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Yield Signs Are Most Abused By New Yorkers

Yield sign 400 at Rt 20A exit.
Yield sign 400 at Rt 20A exit

I have a huge pet peeve when it comes to following someone that doesn’t understand what a yield sign is or how to use them. This is becoming a bigger problem with the addition of more round a bouts in Western New York. Most drivers don’t know what to do at a yield sign.I looked into this in the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law. Below is the section I think all drivers should study or at least brush up on. My biggest frustration is following someone that STOPS COMPLETELY at a yield sign. Yield signs are meant to maintain safe traffic FLOW. Beyond the fact that it irritates me that people stop is that not knowing the LAW of how to drive up to and through a yield sign is extremely important to traffic safety.  It may safe a life!

Recently I was on a long ride with a cycling group around the East Aurora area. While traveling WEST on rte 20A (see the map provided) we approached the 400 exit. One lane requires drivers exiting the 400 to STOP the other to YIELD. A driver failed to yield and nearly struck my bike. The driver shouted at me that it I have to yield to him. But any educated driver knows that the truck coming off the 400 must yield to traffic coming down 20A. The picture I provided shows the yield sign that drivers must obey when exiting.  Clearly the driver broke the law and thankfully I was aware enough to slow maneuver my bike out of harms way. Here is what the NYSVT Law says….

The driver of a vehicle approaching a yield sign shall in obedience to such sign slow down to a speed reasonable for existing conditions, or shall stop if necessary as provided in section eleven hundred seventy-two, and shall yield the right of way to any pedestrian legally crossing the roadway on which he is driving, and to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time such driver is moving across or within the intersection. Provided, however, that if such driver is involved in a collision with a pedestrian in a crosswalk or a vehicle in the intersection after driving past a yield sign without stopping, such collision shall be deemed prima facie evidence of his failure to yield the right of way. (NYSVT Sect 1142 (b))

The area circled shows a yield senario
The area circled shows a yield senario

According to NYSVT Law Sect 1231 in reference to bicycles..

1231. Traffic laws apply to persons riding bicycles or skating or gliding on in-line skates. Every person riding a bicycle or skating or gliding on in-line skates upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this title, except as to special regulations in this article and except as to those provisions of this title which by their nature can have no application.

My pet peeve may seem silly. The fact that people stop when they aren’t required  is not as scary or serious as the drivers that don’t yield right of way or stop when required.


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