Yet another head-on collision by a driver going the wrong way with a failure to yield has occurred, according to 10 News of Tampa Bay and Sarasota. This time, a police officer was the victim instead of the one giving the citation. The driver was a young woman who was headed north in the southbound lanes on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Street and it is suspected that she was under the influence of alcohol at the time, although she refused to take a sobriety test. According to News 8 wfla.com, she was charged with DUI with injuries.
It was a miracle that no one was seriously injured in this wrong way accident. The 21-year-old woman at the wheel, identified as Madison Best, appears to have a long history of citations, including three careless driving incidents, including failure to yield. She also has a history of leaving the scene of an accident that included damage to property and a domestic battery charge in 2012.
Failure To Yield
One of the many principles to driving safely in St. Petersburg is learning to yield at the appropriate times; this is an important task to get right. Failure to yield is when a driver does not slow down or come to a complete stop when a circumstance with another driver or a pedestrian dictates that they should do so. Tickets can be issued when a police officer’s judgement is that a driver did not yield to another motorist or a pedestrian as the situation called for. It is said that when officers appear in court to present evidence against a person for a failure to yield citation, their memory is crystal clear. Most likely this is because paying just a little more attention could have avoided the incident and kept others from harm.
The 2014 Florida Statutes provide information for determining a right-of-way intersection; how it is indicated; and how a driver should properly respond to it. The following are a few examples of when it is appropriate to yield according to Florida law.
- Always yield to a flag person or pedestrian highway worker.
- When turning left into an intersection, a driveway, a private road, or an alley, always yield to any vehicle coming from the opposite direction. This also applies to any vehicle passing on the left of the vehicle that is turning.
- A driver should always yield right-of-way in an intersection if another vehicle has entered that same intersection from a different highway.
- Always yield to a bus that is traveling in the same direction as you, has been off the highway, and is signaling to re-enter the traffic flow.
- If you are coming up to a public roadway that does not have any sort of traffic control device on it, you should yield the right-of-way to all oncoming traffic.
- When approaching a yield sign, always, always, always slow down to a reasonable speed, search out the surrounding conditions and stop if needed before entering an intersection or going through a crosswalk if the situation so dictates.
- If two vehicles both enter the same intersection, but from different highways, at the same time, the driver on the left should yield to the driver on the right.
In Your Defense
There are considerations that could be seen as reasons for legitimately failing to yield in certain situations. If you receive a failure to yield citation, you can attempt to fight the charge with the help of a personal injury attorney.
In Saint Petersburg, such defensible reasons might include: the reckless driving behavior on the part of another vehicle driver; poor visibility of the yield sign; poor visibility of lines on the highway; if a driver failed to yield in an attempt to prevent harm from coming to another; or if another vehicle broke the law, thereby causing the failure to yield.
If you have been involved in an accident and received a citation for failure to yield, consult with a personal injury attorney.