FAILURE TO YIELD TICKETS
Failure to yield to pedestrian violations are the newest scourge to New York drivers. The current administration's Vision Zero plan includes a vigorous enforcement of this infraction.
Be Careful When You Make A Turn.
In short, failure to yield to pedestrians occurs when a driver, with a green light, makes a turn through a crosswalk where the pedestrians have the "walk" sign.
From there, things get subjective. How close must one come to "fail to yield"? Ultimately, this is a question of both law and fact that the judge will decide. Anyone would agree that if you accelerate through a crosswalk and come within one foot of pedestrians lawfully crossing, you have failed to yield. But what if you come within three feet? Five feet? Ten feet? Almost all TVB judges would say that three feet is too close. Most will say that five feet is, too. At ten feet, perhaps not.
This Ticket Is Laced With Politics.
Love him or hate him, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is hyper-focused on traffic law. The administration believes that failure to yield violations account for a large number of vehicle injuries and deaths. In particular, they are concerned with motorists who are oblivious to pedestrians.
As a result, failure to yield tickets are treated uniquely. Most are automatically classified as "required appearances." This means that the accused cannot plead guilty online; she must come to traffic court for a hearing before a judge. This allows the judge to make sure that the ticket did not involve any accidents or injuries. And if the police officer does not appear in court for a failure to yield hearing, do not be surprised if the judge reschedules your case, due to the "required appearance" nature of the summons.
This Violation Is More Than A Traffic Ticket. It Could Be a Misdemeanor.
Failing to yield is now a misdemeanor. Increasingly, NYPD officers choose to write you a criminal court summons. If an injury occurs, expect an inquiry at the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH), which can then be used against you in a civil lawsuit.
The City Cares About These Tickets. You Should, Too.
As you can tell, City government takes this matters seriously. If you get a failure to yield ticket, do not expect leniency. You may wish to consult with a traffic attorney.