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Avoiding intersections or traffic control devices

June 12, 2010
By Dave Werner, Franklin County Traffic Safety Board

You are in a hurry and as you approach an intersection where you want to make a right turn you see the light change to red. Not wanting to wait for the next green signal, you cut through the parking lot of the corner gas station.

You just violated paragraph 1225 of NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law Avoiding intersection or traffic control device. This law prohibits driving across or upon a sidewalk, driveway, parking lot, or private property, or to drive off a roadway in order to avoid an intersection or traffic control device, such as a traffic light or stop sign.

In a recent "speakout" in the Press-Republican, a reader inquired as to whether there was a law that prohibited this practice. The reader stated he/she sees motorists cutting through a corner parking lot to avoid a red light quite often.

If you are lucky and don't get caught, you perhaps saved 45 seconds. Should you be stopped, you will be held up at least 5-10 minutes for processing plus the hassle of going to court to plead your case. If convicted, you get two points on your license, a fine for the first offence of $150 plus surcharges and/or up to 15 days in jail. Was it worth it?

To view this and all previous articles on NYS vehicle and traffic law, go to the Traffic Safety Board's website at and find the Traffic Safety Board from the pull-down menu of departments, then click on "Did You Know" articles which are listed alphabetically.



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