Central NY Yellow Light Ticket Attorney

Yellow traffic light

Every New York driver knows that driving through the occasional yellow light is unavoidable. Sometimes, your timing as you approach the signal makes it unsafe to slam on the brakes. Other times, you might be running late and decide to save time by driving through a yellow light instead of slowing down. 

Whatever your reason for driving through a yellow light, this move is often ticketed under laws dictating traffic control signal violations. Unfortunately, this means that if a law enforcement officer is in the area, there’s a good chance you’ll be pulled over and ticketed for failing to slow down.

New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers is a central New York law firm dedicated to helping New York drivers fight traffic tickets. If you have received a yellow light ticket in New York, our attorneys can represent you in traffic court and help you argue against consequences like excessive fines and points against your driver’s record.

Yellow Light Laws in New York

Being ticketed for running a yellow light can be deeply frustrating. Though you might not have memorized every word of every New York traffic law, remember this: it is not illegal to drive through a yellow light in New York, even if the light turns red as you are passing through the intersection.  

In reality, yellow-light tickets are often unmerited in New York. If you have been given a yellow light ticket, it was issued for violating NY VTL §1110a. The text of this driving law vaguely states that drivers “must obey the instructions” of any relevant traffic control device.

Driving Through a Yellow Light Is Legal in New York

The issue with yellow light tickets is that New York law does not prohibit drivers from driving through a yellow light. While it is common knowledge that a driver should slow down when they see a yellow light, this is also not a legal requirement under New York law. In fact, NY VTL §1111b specifically states that a driver approaching a solid yellow light or solid yellow arrow may enter the intersection. 

Justifications for New York Yellow Light Tickets

When you know that New York law does not require you to stop or slow down for a yellow light, it might leave you wondering how a police officer can even ticket you for driving through one. 

Unfortunately, law enforcement officers sometimes make mistakes. One common reason for a yellow light ticket is when the police officer sees you driving through an intersection while the light is red. 

If you entered the intersection when the light was yellow but the officer did not see that, they might issue a ticket even though you did not break the law. However, you should not have to pay the price for an officer’s mistake.

Misconceptions on the part of the police are typically the most benign cause for a yellow-light ticket. The reality is that often, law enforcement officers who choose to issue yellow light tickets take advantage of the driver’s lack of in-depth knowledge of New York driving law.

Common reasons New York police officers issue yellow light tickets include: 

  • The driver failed to slow down
  • The driver increased their speed
  • The light turned red after the driver entered the intersection

New York drivers need to know that none of these situations are traffic control signal violations under New York driving law. You should not have to pay fines and have points added against your license when you did nothing wrong. 

Penalties for a New York Yellow Light Ticket

New York law carries some serious penalties for drivers who violate a traffic control signal. Under the law, possible penalties can include: 

  • Fines up to $150
  • Surcharges of around $80
  • Points against your license
  • Possible jail time

You likely won’t be sentenced to jail time for driving through a yellow light unless doing so led to an accident that caused a fatality or serious bodily injury. However, you can have two or three points added to your New York driving record. If you accrue six points in 18 months, you can get stuck paying New York’s driver responsibility assessment fee. 

Fighting against an unfair yellow-light ticket is more than a matter of principle. Making sure you are not unfairly penalized for driving through a yellow light has the potential to make a significant difference if you already have points on your record or you end up with another ticket in the next year and a half.

Our Traffic Ticket Lawyers Fight for You

New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers is a central New York law firm that knows how to fight for the rights of New York drivers. Our client testimonials demonstrate that our team of skilled traffic attorneys excels at obtaining results in traffic court. 

We represent you in court and fight for the ticket to be dropped or reduced, saving you time, hassle, and money. Contact New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers today to learn how we can help you fight an unfair yellow-light ticket in New York.