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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  JD, MBA
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Basically I was In a no win situation. If I had waited for

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Basically I was In a no win situation. If I had waited for the car to pass I would have had to turn on a red so as to clear the intersection. The police officer said I wouldn't get cited for that but I've heard differently from people who have been cited for clearing the intersection when the light became red. I guess I'm understanding that I shouldn't go passed the lines and wait to turn. How does that work when there are no green arrows. I could sit there all day.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Hi again.

You are correct that you could get a ticket if you turn on a red signal. Technically, you must only turn on a green or yellow signal, and you must yield to any oncoming traffic. Realistically, that may seem impossible since, as you mentioned, you could be waiting at the light all day. The botXXXXX XXXXXne is that it's an imperfect system. Because of this difficulty, many jurisdictions have installed lights to turn (i.e., green arrow signals).

As for yielding ... you didn't yield because you didn't give him the right of way. Your only defense would be that you didn't have to yield (i.e., he ran a red light). I've heard that the yellow light means to clear the intersection as well, and that a driver is not to speed up to beat the red light. I suppose that's more of a "best practices when driving" type of thing, however. Under the law that I quoted you, the yellow light doesn't mean anything except that the light will soon turn red. Therefore, everything that could be done when the light is green can also be done when the light is yellow, and everything that can't be done when the light is green also can't be done when the light is yellow. Thus, if you would have been required to yield had the light been green, then you also had that requirement being that the light was yellow.

I hope I explained that well enough. If not, then let me know.
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