When a driver is required by law to yield the right of way to a pedestrian at a signal intersection, it means that he or she must stop the car and allow the pedestrian to go first. If the driver fails to do this, he or she could be charged with a moving violation and face hefty fines, demerit points and even jail time. Failure to yield is one of the most common causes of accidents in the US.
Police are getting so serious about this moving violation that they have started doing plainclothes sting operations to catch drivers who ignore it. Individuals who have been found guilty of failing to yield right of way to a pedestrian at a signal intersection could face fines of up to $150 for the first offense and 15 days in jail, or even both.
These fines and penalties become much more serious if the individual is not on his or her first offense. For instance, for second and third offenses, individuals could end up paying $300 and $450 fines and spending 45 or 90 days in jail.
Individuals who are found guilty of failing to yield the right of way to a pedestrian at a signal intersection could receive 3 demerit points on their driving record. These points, when accumulated quickly, could result in the driver losing his or her license for a period of time. They also make the individual’s insurance premiums increase as well.
For those who have been accused of failing to yield to a pedestrian, it’s important to speak with an attorney about the charge. If there is evidence that an individual actually did yield, the attorney may be able to have the charges dropped. In any event, attorneys are much more likely to receive lesser consequences and fines on behalf of their clients than individuals can do on their own. In combination with court costs and higher insurance premiums, fines can really drain an individual financially. Hiring an attorney could actually save one money over time.