
Boynton Beach Blvd. and Hagan Ranch Road in Boynton Beach
Boynton Beach Blvd. and Turnpike in Boynton Beach
Atlantic Avenue and Military Trail in Delray Beach
Lake Ida Road and Military Trail in Delray Beach