WCRC follows the guidelines provided by the Michigan Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MMUTCD). The MMUTCD specifies the size, shape, and color of all traffic signs and signals. The MMUTCD also provides guidelines for installing signals. To learn more about the MMUTCD, click here.

The decision to install a traffic signal is based on the following factors:

  • Vehicular and pedestrian volumes
  • Crash history
  • Vehicle delay
  • Vehicle progression
  • Availability of funds

What should I do when a traffic signal loses power (dark signal)?

Many motorists believe that when a traffic signal loses power it becomes a four-way stop. However, according to the Michigan Vehicle Code, when a signal loses power, the intersection becomes uncontrolled and reverts to the basic right-of-way requirements:

  1. If two cars meet at an intersection, the car that arrived first has the right of way.
  2. When two vehicles enter an intersection from different highways/roadways at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right of way to the vehicle on the right. Motorists should take turns in a counter-clockwise order.

If a traffic signal is dark, or a stop sign is knocked down, please contact us immediately at (734) 761-1500.

I would like a traffic light installed at an intersection. How can we petition for one?

WCRC receives many requests for traffic signals based on safety concerns, but traffic signals do not always prevent crashes. In many instances, after the signal is installed, the total number of crashes increases while the severity of the crashes decreases. While a properly placed traffic signal can improve traffic flow and decrease serious injury crashes, an unnecessary signal can be a source of danger and annoyance to all who use an intersection, including pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.

The Michigan Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MMUTCD) establishes a set of criteria (warrants) to determine whether a traffic signal is required. Requests for traffic signals are reviewed and the decision to install a new signal is based on the state’s guidelines.  To make a request for a traffic signal, please contact TrafficSafety@wcroads.org.