Ask a Trooper

Posted: Monday, January 22, 2001

Trooper Chad Goeden

Question: One of the stop lights in our town changes to a flashing light in the evenings. It flashes yellow one way and red the other. When this happens, the intersection turns into complete chaos, and I have seen several near accidents. Would you explain the proper way to safely maneuver an intersection where the stoplight is flashing?

Answer: I'd be glad to. This is covered by 13AAC 02.020. It says that when you approach an intersection with a flashing red light, you have to stop at the stop line or before the crosswalk, and if neither of those exist, you have to stop at the point closest to the roadway where you have a clear view of cross traffic. (This is the same place you have to stop for a stop sign or stoplight.) The right of way rules for a flashing red light are the same as those for a stop sign. A flashing yellow light tells drivers that they may approach and proceed through the intersection with caution. So people approaching the flashing red light treat the intersection like it has a stop sign, and they must always yield the right of way to people who only have a flashing yellow light.

If you have questions that you would like to ask a trooper, send them to Alaska State Troopers, 4060 Heath St., Homer, AK 99603. Or you can e-mail them to The Alaska State Troopers remind you to always wear your seat belt. It's the law.

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