In the busiest part of the day, the traffic lights at the intersection of Santa Fe Drive at Vista Village Drive in downtown Vista went off around 11:50 a.m. on September 14, due to the excessive heat.
When a sheriff's deputy arrived to help direct traffic, he said everyone was doing what they were supposed to as far as stopping and yielding the right of way, but cars were backed up three or four blocks in each direction.
The officer, along with two members of the sheriff's senior patrol, helped direct traffic through the flashing red light intersection using hand signals and whistles for about 45 minutes.
A signal-repair tech for the city arrived and said his thermometer showed the temperature was 102 degrees. He stated that an internal fan or thermostat must have failed. The electronic systems inside the signal control box were hot to the touch, even after the outer-box cover was opened for ventilation.
The several red-light cameras at the intersection flashed away as motorists were instructed to move through the intersection. The officer said that an incident report was already filed and that the officer who reviews camera violations should be aware of it and not issue tickets.
The signals were back in operation at 12:35 p.m.