In Florida, “failure to yield” means that a driver didn’t slow down or stop when they should have, such as when another vehicle or a pedestrian had the right of way.

Because drivers are expected to know the laws regarding driving, claiming they didn’t know they had to yield will not excuse someone from being ticketed.

How Is Failure to Yield to Other Vehicles Defined in Florida?

Here are several of the situations in which Florida law requires drivers to yield to other drivers.

  • When the driver sees a yield sign that pertains to the lane they’re in, they need to slow down and potentially stop before going through the crosswalk or intersection. Vehicles that are not in the yield lane have the right of way.
  • Drivers are required to yield to buses that are heading in the same direction and which have signaled their intent to enter back into traffic, usually after a stop to pick up or drop off passengers.
  • Any left-turning driver has to yield to vehicles coming from the opposite direction. They also need to yield to any vehicle that passes on the left of the left-turning vehicle. If someone is turning left to accomplish a U-turn (where no signage forbids it), they must yield to drivers who are turning right in the same direction.
  • If two drivers approach an intersection from different roads, the right-turning vehicle has the right of way, and the left-turning vehicle must yield. Or, if one vehicle is already in the intersection before the other vehicle arrives there, the second vehicle needs to yield to the one already in the intersection.
  • If a driver is about to enter a public road that doesn’t have a traffic control device (stoplight or stop sign) of some sort to guide their entrance, they need to yield to all oncoming traffic.
  • At a four-way stop, usually the car that stops first is the one with the right of way to go first. But if two cars stop at the same time, the car on the right goes first. If the two cars are on opposite sides of the intersection and are both going straight, they can proceed at the same time. But if one is going straight and the other is signaling a left turn, the turning vehicle must yield to the one going straight.
  • At a two-way stop, if the vehicles are opposite each other, the same rules apply as in four-way stops. But if one vehicle is traveling in a lane without a stop, they have the right of way, and the driver at the stop sign must yield.
  • Drivers coming out of a driveway, alley, or side of the road (such as when they’re done parking) must yield to drivers already on the road.
  • When approaching a roundabout, drivers must always yield to drivers already in the roundabout.

Can I Be Cited for Failure to Yield to Pedestrians/People on the Roads and Bicyclists?

Yes. It’s important to understand how Florida law views pedestrians and bicyclists and know what their rights are.

  • If a driver approaches a lane with a yield sign, and there are pedestrians in the crosswalk, the driver in the yield lane is legally obligated to stop for them.
  • Right of way must be given to workers or flag persons involved in road construction and maintenance. The driver is notified of the workers’ presence by the flag person, warning sign, or some kind of device that warns drivers about road work ahead.
  • Drivers coming out of a driveway, alley, or side of the road (such as when they’re done parking) must yield to pedestrians and people biking on the sidewalks being crossed.
  • Note that in Florida law, a bicycle is considered a vehicle when on the road and has the same rights and responsibilities as drivers. However, bicyclists also have the right to ride on sidewalks and in crosswalks, at which point they legally are considered pedestrians, and drivers need to yield to them.

What Kind of Penalties Can Be Charged for a Failure to Yield?

In Florida, a failure to yield citation from an incident that didn’t result in an accident or injury involving another person can have a fine up to $500. But the citation can cause the driver’s license to be suspended, which adds four points to the driver’s license. That, in turn, can increase the driver’s auto insurance rates. 

If the failure to yield caused an accident and/or injury to others, that fine can increase dramatically. There could also be additional charges beyond the failure to yield, such as reckless or careless driving. 

Is It Ever Possible to Dispute a Failure to Yield Citation?

Yes, it’s possible to dispute a failure to yield citation. This is where it’s useful to involve an attorney who’s experienced in working with traffic ticket defense cases because they’ll understand the laws and the rights of the driver.

There are some specific reasons why fighting a failure to yield citation could be successful:

  • If the driver is avoiding harm’s way (for example, swerving to miss a large animal that runs into the road).
  • Another driver is either driving recklessly or in some way breaking the law, and the cited driver failed to yield to protect themself.
  • There’s poor visibility that causes either the lines on the road or the yield signs to be difficult to see.

What Should I Do If I Think I Was Improperly Cited for Failure to Stop?

Call me as soon as possible at 305-4-PADRON (305-472-3766). I have extensive experience fighting traffic tickets of all kinds and am ready to help you.