Pin It

The Nuances of the Yellow Light Violation

There are a wide variety of traffic laws across the entirety of the United States. It can sometimes be hard to keep track of all the violations that can be incurred from running a specific light, driving even a few miles over the speed limit, or turning from the wrong lane. These are all pretty basic driving infractions, of course, but some are not so black and white. Take, for example, the yellow light violation. In some areas, depending on how the ticketing police officer is feeling that particular day, you could technically receive a ticket for running a yellow light. The officer in question may argue that the yellow light means to stop.

The technical identification for failing to obey a traffic control device is known as a 21450 in the state of California, for example. This will incur a penalty in the eyes of the law, so be warned. The code stands for:
• (1) A person commits the offense of driver failure to obey traffic control device if the person drives a vehicle and the person does any of the following:
• (a) Fails to obey the directions of any traffic control device.
• (b) Fails to obey any specific traffic control device describes in ORS 811.260 in the manner required by that section.
• (2) A person is not subject to this section if the person is doing any of the following:
• (a) Following the directions of a police officer.
• (b) Driving an emergency vehicle or ambulance in accordance with the privileges granted those vehicles.
• (c) Properly executing a turn on a red light as authorized under 811.360.
• (d) Driving in a funeral procession led by a funeral lead vehicle or under the direction of the driver of a funeral escort vehicle.
There are a few circumstances where driving through a “stale” yellow light, meaning a yellow light that is about to turn red, would be allowed. According to the folks at ExpertLaw, “Your testimony will have to include a VALID reason as to WHY it would have been unsafe for you to try to stop.” In this case, driving through the light safely and cautiously is allowed. This is okay when you are already in the intersection or during periods of wet roads due to weather.

A yellow light violation is a picky topic that truly varies district by district. If you’re unsure of your city’s traffic violations, speak with a local officer or sheriff’s department.

Be Sociable, Share!