March 15, 2017
In the wake of unprecedented wind storms that knocked out power to Detroit and Oakland and Macomb counties, Michigan Auto Law trial attorney and partner Robert Raitt was a guest expert on Fox 2 Detroit’s March 12 edition “Let It Rip” to talk about what drivers should do — and are accustomed to do — at powerless traffic signals.
Raitt made the point that drivers should stop at an intersection whose traffic is normally controlled by now-non-functioning signals — as if there were “stop” signs telling them to do so — and, then, only after they’ve determined it’s safe to proceed, continue through the intersection.
On “Let It Rip,” Raitt debated with Lt. Mike Shaw of the Michigan State Police about nonworking traffic lights at intersections. After the windstorm, the MSP tweeted that drivers should be treating the situation as “[t]he intersection reverts back to the basic right-of-way requirements, not a four-way stop.”
“Common practice and common sense tell you that if you come upon a light that is failed or it’s not working, it’s a four-way-stop,” Raitt said. “Ninety-five percent of what we do are serious auto, truck, and motorcycle accidents. I have never had a case as a result of an injury at a four-way-stop. I have had thousands of cases for failure to yield. It’s one of the most causes of serious auto accidents.”
Raitt is an automobile accident attorney of 25 years’ experience. He is also a past president of the Michigan Association for Justice. He is a respected advocate who has recovered some of the top verdicts and settlements in the state for his clients, including the top reported negligence jury verdict in the state last year.