Failure to Yield
Part of safe driving is knowing how to respond to other drivers and pedestrians on the road way. When another driver or pedestrian has the right of way, you must yield to them. Failure to do so may result in a failure to yield ticket. Sharing the road appropriately and yielding when you’re obligated to is critical to staying safe, and failure to yield is a regularly enforced Ohio traffic violation.
A failure to yield violation could have serious consequences for your life and your driving record. If you’ve been ticketed for failure to yield, you may need the help of an experienced Columbus traffic defense lawyer.
What is Failure to Yield?
Failing to give the road, or yield, to another driver or pedestrian who has the right of way, is a failure to yield. A driver will encounter many situations where he or she must yield to traffic or to a pedestrian, including: at a crosswalk, traffic control device, parking lot, to cyclists, to an emergency vehicle, to flashing traffic lights, to pedestrians, when merging, or when turning.
Failure to yield is regulated by a number of provisions of the Ohio Traffic Code.
- Right of way at Intersection – 4511.41.
- Right of way when turning left – 4511.42.
- Right of way through Highways, stop signs, yield signs – 4511.43.
- Right of way at Highway from any place other than Another Roadway – 4511.44.
- Right of way of Pedestrian on Sidewalk – 4511.441.
- Right of way of Public Safety or Coroner’s Vehicle – 4511.45.
- Right of way of Funeral Vehicle – 4511.451.
- Right of way Yielded by Pedestrian to Public Safety Vehicle – 4511.452.
- Right of way of Pedestrian within Crosswalk – 4511.46.
- Right of way of Blind Person – 4511.47.
Most failure to yield tickets are minor misdemeanors that are punishable by up to $150 in fines. However, if you plead or are found guilty of a failure to yield violation and have previously been convicted of another traffic offense within the last year, you may be found guilty of a fourth degree misdemeanor which is punishable by up to $250 in fines and 30 days in jail. If you have two or more previous traffic violations in the last year you may be found guilty of a 3rd degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to $500 in fines and 60 days in jail.
Failing to yield to a public safety or coroner’s vehicle can net you even stiffer penalties. A first offense is a 4th degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to $250 in fines and 30 days in jail. A second offense within one year of the first is a 3rd degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to $500 in fines and 60 days in jail. Subsequent convictions within one year of the first are second-degree misdemeanors punishable by up to $750 in fines and 90 days in jail.
Other Possible Consequences of a Failure to Yield Violation
A failure to yield violation can have many other potential consequences, especially if you already have other violations on your driving record. Possible consequences include:
- Driver’s License Points – failure to yield adds 2 points to your license in Ohio. If you have over 12 points on your license, the BMV will automatically suspend your driving privileges for six months. Depending on your driving record, those two points could push you into an automatic suspension.
- Background Checks – Today, many institutions and organizations run background checks on applicants. This means employers, colleges, and licensing organizations like the state Bar. Having a failure to yield violation on your record, especially if it’s in conjunction with several other violations, could make it harder for you to secure employment or get into a university. If driving is part of your current job, your employer may run periodic background checks. Violations on your record could lead to probation or even termination from employment.
- Higher Insurance – Insurance providers use traffic violations and points on your license to calculate what kind of risk you are, and what kind of rate you qualify for. More violations on your record means higher risk for insurance companies, and higher insurance premiums for you. Insurance rates can rise with as little as one violation on your record.
- Civil Liability – Depending on the circumstances leading to your ticket, you could be exposed to civil liability. If you were in an accident or injured another driver or pedestrian, or caused damage to someone’s property, you may be sued. A failure to yield violation may be offered as evidence of proof of your guilt, increasing the chances of a judgment against you.
How a Lawyer can Help
A Columbus traffic defense lawyer will help you fight your ticket by exploring a number of possible defenses on your behalf. Possible defenses include:
- Poor Visibility – If a pedestrian crosswalk was not visible at the time of your alleged offense due to no fault of your own, this may be a defense against a failure to yield violation. Your lawyer will help collect evidence of the visibility at the scene and testimony of any witnesses to help build this defense.
- Another Driver was at Fault – If another driver was speeding or otherwise driving recklessly and cut you off, or did not give you an opportunity to yield, this could be a defense against failure to yield. Your lawyer will interview any possible witnesses to find out what they saw or heard.
- You Actually had the Right of Way – Police officers are capable of making mistakes, and it’s possible that you actually had the right of way and thus did not deserve a failure to yield ticket. Your lawyer will interview any witnesses and your ticketing officer about what they heard and saw, and how and why they concluded you did not have the right of way in order to help build your defense.
- Good Driving Record – If you have relatively few, or no, other offenses on your driving record, your lawyer may be able to convince a prosecutor or judge to be lenient with you. This may mean adding no points to your license, smaller fines, or attending a driver’s training course instead of being found guilty at all.
Call today for a free consultation with one of our Columbus traffic attorneys. We can help you avoid the long term consequences of having a violation on your driving record. We’re here 24 hours a day to answer your questions, and help you build a defense against your traffic ticket. You can reach us at or email at email@example.com.