Drove through yellow light, turned red

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Latest post 12-22-2009 9:46 AM by Vadgue.1026. 8 replies.
  • 12-18-2009 5:00 PM

    • loni___
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 12-18-2009
    • FL
    • Posts 1

    Drove through yellow light, turned red

    I was driving through a yellow light in downtown tampa and got pulled over by some motorcycle cop in a speed trap. When I saw him put on his flashing lights, I wasn't worried at the time because I was certain that the light (and still am) was yellow, and that it had turned red while I was more than 3/4ths of the way across the street. He claimed that I had ran the red light, but I had left the intersection when the light was still yellow and it turned had red while I was in the middle of the intersection. The intersection itself is abnormally long because it crosses over four lanes of traffic and the stoplight is confusingly located after the fourth lane. The crosswalks have countdowns but I don't remember whether I looked or not, and if I did it could not have been any less than 3 at the time of my entering the intersection. Also, there may be cameras at this intersection, but I'll have to drive by again and check. I just want to know if I would have a legitimate argument to present if I were to request a court date. I know a lot of people get pulled over at this intersection- one of my friends even got pulled over for doing the very same thing by the very same cop. I just don't see how I could get ticketed if I left when the light was yellow and it turns red after I  am more than half-way over. Is that actually illegal? Also - if there are traffic cameras, would I be able to retrieve the video of the incident somehow? And come to think of it, the cop could not have seen the exact moment i left from the intersection because there was another lane of cars separating myself and the cop. From what I could tell, he had been waiting at the crosswalk to the left of those cars, and was not able to see me until I advanced into the intersection- around the time that the light turned red

  • 12-18-2009 5:05 PM In reply to

    Re: Drove through yellow light, turned red

    I don't think any of that matters.

    Unless you have a witness that will go to court and testify that you didn't run the red light, yours will be just one of the thousands of stories that the judge hears every week and he'll believe the officer.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 12-18-2009 5:07 PM In reply to

    • DPH
      Consumer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 10-08-2001
    • TX
    • Posts 7,468

    Re: Drove through yellow light, turned red

    If the only defense that you can come up withis "maybe this or maybe that", you're going to have a hard time beating the ticket.

    Four lanes is not abnormally long for an intersection.  If the light turned red when you were 1/2 way through the intersection, thenit had to have been yellow when you enetred the intersection. Yellow means caution, not speed up to beat the red.

    "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."  -  Mark Twain

     

  • 12-18-2009 5:11 PM In reply to

    Re: Drove through yellow light, turned red

    Here is what the Judge is going to say because that is what the law is about:

    The yellow light does NOT mean hurry into the intersection and finish crossing.  A yellow light means to slow down and prepare to STOP. 

    You have an even weaker position in that you are not certain how long the light was yellow and didn't check the timers on the cross walk for assistance in determining that.  Had the cross walk gone completely to a "Don't Walk" signal that would have told you the light was about to turn red and there was not time to cross the intersection safely.  Therefore the law expects drivers to slow at the yellow and stop so that they are not in the intersection when the light turns red.  More T-bone accidents happen because of drivers who assume that it is acceptable for a minimum number of cars to dangerously proceed through an intersection on a yellow and then red light.

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

  • 12-21-2009 12:12 PM In reply to

    Re: Drove through yellow light, turned red

    If you are in the intersection when a light turns red, that would normally mean it was yellow long before you entered the intersection.  Yellow means slow down and stop.

    You can present your argument to the judge, but your logic is faulty and judges aren't stupid.  If a light stays yellow for 5 seconds or whatever, and you are IN the intersection when it turns red, it was likely yellow for 4 seconds or so before you entered the intersection.  That means stop.

  • 12-21-2009 11:39 PM In reply to

    Re: Drove through yellow light, turned red

    Let me give you some personal experience on this issue.  Yellow light was made to be a warning. This means that you need to attempt to stop as soon as the yellow light comes on. Unfortunatly we all have the vicio of taking this yellow light as gravy. What happens if a cop is on the spot. He can stop you and give you a ticket for eating a lot of gravy and not attempting to stop in a light that you had all the time to stop.

     

    Belive me  is your word against the cops word. My suggestion is to take the yellow light as a warning. it will be very difficult to have a red green light changing to a red light. for this to work we will need cars and brakes not made or invented yet. If you want to make a comment with the perros contact me at my blog.  http://certifytraffics...

     

    rn

     

  • 12-22-2009 9:36 AM In reply to

    Re: Drove through yellow light, turned red

    loni___:
    I just don't see how I could get ticketed if I left when the light was yellow and it turns red after I am more than half-way over. Is that actually illegal?

    Yes, it's legal. You are not to be in the intersection when the light is red. So when you see a yellow light, you are to stop if at all possible, not play the game of speed up to try to beat the light. That's a losing game. It can get you a ticket or worse, an accident.

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