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First I'm very sorry to hear about you receiving this ticket as it does sound like you were attempting to proceed with caution to make sure there was no accident. Failure to comply with a traffic controll device could result in a fine around $165.00 in addition to 3 points, so I can understand your issue.
You should appear in court, you can talk with the judge or the solicitor and discuss possible reduced options that may be offered. You want to avoid this high fine and more importantly keep the associate points off your record.
Though I understand what you did and you were already in the intersection if the officer testifies that you were sitting in the interestion and turned on the red, that may be sufficient for the judge to convict you. I understand that was no actual traffic obstruction but the fact that your vehicle was in-fact in the intersection is what would present the problem for you. There is no requirement that you create a "grid-lock" situation to be found guilty.
However, as I mentioned earlier you should plea not guilty and appear in court to talk with the judge to reduce the ticket you received.
Thanks for your reply. In both the states of Michigan and Illinois they allow you to proceed and complete your turn.
MCL 257.612 states in part, " ...vehicular traffic facing the signal shall stop before entering the nearest crosswalk at the intersection or at a limit line when marked, but if the stop cannot be made in safety, a vehicle may be driven cautiously through the intersection."
The botXXXXX XXXXXne is, unless it is dangerous to stop, you must stop when the light turns yellow. The only exception is when you are preparing to make a left turn and you are already within the intersection. You can complete your left turn after oncoming traffic has stopped, even if the light turns red.
This rule seems to vary from state to state. For example, the Oct-98 printed edition of the Illinois Driver's Manual "Rules Of The Road" says: "If you enter an intersection when the light is green, you may finish your turn even though the light turns red" (Chapter Three: Traffic Laws - Right-Of-Way).
I can not find specifics for the State of Georgia. Any advice. I will definitely go to court go.
Thank you for the additional information but as you mentioned each state can and in some cases, do treat the laws differently so what applies in Michigan or Illinois would not apply in Georgia.
You are precluded from entering the interesection unless you can proceed through the intersection with either your turn or going straight through without stopping. It is unlawful to enter an intersection unless there is sufficient space on the other side of the intersection to accommodate the driver's vehicle without obstructing the passage of other vehicles or pedestrians. This has been the interpretation based upon O.C.G.A. 40-6-205