Yield Sign

What Are Failure to Yield Tickets?

There are plenty of ways to get traffic tickets: reckless driving, speeding, seatbelt violations, etc. While many of these tickets are relatively straightforward (you go over the speed limit, you get a ticket for speeding), some of them are more complicated than they appear. For this reason, Gannes & Musico has dedicated this blog post to explaining the intricacies of failure to yield tickets.

Failure to Yield in New York

In New York, a failure to yield ticket is given when a motorist fails to properly yield for a pedestrian who is legally allowed to cross the street. As stated in the New York Vehicle and Transportation Law (N.Y. VTL): “Motorists must yield to any pedestrian crossing the road on which they are traveling.”

However, there are different scenarios where this law may or not come into effect.

Intersections with Traffic Signals

A pedestrian has the right of way whenever a traffic signal shows a steady “Walk” or walking person. However, a pedestrian must not start to cross if the phrase “Don’t Walk” or the unpraised hand is flashing.

Therefore, a motorist would not be guilty of failing to yield if a pedestrian starts to cross an intersection when the signal is flashing. However, a motorist could be charged for failing to yield if he prevents a walker from crossing the street during the “Walk” signal.

Intersections with Crosswalks but No Traffic Signals

Pedestrians have the right of way if there is an intersection or any marked crosswalk and no traffic signals. If a driver pulls up to one such intersection and does not allow a pedestrian to cross before continuing, he or she may receive a failure to yield ticket.

Intersections with No Crosswalks and No Traffic Signals

If a pedestrian walks into a street where there are no intersections or no marked crosswalks, then pedestrians must yield the right of way to vehicles. Therefore, a driver cannot receive a failure to yield ticket if someone is attempting to jaywalk.

Can I Go if the Pedestrian Is in the Crosswalk But Nowhere Near Me?

If a pedestrian is in a crosswalk and far away from you, you have the right to go if it does not interfere with the pedestrian’s path and you’re making a legal maneuver (like a right turn). However, keep in mind that the difference between a failure to yield ticket and a legal maneuver is just a couple of feet, so be wise about when to do this.