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Police Forum Police Head Mod: Skidmark
Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 02-07-2014, 10:23 PM   #1
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Fail to stop at yellow at intersection

Hi everyone,

recently was issued a violation ticket for failure to stop at a yellow light at an intersection.

What happened:

Saw a stale green light and decided to speed up a little to pass as it seemed unsafe to stop at 60-62km/h at the distance.
Passed first line at the intersection when it was stale green and it changed to a yellow a split second afterwards. Was pulled over and was issued a ticket.

I did not run a red, i made it through the intersection safely and with a reasonable speed.

What are the grounds for issuing such a ticket? I am wondering whats the criteria if you can be issued a ticket for running a yellow compared to a ticket for running a red light?

I feel this is how I was taught to drive, as I did not feel safe stopping at that distance with cars behind me, and I was sure I could make the light.

I did not reason with the officer, just took the ticket politely, got his business card, and hope he forgets about this when I dispute the ticket.

Is it worth disputing?

Any thoughts?

Thanks
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:35 PM   #2
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Yellow light
128 (1) When a yellow light alone is exhibited at an intersection by a traffic control signal, following the exhibition of a green light,

(a) the driver of a vehicle approaching the intersection and facing the yellow light must cause it to stop before entering the marked crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or if there is no marked crosswalk, before entering the intersection, unless the stop cannot be made in safety

From MVA. You didnt break any laws. He could've issued you a speeding ticket for going 12 over (assuming this is 50k limit) I'd say dispute it. You entered on a green, light turned yellow after you got past the first marked crossing
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:53 PM   #3
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Yeah I just read the book and it says if it is unsafe to stop, proceed with cation and safely cross the yellow
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Old 02-08-2014, 06:08 PM   #4
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dispute. You didn't break any laws with what you did.
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:48 PM   #5
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thanks everyone for the replies.

i spoke to my friend about this who actually got into an accident from the exact situation, with the oncoming driver attempting to turn left colliding with him.

when the officer asked him what happened, he basically explained the same story, and issued him the ticket based on what he said.

how said he was utterly shocked after an accident and explaining it in that state of mind wasnt appropriate to be speaking on the record. can it be disputed at that point? the officer is basing it on what you said, he did not have any witnesses nor was he there in this case.
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Old 02-09-2014, 11:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpw12 View Post
thanks everyone for the replies.

i spoke to my friend about this who actually got into an accident from the exact situation, with the oncoming driver attempting to turn left colliding with him.

when the officer asked him what happened, he basically explained the same story, and issued him the ticket based on what he said.

how said he was utterly shocked after an accident and explaining it in that state of mind wasnt appropriate to be speaking on the record. can it be disputed at that point? the officer is basing it on what you said, he did not have any witnesses nor was he there in this case.
Dispute it. From my (limited) experience, perhaps one of the LEOs on this forum can chime in, but the officer can't serve you with a ticket based on him showing up AFTER something happened, without witnesses or officer presence. If, say, a red light camera went off showing your friend ran the red, however, it would be a different story.

If I were you, I would personally dispute the ticket, but keep in mind that though you may be in the right and the Officer in the wrong, it's hard to prove without video/photographic evidence. Situations like these are why I always tell people to buy a dash-cam. $100 could have saved you from a $167 ticket and the penalty points to boot.
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Old 02-09-2014, 09:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpw12 View Post
Hi everyone,

recently was issued a violation ticket for failure to stop at a yellow light at an intersection.

What happened:

Saw a stale green light and decided to speed up a little to pass as it seemed unsafe to stop at 60-62km/h at the distance.
Passed first line at the intersection when it was stale green and it changed to a yellow a split second afterwards. Was pulled over and was issued a ticket.

I did not run a red, i made it through the intersection safely and with a reasonable speed.

What are the grounds for issuing such a ticket? I am wondering whats the criteria if you can be issued a ticket for running a yellow compared to a ticket for running a red light?

I feel this is how I was taught to drive, as I did not feel safe stopping at that distance with cars behind me, and I was sure I could make the light.

I did not reason with the officer, just took the ticket politely, got his business card, and hope he forgets about this when I dispute the ticket.

Is it worth disputing?

Any thoughts?

Thanks
I don't want to assume anything, but why would you "speed up" on a solid green unless you knew it would or had turned yellow. I wasn't there so I can only take what you said with a grain of salt. I have issued failure to stop at a yellow light to folks when I clearly see them speed up to beat a yellow when it had turned and they had more than enough time to stop. If you don't believe you deserve the ticket, then it is your right to dispute it. At that time (at traffic court) you will speak to the Officer and see the evidence he has against you. Unfortunately if his version of events is different than yours, it will be your word against his/hers.

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Originally Posted by PARANOiA-R34 View Post
Dispute it. From my (limited) experience, perhaps one of the LEOs on this forum can chime in, but the officer can't serve you with a ticket based on him showing up AFTER something happened, without witnesses or officer presence. If, say, a red light camera went off showing your friend ran the red, however, it would be a different story.

If I were you, I would personally dispute the ticket, but keep in mind that though you may be in the right and the Officer in the wrong, it's hard to prove without video/photographic evidence. Situations like these are why I always tell people to buy a dash-cam. $100 could have saved you from a $167 ticket and the penalty points to boot.
Regarding accidents, and VT's, what the driver says to the Police (even if it is self incriminating) can be used against them as evidence. There is case law on that. The thing you guys need to understand is that the Police isn't there to judge who is at fault during accidents. That is ICBC's job. The police is there to ensure the safety of the parties involved, control traffic, and investigate any potential violations or criminal offences. With a typical "accident", there is always ONE person who did something that caused the accident, and sometimes both parties committed offences.

For example. A driver who goes through an intersection trying to beat a yellow light collides with another vehicle trying to turn left. Both drivers technically committed MVA offences. One failed to stop at a yellow, and the other failed to yield on a left turn. Now it is up to ICBC to assess who the primary offender is.
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:24 AM   #8
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I teach my students to deal with stop/go at yellows in this way. As you approach any "stale green traffic light" (unless you saw it just turn green it's a stale light that could likely turn yellow) ask yourself this question..."if the light turns yellow can I safely stop before the stop line"? If the answer is yes...then you must. If the answer is no, then you obviously cannot, and continue with a left/centre/right scan of the intersection.

The 3 things that help you decide that you cannot stop are : the traffic behind you (large vehicle or tailgater very close behind), the road surface ( rain, snow, gravel etc) and the speed involved (higher speed means you will require more distance to physically stop...however the fact that you are going over the posted limit is NOT an excuse). If the light turns yellow you do not do what most people do...and you said you did...speed up....and you must not just slam on your brakes without checking behind you. All these precautions are taken before you ever get to the intersection so you can make a safe, informed decision to stop or continue.

At 50kmh zones most yellow lights are about 4 seconds long, then there is a pause, then the red light comes on. At that speed you are covering 14m a second and the timing is designed to give drivers who are paying attention (what a concept??) enough time to stop safely under normal circumstances without "having" to run the red. If it turns red before you clear the intersection & none of the 3 things I mentioned above apply, then you should have stopped. You will have to convince the JP that you could not possibly stop before the yellow (speeding up as you did is not something in your favour as you just told us that you believed the light was going to turn yellow. The correct response would have been to slow down or at least not speed up ) , Crown will have to convince them otherwise. It's all about articulation.
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:41 PM   #9
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thanks for the advice everyone.

to clarify, i knew it was a stale green when the flashing pedestrian sign just changed to a solid pedestrian indicator (the solid hand). by that time, it was too late to stop.
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Old 02-10-2014, 10:30 PM   #10
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dash cam would help
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:27 PM   #11
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dash cam would help
yep, another situation where a dash camera would help demonstrate at what stage in the light you entered the intersection.

You have however failed to identify where you received this ticket. you were traveling at 62km/h and sped up to make the light.

Was this in a 50km/h zone? or a 60km/h zone?

This makes a large difference because if it was a 50km/h zone had you been going the speed limit in the beginning there is a very good chance you could have stopped in time...

In general speeding up to make a light will earn you a ticket. It demonstrates that you had time to react prior to the light changing and also that you felt the need to go faster because you would not clear the light before it changed. Any cop who sees that would probably see validity in a ticket...
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:33 PM   #12
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Just as a word of forewarning,

There are idiots out there who believe that the yellow light means its safe and a SIGNAL to turn left.

Not saying you run yellow and reds, but be careful out there
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:58 PM   #13
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I had the same incident a few months ago and my decision was to just pay the lowered amount ($89). As i didnt have any evidence and it was my word against his. Very hard to justify in court from what i hear.
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:48 PM   #14
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thanks for the advice everyone.

to clarify, i knew it was a stale green when the flashing pedestrian sign just changed to a solid pedestrian indicator (the solid hand). by that time, it was too late to stop.
I could be wrong but some lights change to yellow right when the flashing hand goes to the solid hand....
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:09 PM   #15
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If you have a dashcam, how do you provide the evidence to the judge? Do you bring a lap top to display the video? And if the driver is going at 60km/hr in a 50 zone (no GPS speed stamp), are you better off not showing the video and plead guilty to avoid being slapped with a speeding ticket by the judge?
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:59 PM   #16
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yep, another situation where a dash camera would help demonstrate at what stage in the light you entered the intersection.

You have however failed to identify where you received this ticket. you were traveling at 62km/h and sped up to make the light.

Was this in a 50km/h zone? or a 60km/h zone?

This makes a large difference because if it was a 50km/h zone had you been going the speed limit in the beginning there is a very good chance you could have stopped in time...

In general speeding up to make a light will earn you a ticket. It demonstrates that you had time to react prior to the light changing and also that you felt the need to go faster because you would not clear the light before it changed. Any cop who sees that would probably see validity in a ticket...
I was in a 50km/h zone.
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Old 02-14-2014, 07:36 AM   #17
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I could be wrong but some lights change to yellow right when the flashing hand goes to the solid hand....



In my experience, and in the course I teach, we tell students to not use the crosswalk hand as an indicator the light is about to turn yellow. In some cases the light changes shortly after but in many other it does not. You would have to watch the system run thru several cycles to see if it was so for this particular intersection.

The timing of the lights, length of yellow lights, delay between yellow and red, delay between the red & green for opposing traffic....all are adjustable according to the desire of the user. It all depends on traffic patern at a particular time of the day. Streets can have a very quick response to side street traffic at some peak traffic times...one side street at a school here will trigger a very quick green light for the side street school traffic between 8 and 9am and 3 and 4pm. Rest of the day it is a "normal time.

Safest thing to do as you approach a stale green light is check your mirror and ask if you can stop safely before the stopline IF it turns yellow. If you can, then you do. If you can't then you continue. You do NOT speed up in anticipation. That shows you likely could have stopped in time.
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