Driving through intersections during a power shutoff

Traffic signals will shut off in areas affected by a PSPS (Public Safety Power Shutoff). Prior to the shutoff, Santa Barbara County Public Works staff will set the signals to a flashing mode and set up stop signs at the signalized intersections. When signals are not working they should be treated as an all-way stop. When the PSPS concludes and power is restored, the signals will flash until Public Works staff can verify they are operating correctly.

During a PSPS, remember to follow the rules of the road at an intersection.

  • Slow down and be ready to stop when approaching an intersection.
  • Yield to traffic and pedestrians already in the intersection or just entering the intersection.
  • Yield to vehicles or bicycles that arrive first or are on your right if they reach the intersection at the same time as you.
  • When you turn left, give the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching that are close enough to be dangerous. When you turn right, be sure to check for pedestrians who want to cross the street and bicyclists riding next to you.

For more information on traveling through intersections, visit the California DMV website on right-of-way rules.

You can also watch this video on how to travel through an uncontrolled intersection.

Update - September 6, 2019

Public Works is taking steps to maintain public safety on County roads during the potential Southern California Edison (SCE) Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS). Elevated fire conditions are expected to occur in the mountains north of the Eastern Goleta Valley on Saturday, September 7. By noon on Saturday, Public Works staff will switch all affected intersection signals to red light flash and place stop signs at each intersection within the shutoff area. If SCE activates the PSPS, the signals will shut off and the stops signs will be used to control the intersection. After the PSPS is canceled and power has been restored to the area, Public Works staff will begin to put signals back to normal operation. For more information on driving through an intersection during a power shutoff, visit http://countyofsb.org/pwd/psps.sbc. For more information on PSPS, visit www.readysbc.org.

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