Failing to Yield to a Pedestrian in New York
You were driving in New York City, and you didn’t stop for a pedestrian who had the right of way. Now you have a ticket, and you’re wondering what to do next. Don’t panic. Below, skilled traffic ticket defense lawyers explain the law, the penalties, and how the right legal defense can fight your citation.
Understanding New York’s Yield to Pedestrian Law
Under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law, Section 1151, drivers have specific obligations to yield to pedestrians:
- In Marked and Unmarked Crosswalks: Drivers must yield to pedestrians in both marked crosswalks and at intersections, which are considered unmarked crosswalks.
- When Pedestrians Have the Signal: At intersections with traffic signals, drivers must yield to pedestrians who have the walking signal.
- During Turns: Drivers making turns must yield to pedestrians crossing in the direction of their turn.
- For Blind Pedestrians: Drivers must exercise extreme caution and yield to blind pedestrians, often identified by the use of a guide dog or a white cane.
- In School Zones and Near Buses: Extra vigilance and yielding are required in school zones and near stopped school buses.
- When Exiting Driveways: Drivers must yield to pedestrians on sidewalks when exiting alleys, buildings, private roads, or driveways.
Building Your Defense
You have been given a ticket for failing to yield to a pedestrian in New York. This is a serious offense that can have consequences for your driving record and your wallet. To fight your citation, you need to know the details of what happened and how they affect your case. Here are some questions you should ask yourself:
- Where did the incident happen? The location of the incident can determine who had the right of way and whether you violated the law. For example, if the pedestrian was in a marked crosswalk or at an intersection, you were required to yield to them. If there were traffic signals, you had to follow them and yield to pedestrians who had a green light or a walk signal. If there were no signals or crosswalks, you still had to yield to pedestrians who were on the same side of the road as you or who were close enough to pose a danger.
- What did the pedestrian do? The actions of the pedestrian can also affect your case. If the pedestrian crossed the street in a sudden or unexpected way, such as darting out from between parked cars or crossing against a red light or a don’t walk signal, you may have a defense that you could not avoid hitting them. However, you still have to prove that you were driving carefully and that you tried to stop or swerve to avoid the collision.
- What were the conditions like? The environmental conditions at the time of the incident can also play a role in your case. Factors such as weather, visibility, and road conditions can affect your ability to see and react to pedestrians. For example, if it was raining, snowing, foggy, or dark, you may have a defense that you had no way of seeing the pedestrian or that you had to brake harder or slower to avoid skidding. However, you still have to show that you were driving at a safe speed and that you had your headlights and windshield wipers on if needed.
- How were you driving? Your driving behavior at the time of the incident is a crucial aspect of your defense. You have to show that you were driving cautiously and responsibly and that you did not break any other traffic laws. For example, if you were speeding, texting, drinking, or running a red light, you will have a harder time convincing the judge that you were not at fault. On the other hand, if you were driving at or below the speed limit, paying attention to the road, and following the traffic signals, you will have a stronger case that you did everything possible to avoid hitting the pedestrian.
These are some of the questions you should think about when preparing your defense for a failing to yield citation. Remember, the burden of proof is on the officer who issued the ticket, and you have the right to challenge their evidence and testimony. A citation lawyer can do that and advise you on the best course of action for your situation. Don’t let a failing to yield citation ruin your driving record and your wallet. Contact a citation lawyer today and find out how they can benefit you.
Contact a New York Traffic Ticket Defense Lawyer Today
If you find yourself facing a citation for failure to yield to a pedestrian in New York, don’t hesitate to seek the advice of a citation lawyer to help you understand the law and ensure the best possible outcome for your case, such as a dismissal or reduction of charges. A traffic ticket defense lawyer can also help negotiate lower fines and avoid points on your license.