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City of Santa Rosa advises drivers to use caution during PG&E outage after multiple crashes

Santa Rosa officials are advising motorists to drive carefully in areas affected by PG&E’s shut-off, after the city reported an increase in automobile crashes Wednesday.

There have been at least 11 crashes since midnight, 10 of which occurred at intersections with no working traffic lights, city spokeswoman Adriane Mertens said in an email. A majority of the crashes occurred during commute hours Wednesday morning. Mertens added that the crashes were caused by inattention, when drivers ran through intersections without stopping or not understanding the right of way.

In an absence of working traffic signals, state law calls for intersections that normally have lights to be treated as four-way stops.

Five of the crashes resulted in minor injuries, occurring at Maple and Santa Rosa avenues; Montecito Boulevard and Calistoga Road; Bennett Valley Road and E Street; Fourth Street and Brookwood Avenue; and Pine Street and Santa Rosa Avenue.

Mertens said in her email that the city has deployed extra stop signs at major intersections, including Highway 12 and Mountain Hawk Drive; Bennett Valley Road and E Street; Fourth Street and Brookwood Avenue; Mendocino Avenue and Steele Lane; and Montecito Boulevard and Calistoga Road.

The Santa Rosa Police Department reminded residents to drive with caution in outage areas through Facebook posts and videos Wednesday.

You can reach Staff Writer Chantelle Lee at 707-521-5337 or chantelle.lee@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @ChantelleHLee.

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