Malfunctioning traffic light in Central becomes safety issue for drivers

Central Police chief worries about a traffic light constantly going out at a busy intersection, saying it’s dangerous.
Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 3:59 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 14, 2022 at 6:49 PM CDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Central Police chief worries about a traffic light constantly going out at a busy intersection, saying it’s dangerous.

A broken traffic light at a busy intersection can be confusing for drivers, and often dangerous.

“We don’t want that problem again, God knows that we don’t want nobody hurt at that intersection. We have had a fatality at that intersection when the lights were out. We have wrecks at that intersection when the lights are out,” explained Chief Roger Corcoran with the Central Police Department.

Central Police chief worries about a traffic light constantly going out at a busy intersection,...
Central Police chief worries about a traffic light constantly going out at a busy intersection, saying it’s dangerous.(WAFB)

Chief Corcoran says the traffic light at Hooper Road and Blackwater Road stopped working Friday night.

The Department of Transportation blames a short circuit. DOTD was not able to get to it until Sunday.

“I was out there Sunday night with people, my officers with their lights on, and people just blew through that intersection with us with lights on out there,” added Corcoran.

Corcoran says an outage at this same spot has happened before.

“It’s gone out numerous times, whether it be weather or wrecks, where the traffic box is. It’s in the direct line, right at the curve. So, if somebody goes off the roadway, they are going to hit that box, and that box has been hit; it was just two and half months ago,” said Corcoran.

The Central Police Department is considering a generator to keep the lights on since their request for stop signs was shut down.

DOTD says putting up stop signs when the lights go out could create a liability.

“This is a great example because the power was coming on and off at this place. So, it would be flashing, it would work, and then it wouldn’t work. So, you have a stop sign out, the light turns green. So, now as a driver, you have a green light to go and a stop light to stop, and it’s going to be very confusing,” explained Rodney Mallett with DOTD.

DOTD and Chief Corcoran agree on one thing: drivers should treat any broken stop light as a four-way stop, make a complete stop, and look both ways before driving off.

DOTD and Chief Corcoran are meeting later this week to figure out solutions to keep the traffic light working.

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