By Ed Brock
When a traffic light goes out Clayton County's major intersections can become a free for all.
But that's not what is supposed to happen.
"You treat it like a four-way stop," said Patrick McCloud of Jonesboro.
That is correct, according to Clayton County Police Capt. Jeff Turner. If the light is flashing, however, then a flashing red light should be treated as a stop sign while a flashing yellow light means to proceed through the intersection.
"Drivers are supposed to go through with caution to make sure none of the other drivers are going through," Turner said.
Turner said that when the remnants of Hurricane Frances crossed over Clayton County one week ago traffic signals at several intersections around the county went out. Many of that day's accidents occurred at those intersections when drivers either anticipated that the person ahead of them would be going and then hitting them from behind when they didn't or they tried to beat each other through the intersection.
The latter incident happens all the time, said Mike Lipham of Jonesboro. So many people seem unwilling to give up their right-of-way.
"Not me. I'd rather give up the right-of-way than be hit," Lipham said.
After coming to a stop, the next step is understanding who should go first.
"You should be courteous," McCloud said.
Actually, the first car to stop at the intersection goes first.
"If they all stop at the same time then the one to the right goes first," said Ating Nkereuwem of Stockbridge.
And in inclement weather like what is expected to come with the remnants of Hurricane Ivan drivers should be aware of other hazards, Turner said.
"Never drive through flooded roads," Turner said. "If the water is perceived to be deep, never try to proceed across the roadway."
By deep, Turner said, he means water that rises to the undercarriage of the vehicle.