Have You Been Charged with Failing to Yield at a Right of Way in Georgia?
Traffic laws exist to keep you safe, and Georgia has numerous laws detailing how to drive safely. Yielding in traffic situations means to let other road users go first. If you see a yield sign, be prepared to let others go before you. This includes drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
What Does Right of Way Mean and Who Has the Right of Way?
The right of way refers to who is entitled to change lanes, make turns, move through intersections, or conduct other movements when traffic is present. Knowing who has the right of way is a critical part of driving and helps people avoid accidents.
Georgia Law on Yielding
O.C.G.A. §40-6-72 states
The driver of a vehicle approaching a yield sign shall, in obedience to such sign, slow down to a speed reasonable for the existing conditions and, if required for safety to stop, shall stop at a clearly marked stop line or, if there is no stop line, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if there is no crosswalk, at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering it. After slowing or stopping, the driver shall yield the right of way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another roadway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time such driver is moving across or within the intersection or junction of roadways.
What Happens When a Failure to Yield Leads to a Collision?
If a person is involved in an accident due to them failing to stop at a yield sign, that collision will be deemed prima-facie evidence of their failure to yield the right of way. Essentially it will be the person who failed to yield's fault unless proved otherwise. Even if the person who had the right of way was speeding and there would not have been an accident if they were not speeding, the vehicle who failed to yield would still be responsible for the crash.
The Penalty for Failing to Yield in Georgia
The most common punishment for failing to yield is points on your license and a fine. Failure to yield results in three points being added to your license. While that may not seem like a lot, remember that if you receive 15 points in a 24-month period, your license will be suspended.
However, failure to yield could be the underlying reason a person is stopped for a DUI. If so, the court could add 12 months of probation to a person's case because of the traffic violation. This is quite common in DUI cases. Therefore a person convicted of DUI and failing to yield could face the punishment of 12 months of probation for the DUI charge and another 12 months of probation for the stop sign violation.
Furthermore, you could be faced with a civil suit if the failure to yield resulted in a collision.
Common Defenses for Failure to Yield in Georgia
There are many ways that you can defend your ticket. However, the best way to ensure your success is to hire a Georgia Traffic Ticket Attorney. Some arguments you could make include:
Poor Visibility: If you can demonstrate that there was low visibility at the time of the incident, that could be a defense. You must emphasize that you were unable to see the vehicle for which you did not yield to.
The driver was traveling at an excessive speed: Evidence that the other driver was speeding may be a defense. However, it is likely that you would need the assistance of a failure to yield lawyer in Georgia.
Other than defenses, a Georgia Attorney can appeal to the solicitor and seek for your ticket to be reduced or dismissed. A reduction to a basic rules violation would be a win because then points would be added to your license. Alternately, if you have a clean driving history and the facts support it, a lawyer could argue for your case to be dismissed. For information on options in your situation, call us now!
We have fighting in Georgia Traffic Courts for more than 50 years. We have the experience you need to be successful no matter the charge. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.