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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
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I cant seem to find anything but hearsay concerning making

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I can't seem to find anything but hearsay concerning making a left turn. I was in a wreck today because as I was waiting in the intersection to make a left turn, the light turned yellow at which point I waited for the last cars of oncoming traffic to clear the intersection. I did notice one car behind the rest but thought that he'd stop since he had plenty of time and since at the speed he was going I should have had plenty of time to turn. I turned and the next thing I knew I was t-boned. The officer said i should have waited for the light to turn red but the code he cited me with says nothing about the light conditions. Any idea what Utah law is concerning a yellow light.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

Section 41-6a-305 regulates when you can make a left turn. The relevant portions of that law state:

2(a)(ii) The operator of a vehicle facing a circular green signal, including an operator turning right or left:

(A) shall yield the right-of-way to other vehicles and to pedestrians lawfully within the intersection or an adjacent crosswalk at the time the signal is exhibited

As you can see, if there is a green signal, then you must yield to other vehicles lawfully in the intersection (like oncoming traffic). Now look at what it says for a yellow signal:

(3) (a) The operator of a vehicle facing a steady circular yellow or yellow arrow signal is warned that the allowable movement related to a green signal is being terminated.

So, a yellow signal merely acts as a warning that whatever you were allowed to do when there is a green signal is coming to an end. In other words, you had to yield to the vehicle that hit you regardless of whether there was a green or a yellow signal. I disagree with the police officer that you should have turned on a red signal. He may not have given you a ticket, but technically that would have been illegal. The best advice is to only turn on a green or yellow signal, and only after completely yielding to oncoming traffic (even if it means that you've missed that light cycle).

Have I satisfactorily addressed your concerns? If not, then feel free to let me know, as I will be happy to clarify my answer or help with your follow-up questions. In the meantime, please remember to click the green accept button so that I will receive credit and compensation for my time (doing so does not end our session). Positive feedback is always appreciated as well. Thank you and good luck!
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 9833
Experience: JD, MBA
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