Legal Question in Traffic Law in Ohio

turning left on yellow light

I received a ticket for 'running a red light' while turning left. However, the light did not turn red until I passed under it and was yellow as I turned. What is the Ohio law for going through a yellow light and should I fight my ticket?

Asked on 3/25/09, 12:37 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Richard Cline Office of the Ohio Public Defender

Re: turning left on yellow light

Under Ohio law, you are legally permitted to enter the intersection on a yellow caution light. Once you have entered the intersection, you may complete the left turn even if the light turns red while you are waiting for on-coming traffic to clear. The issue is whether you had gained control of the intersection while the light was still yellow.

You can certainly fight the citation. One factor you may wish to consider is whether it is economical to do so. Even if you hired an attorney on a flat fee basis (as opposed to an hourly rate) you are likely to invest several hundred (if not a thousand or more) in attorney fees. No attorney can guarantee that you will win the case. Therefore, you might be spending several hundred to over a thousand dollars and still end up guilty of the ticket.

That might make sense if you drive for a living, have lots of points on your license now, or for some other reason simply cannot afford to be convicted of this offense.

I hope this helps you make a decision. If you would like to call me to discuss it further, please feel free.


Rich Cline

Read more
Answered on 3/25/09, 12:45 pm

Related Questions & Answers

More Traffic Law questions and answers in Ohio