Some may be wondering what’s up with all the yellow reflective boxes around some traffic signals in Big Bear Valley? It’s all about safety, but not in the traditional sense.

The CalTrans project is part of a director’s order to address visibility issues during public safety power shutoff events. The safety system upgrade is necessary to prevent or mitigate the loss or impairment of life, health, property or essential services. Public safety power shutoff events, or PSPS, are implemented by utility companies to reduce the risk of wildfires. PSPS are unanticipated events implemented at the discretion of utility companies.

During a power shutoff, traffic signals go dark. According to California Vehicle Code, motorists are required to proceed through intersections with dark traffic signals as if they are all-way stops. But in complete darkness, motorists may not be aware there is a traffic signal ahead to know to stop as required.

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