Safety tips for drivers encountering ‘dark traffic signals’

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – This week’s winter storm knocked out a lot of traffic lights, so the state is reminding motorists how to handle a ‘dark traffic signal.’

“Treat a ‘dark’ traffic signal like a four-way stop – each vehicle takes its turn,” Transportation Secretary Jim Gray said. “It’s especially important when weather is severe for drivers to exercise greater caution and to be good neighbors on the road.”

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) snowfighters were put to the test this week with freezing rain and sleet that quickly built up on trees and electrical lines. All too often, trees and power lines came down together, leaving thousands of utility customers – and a number of traffic signals in eastern Kentucky – temporarily in the dark.

KYTC salt and plow crews got a break from precipitation on Friday and, with priority routes cleared, were able to make headway on clearing lower-volume state and local routes. It also gave maintenance personnel in KYTC’s highway districts a chance to restock salt supplies.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service warned of another winter storm system heading into Kentucky Friday night into Saturday with a chance of freezing rain east of Interstate 65, followed by snow and a wintry mix Monday into Tuesday. Transportation officials advise motorists to watch for black ice, reduce driving speed and limit travel when possible.

Traffic information and snow and ice resources, including highway district news updates, is available at


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