Is Running a Yellow Light Illegal?

Everyone does it. They see the light turning yellow and instead of slowing down to stop, most people drive right through and even speed up to make it in fear of being stuck at that annoying red light.  So can you get a ticket for running the yellow?

In Michigan according to MCL 257.612, “..Vehicular traffic facing the signal shall stop before entering the nearest crosswalk at the intersection or at a limit line when marked, but if the stop cannot be made in safety, a vehicle may be drive cautiously through the intersection.”

This basically means that, no you are not supposed to go through a yellow light, unless it would be UNSAFE for you and others to suddenly stop at the marked white line in the intersection. So, speeding up to make that light is not safe and in theory, if there is no one behind you and you would’ve been able to stop, you are breaking the law and could actually get a ticket.

The one exception to this rule is when you are making a left turn. You are allowed to finish your left handed turn after oncoming traffic has stopped, EVEN if the light has turned red. Now obviously this doesn’t mean the whole line can continue, but if you are already in the middle of the road waiting to turn, you can finish the turn, without penalty.

Yellow isn’t a suggestion, so if it’s safe.. Slow down and stop before the lights turns red!


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Filed under Traffic Citations/Laws

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