How to Fight a Ticket for failure to yield in New York City


What Does “Failure to Yield” Mean?

“Failure to yield” refers to situations in which a driver does not correctly allow the right of way to another vehicle  or person. The New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) outlines commonsense rules with respect to who has the right of way in various traffic situations. Violations of these “right of way” laws are often referred to as “failure to yield” violations.

What Are Some Examples of Failure to Yield the Right of Way?

In New York City, pedestrians typically have the right of way at intersections and marked crosswalks. They do not, however, have the right to randomly cross streets in the middle of blocks and must exercise good judgment when entering the roadway regardless of where they do so. Drivers still must exercise caution around pedestrians, but if an accident occurs as a result, pedestrian behavior might be a mitigating circumstance with regard to blame.

Right of way also applies to vehicles. For example, unless traffic signals indicate otherwise, when taking a left turn, oncoming traffic has the right of way. Similarly, when merging across traffic lanes, the existing traffic in the lane has the right of way even if it means a driver must stop before merging.

For the specific legal language regarding right of way violations, the New York VTL Article 26 covers nine specific areas for failure to yield:

§1140 – Failed to yield the right-of-way when approaching an intersection
§1141 – Failed to yield the right-of-way when turning left
§1142 – Failed to yield right-of-way at a Stop Sign or Yield Intersection
§1143 – Failed to yield right-of-way when entering roadway
§1144 – Failed to yield right-of-way to an emergency vehicle
§1145 – Failed to yield at a Rotary Traffic Circle
§1146 – Failed to exercise due care for bike/pedestrian or animal
§1146 – Approaching horses

What Are the Penalties for Failure to Yield in New York City?

Violating a right of way law can include punishments in three different ways:

  • 3 points on a license for each violation.

  • A fine

  • Processing fees

Points on a license are cumulative. If you receive eleven or more points on your license within an 18-month window, your license can be suspended for a period of time based on the type of violation.

Fines for failure to yield can range between $0 and $150 for a first offense, higher for each subsequent offense within 18 months, potentially up to $1000.

In New York City, a driver is always assessed a surcharge fee of $88 or $93, depending on the violation. In addition, a driver responsibility assessment (DRA) fee may be imposed if you have six or more points on your license. The DRA starts at $100 per year for three years, plus $25 per point over six.

Can You Fight A Failure to Yield Ticket in New York City?

Given the potential punishments for a failure to yield ticket, you should always consult a New York traffic attorney for advice. Traffic attorneys can help in several ways, from sometimes reducing the number of points being assessed or getting a fine reduced to potentially having a ticket entirely dismissed.




With our 60 years of combined experience working with the New York Legal System and Most NY Traffic Courts,  our team of local traffic lawyers will defend your tickets saving you money and time.  We will aggressively contest your violations and seek to reduce your sentence, lower fines, and avoid getting points in order to prevent suspension or revocation of your license as well as increased insurance premiums

Michael Beer