Many motorists are not sure just where to stop when they come to a stop sign, yield sign or a traffic light.
Paragraphs 1142 and 1172 of New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law address this subject. Except when directed to proceed by a police officer, every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop sign or a red traffic signal shall stop according to the following:
-If there is a clearly marked stop line (the thick, white line on your side of the road at an intersection, also called a stop bar) you must stop prior to this line.
-If you are waiting for a red signal, you must remain behind the stop line until the signal changes. If there are no pedestrians on the crosswalk, you may pull closer to the intersection to execute a right on red, if it is not prohibited and if it is safe to do so.
-If the intersection is controlled by a stop sign, after stopping at the stop line, you may proceed across the intersection when it is safe to do so, having yielded the right of way to pedestrians legally crossing the road and to vehicles already in the intersection or so close as to constitute a hazard if you proceed.
-If no stop line or stop bar exists, than you must stop before entering the crosswalk on your side of the intersection.
-In the event there is also no crosswalk, you must stop at the nearest point of the intersection where you have a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway. After having stopped, you must yield the right of way to any pedestrian legally crossing the roadway, and to any vehicle which has entered the intersection from another highway or which is approaching so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard if you proceed.
-If the intersection is controlled by a yield sign rather than a stop sign, you must slow down to a speed reasonable for existing conditions, or stop if necessary, and if required for safety. You must yield the right of way to any pedestrian legally crossing the roadway, and to any vehicle already in the intersection or so close as to be considered a hazard if you proceed.
Whenever at least one of the roads at an intersection is a state highway, it is normal that stop lines are part of the pavement markings. Sometimes the stop line is some distance from the intersection. This is to permit large vehicles enough room to complete a turn. When motorists go beyond the stop line to wait for the signal, it defeats this purpose, and could result in a ticket.
Find much more information on NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law and traffic safety on the Traffic Safety Board's website at: www.franklincony.org.