Is It Illegal to Run a Yellow Traffic Light in Michigan?
Let's face it, we're all really busy. We burn the candle at both ends and rarely have time to sleep. We're on the go and sometimes that means that we blow thru yellow signals at stoplights.
A lot of people think that if it's yellow that you can push that gas and blow thru it as long as it's not turning red. Noboby wants to sit at the light for 3 minutes or more waiting for it to change. We have somewhere to be, move it!
Now that I am damn near fifty years old my driving habits have changed. I budget my time better nowadays and leave earlier for destinations so I don't have to rush around. That wasn't always the case, yellow light to me meant green.
Let's take a look at the laws in Michigan. I'm going to help you try to avoid getting a ticket or maybe even getting in an accident.
I got some clarification from the MSP. It was a quetsion asked on their website. According to the Michigan State Police:
Question: My husband just got a ticket for running a yellow light. How is that possible? I thought as long as you didn't speed up, you could go through a yellow.
Answer: MCL 257.612 states in part, " ...vehicular traffic facing the signal shall stop before entering the nearest crosswalk at the intersection or at a limit line when marked, but if the stop cannot be made in safety, a vehicle may be driven cautiously through the intersection."
The bottom line is, unless it is dangerous to stop, you must stop when the light turns yellow. The only exception is when you are preparing to make a left turn and you are already within the intersection. You can complete your left turn after oncoming traffic has stopped, even if the light turns red.
The answer is NO. You need to stop if you can, safely upon a yellow light as you approach the nearest crosswalk. If you can't, proceed with caution. The days of "hell yeah" I'm gonna make that light are over for me. I think back to how many times I have pressed the gas to make the light and made it but could've gotten a ticket or even worse hit someone trying to cross the road.
I hope this clears up some confusion about the legalities about running a yellow light in Michigan. I wish you safe travels.