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NYS Vehicle & Traffic Law Excerpts

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These excerpts are provided for information only and NOT as the basis for legal or judicial determinations.  ALWAYS verify them against the most recent available copy of the law.  The entire Vehicle and Traffic Law, sorted by section number, is available from the New York State Legislative Bill Drafting Commission. (scroll down to VAT) external link

Contents  

Article 26 Right of way
Section 1140 Vehicle approaching or entering intersection.
Section 1141 Vehicle turning left.
Section 1142 Vehicle entering stop or yield intersection.
Section 1143 Vehicle entering roadway.
Section 1144 Operation of vehicles on approach of authorized emergency vehicles.
Section 1144-a Operation of vehicles when approaching a parked, stopped or standing authorized emergency vehicle.
Section 1145 Vehicle approaching rotary traffic circle or island.
Section 1146 Drivers to exercise due care.
Section 1146-a Approaching horses.
Article 29 Special stops required
Section 1175 Obstructing traffic at intersection.

§ 1140. Vehicle approaching or entering intersection. (a) The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection shall yield the right of way to a vehicle which has entered the intersection from a different highway.
(b) When two vehicles enter an intersection from different highways at approximately the same time the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right of way to the vehicle on the right.
(c) The right of way rules declared in subsections (a) and (b) are modified at through highways and otherwise as stated in this title.

§ 1141. Vehicle turning left. The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection or into an alley, private road, or driveway shall yield the right of way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.

§ 1142. Vehicle entering stop or yield intersection. (a) Except when directed to proceed by a police officer, every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop sign shall stop as required by section eleven hundred seventy-two and after having stopped shall yield the right of way to any vehicle which has entered the intersection from another highway or which is approaching so closely on said highway as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time when such driver is moving across or within the intersection.
(b) The driver of a vehicle approaching a yield sign shall in obedience to such sign slow down to a speed reasonable for existing conditions, or shall stop if necessary as provided in section eleven hundred seventy-two, and shall yield the right of way to any pedestrian legally crossing the roadway on which he is driving, and to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time such driver is moving across or within the intersection. Provided, however, that if such driver is involved in a collision with a pedestrian in a crosswalk or a vehicle in the intersection after driving past a yield sign without stopping, such collision shall be deemed prima facie evidence of his failure to yield the right of way.

§ 1143. Vehicle entering roadway. The driver of a vehicle about to enter or cross a roadway from any place other than another roadway shall yield the right of way to all vehicles approaching on the roadway to be entered or crossed.

§ 1144. Operation of vehicles on approach of authorized emergency vehicles. (a) Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle equipped with at least one lighted lamp exhibiting red light visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of five hundred feet to the front of such vehicle other than a police vehicle or bicycle when operated as an authorized emergency vehicle, and when audible signals are sounded from any said vehicle by siren, exhaust whistle, bell, air-horn or electronic equivalent; the driver of every other vehicle shall yield the right of way and shall immediately drive to a position parallel to, and as close as possible to the right-hand edge or curb of the roadway, or to either edge of a one-way roadway three or more lanes in width, clear of any intersection, and shall stop and remain in such position until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed, unless otherwise directed by a police officer.
(b) This section shall not operate to relieve the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with reasonable care for all persons using the highway.

§ 1144-a. Operation of vehicles when approaching a parked, stopped or standing authorized emergency vehicle or hazard vehicle. (a) Every operator of a motor vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with an authorized emergency vehicle which is parked, stopped or standing on the shoulder or any portion of such highway and such authorized emergency vehicle is displaying one or more red or combination red and white lights pursuant to the provisions of paragraph two of subdivision forty-one of section three hundred seventy-five of this chapter or is displaying one or more blue, combination blue and red or combination blue, red and white lights pursuant to the provisions of subparagraph b of paragraph four of subdivision forty-one of section three hundred seventy-five of this chapter. For operators of motor vehicles on parkways or controlled access highways, such due care shall include, but not be limited to, moving from a lane which contains or is immediately adjacent to the shoulder where such authorized emergency vehicle displaying one or more red, blue or white or any combination of red and white lights or blue or combination blue and red or combination blue, red and white lights pursuant to the provisions of paragraph two or subparagraph b of paragraph four, as applicable of subdivision forty-one of section three hundred seventy-five of this chapter is parked, stopped or standing to another lane, provided that such movement otherwise complies with the requirements of this chapter including, but not limited to, the provisions of sections eleven hundred ten of this title and eleven hundred twenty-eight of this title.
(b) Every operator of a motor vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with a hazard vehicle which is parked, stopped or standing on the shoulder or on any portion of such highway and such hazard vehicle is displaying one or more amber lights pursuant to the provisions of paragraph three of subdivision forty-one of section three hundred seventy-five of this chapter. For operators of motor vehicles on parkways or controlled access highways, such due care shall include, but not be limited to, moving from a lane which contains or is immediately adjacent to the shoulder where such hazard vehicle displaying one or more amber lights pursuant to the provisions of paragraph three of subdivision forty-one of section three hundred seventy-five of this chapter is parked, stopped or standing to another lane, provided that such movement otherwise complies with the requirements of this chapter including, but not limited to, the provisions of sections eleven hundred ten and eleven hundred twenty-eight of this title.

§ 1145. Vehicle approaching rotary traffic circle or island. Except where a traffic control device directs otherwise, the driver of a vehicle approaching or about to enter a rotary traffic circle or island shall yield the right of way to any vehicle already traveling on such circle or around such island.

§ 1146. Drivers to exercise due care. (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law to the contrary, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any bicyclist, pedestrian, or domestic animal upon any roadway and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary. For the purposes of this section, the term "domestic animal" shall mean domesticated sheep, cattle, and goats which are under the supervision and control of a pedestrian.
(b) 1. A driver of a motor vehicle who causes physical injury as defined in article ten of the penal law to a pedestrian or bicyclist while failing to exercise due care in violation of subdivision (a) of this section, shall be guilty of a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than fifteen days or by both such fine and imprisonment.
2. If such driver of a motor vehicle causes physical injury while failing to exercise due care in violation of subdivision (a) of this section, then there shall be a rebuttable presumption that, as a result of such failure to exercise due care, such person operated the motor vehicle in a manner that caused such physical injury.
(c) 1. A driver of a motor vehicle who causes serious physical injury as defined in article ten of the penal law to a pedestrian or bicyclist while failing to exercise due care in violation of subdivision (a) of this section, shall be guilty of a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of not more than seven hundred fifty dollars or by imprisonment for not more than fifteen days or by required participation in a motor vehicle accident prevention course pursuant to paragraph (e-1) of subdivision two of section 65.10 of the penal law or by any combination of such fine, imprisonment or course, and by suspension of a license or registration pursuant to subparagraph (xiv) or (xv) of paragraph b of subdivision two of section five hundred ten of this chapter.
2. If such driver of a motor vehicle causes serious physical injury while failing to exercise due care in violation of subdivision (a) of this section, then there shall be a rebuttable presumption that, as a result of such failure to exercise due care, such person operated the motor vehicle in a manner that caused such serious physical injury.
(d) A violation of subdivision (b) or (c) of this section committed by a person who has previously been convicted of any violation of such subdivisions within the preceding five years, shall constitute a class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars in addition to any other penalties provided by law.
(e) Nothing contained in this section shall prevent the court from imposing any other authorized disposition, including a period of community service.

§ 1146-a. Approaching horses. 1. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law to the contrary, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any horse being ridden or led along a public highway.
2. Every driver of a vehicle shall approach a horse being ridden or led along a public highway at a reasonable and prudent speed so as to avoid frightening such horse and shall pass the horse at a reasonable distance.
3. No driver of a vehicle shall sound the horn when approaching or passing a horse on a public highway.

§ 1175. Obstructing traffic at intersection. When vehicular traffic is stopped on the opposite side of an intersection, no person shall drive a vehicle into such intersection, except when making a turn unless there is adequate space on the opposite side of the intersection to accommodate the vehicle he is driving notwithstanding the indication of a traffic control signal which would permit him to proceed.

Rules of the Road