Here’s when you are and aren’t blocking traffic

Ask Trooper Steve: Blocking side roads at red light
Ask Trooper Steve: Blocking side roads at red light

ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions about the rules of the road, helping Orlando-area residents become better drivers by being better educated.

John asked: “When waiting for a red traffic light, are you allowed to block side streets leading to the main road?”

With this question a lot of you may be wondering what exactly is he talking about, meanwhile I can promise you we have all been in this situation.

As you’re traveling down the road, you come to a complete stop because of stopped traffic ahead. You’re several hundred feet from the traffic light and it just appears to be normal congestion on the roads.

As you look to your right, there is a driver stopped at a stop sign trying to enter the road that you are currently on.

Are you at this time blocking an intersection?

The answer is no, you’re not. This is not what would be considered blocking an intersection.

If you were the one stopped in heavy traffic, you’re the driver who has the right of way.

The driver who is under traffic control -- the one at the posted stop sign -- would have to either wait for another driver to let them in or wait for traffic to clear.

Something to keep in mind would be that if you are traveling down the road and you do see traffic coming to a stop, you need to ensure you do not come to a complete stop on top of a pedestrian crosswalk, a bicycle travel lane or other designated crossings like an emergency vehicle entrance area.

Now on the flip side of things, if you were in the middle of a marked traffic-controlled intersection and the traffic signal turned red and now you are in the middle of that intersection, you’d be considered blocking the intersection.

About the Author:

Steven Montiero, better known as “Trooper Steve," joined the News 6 morning team as its Traffic Safety Expert in October 2017. A Central Florida native and decorated combat veteran, Montiero comes to the station following an eight-year assignment with the Florida Highway Patrol.