Caltrans Plans for Power Outages Over Wildfire Concerns

Motorists Should Treat Non-Working Signals as All-Way Stops

DISTRICT 3 September 12, 2019 – Caltrans is preparing for widespread power outages this summer and fall if PG&E cuts power during high-wind and red flag warning periods to reduce the risk of wildfire.

Motorists are reminded that the California Department of Motor Vehicle Driver Handbook mandates that non-working (dark) and flashing red traffic signals be treated as all-way stops during power outages. Drivers should proceed with caution through intersections and observe right-of-way rules.

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“District 3 is home to many beautiful, natural resources and scenic views, although they can be fire risks,” said Caltrans District 3 Amarjeet S. Benipal. “We appreciate wildfire reduction efforts that help keep our communities and our state highways safe for everyone.”

Throughout District 3, traffic signals contain battery backups, which typically last 3 to 4 hours before becoming non-operational. Additional measures may be implemented at signals during power outages including generators or stop signs. However, motorists should be prepared for all-way stops at non-lighted signals during power outages.

To illustrate the safest way to navigate an intersection during times with no power, Caltrans Public Affairs developed a Caltrans News Flash, which can be viewed here:

PG&E customers are also encouraged to sign up for electrical outage alerts and review current outage maps via its website.

Caltrans District 3 maintains more than 4,385 lanes miles of state highway in 11 Sacramento Valley and Northern Sierra counties. The department issues updates about road conditions on Twitter and on Facebook. For real-time traffic information, go to http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov/ or download the free Caltrans QuickMap app from the App Store or Google Play.