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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12250
Experience:  JD, MBA
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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.
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).

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