Failure To Yield

Failure to Yield Right of Way – Texas Transportation Code § 545.151

There are several traffic offenses in the State of Texas that fall under the category of failure to yield. Chapters 544 and 545 of the Texas Transportation Code create rules of the road that control the flow of traffic. Failing to yield the right of way may result in a traffic ticket. Understanding failure to yield in Texas can help you fight a ticket and protect your rights.

What is failure to yield in Texas?

Failure to yield in Texas is proceeding into an intersection or through traffic in violation of a law or signal that requires the driver to surrender the right of way. Laws determine who may proceed first in traffic. When a driver assumes the right of way when they are not allowed, it is failure to yield.

The most common citation for failure to yield is Texas Transportation Code § 545.151.

Texas Failure to Yield Offenses

A person facing a failure to yield offense may be charged under several traffic laws including:

·      § 545.151 – Vehicle Approaching or Entering Intersection

  • 545.151(a) – A vehicle approaching an intersection must yield immediate use of the intersection if there is a traffic control device or a yield/right-of-way sign, or if the traffic signal isn’t working. The driver may proceed when it is safe to do so without interfering with other traffic
  • 545.151(b) – If there is no traffic signal, the driver must stop and yield to traffic within the intersection, or traffic close enough to the intersection to be a hazard. They may proceed when it is safe to do so without interfering with other traffic
  • 545.151(c) – On an unpaved street or road, the driver must yield to traffic already in the intersection

·      § 545.152 – Turning Into a Driveway

  • A vehicle turning into a driveway or public alley must yield to oncoming traffic

·      § 545.153(c) – Signs at an Intersection

  • When there is a yield sign at an intersection, the driver must slow to a reasonable speed and yield the right of way to any vehicle that is an immediate hazard in the intersection
  • If a collision occurs, there is a presumption that the driver failed to yield the right of way

·      § 545.154 – Feeder/Highway Access Road

  • Drivers on a feeder or highway access road must yield to vehicles entering or departing the highway

·      § 545.155 – Leaving a Driveway

  • Vehicles leaving a driveway must yield to traffic already in the roadway

·      § 545.156 – Yielding to Emergency Vehicles

  • A driver must yield to an oncoming emergency vehicle
  • They must pull over to the right and stop until the emergency vehicle passes

·      § 545.061 – Multiple Lane Roadway

  • On a road with three or more lanes, a driver must yield to a vehicle entering the same direction of travel from the left

Where do you have to stop at a yield sign?

At a yield sign, you must stop before the crosswalk or the stop line. If there is no line, you must stop at the place nearest the intersection where you can see traffic.

(Source: Texas Transportation Code § 544.010)

Texas Pedestrian Failure to Yield Offenses

Failure to yield offenses involving pedestrians include:

  • 552.005(a)(2) – Pedestrian failing to yield the right of way when an overhead crossing or tunnel is provided
  • 552.005(a)(1) – Pedestrian failing to yield the right of way at a location other than a crosswalk

Penalties for Failure to Yield

What are the penalties for failure to yield in Texas?

Penalties for failure to yield in Houston include:

  • Fines
  • Class C misdemeanor conviction
  • An entry on your traffic record
  • Two points on your license, three points if an accident occurs
  • Potential civil liability
  • Consequences for employment applications, college applications, volunteering, military service, immigration, and other opportunities

What is the punishment for failure to yield in Houston?

The Houston Municipal Courts publish a schedule of fines for traffic violations including failure to yield. The fine may range from $214-$269 depending on the exact offense charged. If failing to yield causes an accident, the fine is $309.

Offenses in Harris County Justice Courts follow their own fines schedule for traffic tickets.

(last updated January, 2020)

Failure to Yield Texas FAQs

Who goes first at a stop in Texas?

The driver who goes first at a stop in Texas is the driver who is already in or entering the intersection. If both drivers arrive at the same time, the driver on the right goes first.

Is failure to yield a minor traffic violation?

Failure to yield is a Class C misdemeanor. As a misdemeanor, it is a serious traffic violation that may result in fines, a criminal record and points on your license. Although jail time is not a possible penalty, failing to yield is a traffic and criminal violation with serious consequences.

Who goes first without stop signs?

The vehicle on the right goes first if there are no stop signs. Under Texas law § 545.151(d), drivers approaching a roadway without a light must stop and yield to the vehicle on the immediate right or a vehicle approaching from the right that is a hazard in the intersection.

Does a left turn yield to straight traffic in Texas?

In Texas, a driver turning left must yield to traffic that is traveling straight forward. When the driver can execute the turn safely, they may proceed. A traffic signal may direct oncoming traffic to stop to facilitate the turn.

Fighting a Failure to Yield Ticket in Houston

Can you fight a failure to yield ticket in Houston?

Yes, you can fight a failure to yield ticket in Houston. You have the right to a hearing in front of a neutral jury.

How do you fight a failure to yield ticket in Houston?

To fight a failure to yield ticket in Houston, you must plead not guilty at your first court hearing. The court sets the matter for trial. The trial proceeds using court rules of civil procedure and evidence. You have the right to the assistance of a licensed attorney to represent you.

What are my options if I receive a ticket for failure to yield in Houston?

If you receive a ticket for failure to yield in Houston, your options are:

  • Plead guilty and pay the fine – You face all the same penalties as though you were found guilty at a trial
  • Plead no contest – A no contest plea is like a guilty plea, but it is not an admission of fault
  • Go to trial – The state must prove the charges against you. You have a right to hear the evidence and argue your innocence
  • Ask for a deferral – In exchange for giving up your trial rights and paying a fine, you can avoid having the conviction appear on your record using a deferred disposition
  • Negotiate with the prosecutor – The state’s attorney can offer a plea bargain to resolve the charges. However, it is within their discretion, and you must present persuasive information that calls the facts into question or explains extenuating circumstances
  • Motion the court – If law enforcement violated your constitutional rights, the court may suppress evidence gathered in violation of your rights

It can be hard to know what to do when you receive a failure to yield ticket. An experienced attorney can help you determine the best course of action for your circumstances.

What are common defenses to failure to yield?

Common defenses to failure to yield are that the driver did yield, or the driver had the right of way. A failure to yield ticket often comes down the opinion of law enforcement. They may not have had a good vantage point or been aware of all the circumstances. A failure to yield investigation can be factually complex with multiple vantage points and opinions. Defending against a ticket involves fully exploring these factual questions, critiquing state evidence and presenting arguments to the court.

How can an attorney for failing to yield help me?

An attorney for failing to yield can help you investigate the ticket you have received, respond appropriately, and fight the ticket in the best way. They can help you understand what you are charged with and the potential ramifications. Using their experience, they help you decide whether to plead guilty, take your case to trial, negotiate a plea or request a deferral. In court, they speak on your behalf and represent you in all aspects of trial.

What happens when an accident involves failure to yield?

Texas law § 545.151(f) creates a presumption of failing to yield when a driver without the right of way is in a collision. Failing to yield may be grounds for negligence and financial compensation for accident victims. However, there may be multiple causes of an accident and grounds for civil fault.

Attorney for Failure to Yield Ticket

If you have been charged with failure to yield, our attorneys can help. Resolving a traffic ticket or city code violation should not be difficult. Let us take the fear out of the process. We work fast to get results for a fair price. Call our team today at (713) 322-7410 or message us for your free consultation.

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