What will you do when you come upon a blacked out or inoperative traffic signal? California law is pretty straight forward for drivers coming upon inoperative signals at an intersection. STOP! If the signals are blacked out and not working, drivers must treat the intersection like a stop sign. CVC 21800(d)(1) is the section that governs inoperative signals. If there is a Police Officer directing traffic, you must proceed as directed. Otherwise, stop and proceed when safe to do so. Power outages, collision damage, storm related problems, equipment failure, all can contribute to a blacked out signal. Always be alert, watch ahead, and drive smartly.