Crash Law – Flashing Signals

A car crash often results if a driver fails to obey a traffic signal. As a personal injury lawyer, I can attest to that.

Everyone knows that a green light means you can proceed through an intersection. Similarly, everyone realizes that you must stop for a solid red light. Only after the light turns green again can you continue on your way.

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But what about a traffic signal that features a continuously FLASHING red light?

Under New Jersey law, a flashing red light requires “drivers to come to a complete stop before entering or crossing the intersection. The driver shall proceed only after yielding the right of way to all traffic on the intersecting street ….”

In other words, the effect of a flashing red traffic signal is very similar to that of a stop sign.

(Actually, the law regarding a stop sign is a bit stricter. The stop sign law also requires a driver to not cross an intersection “unless he has first brought his vehicle …do a complete stop at a point WITHIN FIVE FEET OF THE NEAREST CROSSWALK OR STOP LINE marked upon the pavement at the near side of the intersecting street.” )

Vigilance Will Prevent a Crash

Drivers who disregard these statutes have caused many a car crash. Under the law, a driver who does so will likely be found at fault for the accident and be held responsible for any injuries that the other driver suffers.

Speaking about traffic signals, what about a flashing AMBER (yellow) light? What does that signify?

New Jersey law states that the presence of a traffic signal with a flashing amber light indicates the presence of danger. A driver who approaches such an intersection must proceed only with caution. If a driver fails to proceed with caution under these circumstances, a jury can hold him or her responsible for any injuries caused to someone else in any ensuing traffic crash.

(A flashing yellow light should not be confused with a solid one. A solid yellow light means you must stop before entering the intersection or nearest crosswalk. However, if your vehicle is so close that you can’t safely stop, you may proceed.)

Obviously, it is important that one remain vigilant when driving. It only takes ignoring one traffic signal to cause a major car crash.

If another driver disregarded a traffic signal and injured you, consult an experienced personal injury lawyer immediately. Legal deadlines exist. You don’t want to lose your potential case because you missed a time limitation.


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