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Traffic lights without power causing accidents across Suncoast

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SARASOTA, FL (WWSB)- While tens of thousands of Suncoast residents remain in the dark, some traffic lights, also without power, are causing accidents and dangerous close calls in busy intersections.

Three days after Hurricane Irma ripped through the Suncoast, there are still numerous traffic signals without power throughout Sarasota and Manatee counties.

Some temporary stop signs have been put up in those intersections, but not all intersections have them. Regardless, law enforcement is telling drivers that all traffic signals without power should be treated as four way stops.

Here's what you do:

1) Come to a complete stop.

2) Driver who arrived first should proceed first.

3) When drivers stop beside each other at the same time, driver on the right has rightaway.

4) When drivers stop across from one another at the same time, the driver going straight has the right-away.

5) If you think it's your turn, creep forward slowly. If no one else moves forward, proceed through the light.

6) Scan traffic as you move through the intersection.

"I know that they are kind of coming and going as power is slowly but surely getting restored," Genevieve Judge of Sarasota Police Department says. "So we just want to encourage drivers that as you start to get back into that normal routine, post hurricane, just make sure to be very mindful and cautious when you're on the road. Keep an eye out for the traffic lights that aren't working and don't be distracted. Don't be on your cell phone."

Here are the latest power outages as of 11 a.m:

Sarasota County - 84,750

Manatee County - 58,200

FPL officials say they don't know when power will be restored, but they're hope that it'll be by September 22 at the latest. They say crews are working as quickly and safely as possible.