Failed to Yield? You Can Still Succeed in Beating the Ticket!

Posted: March 20th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off on Failed to Yield? You Can Still Succeed in Beating the Ticket!

There are few things more stressful than receiving a ticket that you believe will lead to points on your license in New York. Ideally, of course, no one would ever get points on their license, but in the hectic driving conditions you might experience in the city, sometimes a situation can sneak up on you. If you average as little as a single point a month, you might be looking at a suspended license—at best an inconvenience, at worst a major disruption to your life and career. It’s no wonder that a ticket issued due to failure to yield to a pedestrian is such a great source of angst to drivers! Three points is nothing to scoff at, to be sure (not to mention the fines you might incur!)—but the situation may not be as cut and dried as it seems.

Pedestrian Right of Way: What you should know

Failure to yield to a pedestrian falls under the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) §1151. Within New York City itself, you can also have a ticket cited under the New York City Traffic Rules and Regulations §4-04(d) and 404(b)(1).  Regardless of which law is used, the basic points remain the same:

  1. Wherever traffic control signals are lacking, vehicles must yield to pedestrians crossing by way of a crosswalk.
  2. You may not pass another vehicle in an intersection that is currently yielding to a pedestrian.
  3. Pedestrians must give the driver of a vehicle the opportunity to yield. That is, “failure to yield” does not apply if a pedestrian simply steps, runs, or jumps out in front of a vehicle without allowing adequate time for the vehicle to yield.

Now, there are several things to take note of here.  First, most of these laws only directly reference situations in which there are no walk/do not walk signs and other relevant traffic control lights. However, even if you have a green light, you should yield to pedestrians, as in some cases, they may have a “walk” signal, regardless of what signal applies to your vehicle.

Second, these laws only directly reference situations in which the pedestrian is within a crosswalk. However, intersections are usually considered to be “unmarked” crosswalks,” so the absence of a marked crosswalk does not necessarily mean the area isn’t considered a pedestrian right of way.

Finally, these tickets are often issued based less on the facts of the circumstances and more at the ticketing officer’s discretion. That is, they are a judgement call by the officer. This can be seen in both a positive and a negative light by a driver. On the one hand, an over-zealous officer might issue a ticket for a very minor situation (or in one that usually wouldn’t rate a ticket). On the other hand, because these tickets are so often issued subjectively, drivers have a good chance of fighting them in court—with proper legal counsel.

Why You Should Hire a Lawyer for a Failure to Yield Ticket

Your legal counsel can examine your situation in depth.  Our legal team is not only intimately familiar with the laws and the errors commonly made by officers, but also with driving within New York City itself. We understand the various pressures and circumstances that surround drivers, and how they may mitigate an otherwise seemingly clear-cut situation, and how to argue on your behalf.

Contact us for a free consultation today! It’s our mission to not only defend you, but to do so aggressively, so that any traffic violations you may have been charged with have the least possible negative impact on your life. In many cases, you won’t even have to go to court!