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Old 12-30-2012, 02:30 PM
 
8 posts, read 14,118 times
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Hi - had a question about yellow light traffic laws in Northern VA. Basically, the other day, as I was approaching a light I saw it change from green to yellow. I thought I could make the light, and it was definitely yellow when I crossed (I didn't speed up to make the light, but I didn't really slow down either because I thought I was close enough to make it). But just as I made it into the intersection, a car came out from my right side to cross the intersection (so we were perpendicular to each other). I veered to the side because at that point I couldn't stop my car without hitting theirs, and neither of us hit one another thankfully.

I guess my question is, is it legal in Virginia to cross the line when it's yellow? But what happens if your car is still in the intersection when the light turns red? I really don't think the other car had a green light, but I honestly didn't see since I was more preoccupied with not colliding with them. Maybe that's why they were crossing when I was?

In retrospect, I probably could have just waited and then this situation wouldn't have happened, but I was interested in this info for future reference.
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:33 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
33,831 posts, read 41,883,302 times
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I don't specifically know but it sounds like the other driver jumped the green and went through while it was still red. Most of intersections in the region have delays in the light timing after turning red to allow cars in the intersection to clear it before the cross light turns green.
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 9,553,761 times
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I got into an accident in an intersection once. The other person's insurance asked if the light had been yellow when I entered. I said yes (it had been) and I was deemed at fault. Not sure if that proves anything other than maybe the other person's insurance fought harder, but it it was it is.
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:52 PM
 
270 posts, read 801,399 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theonion77 View Post
Hi - had a question about yellow light traffic laws in Northern VA. Basically, the other day, as I was approaching a light I saw it change from green to yellow. I thought I could make the light, and it was definitely yellow when I crossed (I didn't speed up to make the light, but I didn't really slow down either because I thought I was close enough to make it). But just as I made it into the intersection, a car came out from my right side to cross the intersection (so we were perpendicular to each other). I veered to the side because at that point I couldn't stop my car without hitting theirs, and neither of us hit one another thankfully.

I guess my question is, is it legal in Virginia to cross the line when it's yellow? But what happens if your car is still in the intersection when the light turns red? I really don't think the other car had a green light, but I honestly didn't see since I was more preoccupied with not colliding with them. Maybe that's why they were crossing when I was?

In retrospect, I probably could have just waited and then this situation wouldn't have happened, but I was interested in this info for future reference.
VA Code 46.2-833 says:

Steady amber indicates that a change is about to be made in the direction of the moving of traffic. When the amber signal is shown, traffic which has not already entered the intersection, including the crosswalks, shall stop if it is not reasonably safe to continue, but traffic which has already entered the intersection shall continue to move until the intersection has been cleared. The amber signal is a warning that the steady red signal is imminent.

Here in NoVA must lights are timed so that every body has a red between changes. That has made a big difference by reducing intersection collisions.
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Fairfax, VA
246 posts, read 1,017,870 times
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I was taught that it's only legal to be in an intesection on yellow if you entered it and then the light changed. If you approach an intersection and the light's already yellow than you must stop. Still not sure about how the other car was in there with you, but for the future, you are in the wrong if you go through when it's already yellow. Also, if it turns red while you're going through (b/c you entered when the light was yellow) than you can be ticketed as running a red light.
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
13,026 posts, read 19,850,532 times
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The other car was clearly wrong in your story, however, it's not as clear if you were wrong.
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:40 PM
 
1,784 posts, read 2,982,096 times
Reputation: 1270
I don't know why anyone would try to jump the gun and start entering the intersection while their light was still red around here. That's just stupid and asking for an accident to happen.

In your case, assuming your story is true, they would have had to jump the gun by a good 3-5 seconds if they actually entered it while the light was still yellow for the other direction. Ridiculous.
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:59 PM
 
98 posts, read 160,931 times
Reputation: 95
No it is not illegal to cross a yellow light *sighs heavily* You see thats why some folks in NOVA cant drive for squat! When the light turns yellow you have 3 seconds to cross the intersection before it turns red.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Manassas, VA
1,559 posts, read 3,170,243 times
Reputation: 839
I was behind a car a couple of months ago and we were sitting at a red light. All of a sudden.....he just decided to drive through...ON A RED! I'm not quite sure what he was doing. He's lucky he wasn't in an accident. This was at the intersection of Rt. 28 and Compton Rd at the edge of Centreville at rush hour time!
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:02 PM
 
564 posts, read 1,273,981 times
Reputation: 390
If you enter the intersection on a yellow you are fine, but if you see a yellow light and can stop safely, you should do so. Nothing particularly special about Northern Virginia in this regard. There have been times I kept going when I would have otherwise stopped, because some idiot was tailgaiting me and of course the fool usually goes through the intersection right behind me, running the red in the process.
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