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Failure to Yield

Failure to Yield Charges: Understanding Your Legal Obligations

When approaching a road or intersection, drivers have an obligation to yield to other road users; otherwise, they risk fines and other consequences related to "failure to yield" charges.

One's own safety as well as the safety of other drivers is at risk when they fail to give way to other drivers. There might be dangerous repercussions if there isn't a clear traffic flow, and those who obstruct it face harsh fines.


"Failure to yield" charges are usually imposed when cars enter a roadway from another road or driveway, or when they enter an intersection after stopping at a stop sign, without yielding to other vehicles and/or pedestrians.

From province to province, the exact definition of "failure to yield" may differ slightly.

The following is how Ontario's Highway Traffic Act defines "failure to yield":

136 (1) Every motorist or streetcar operator who approaches an intersection's stop sign,

(a) must come to a stop at a stop sign or, in the absence of one, just before stepping onto the closest crosswalk or, in the absence of one, right before entering the junction; and

(b) give way to oncoming traffic in the intersection or coming from another highway so closely that continuing would provide an imminent risk. After yielding the right of way, you are free to continue.

Right of way while coming from a private road into a highway

139 (1) Any automobile or streetcar operator who enters a highway from a driveway or private road must give the right of way to any oncoming traffic that is approaching from close enough to the roadway to create an immediate hazard.

Penalties for not producing results

If you are found guilty of "failure to yield," you could be punished with one or more of the following:

Demerit Points: 3 (apart from when someone crosses the street without yielding to a pedestrian)

Driving Record: an offense that appears on your record and that your insurance provider may use against you


An observant officer will usually issue a "failure to yield" penalty, as opposed to a speeding ticket, when equipment may verify your car's speed. An officer may choose to charge a driver for "failure to yield." Thus, a key part of arguing against the allegations is a courtroom assessment of the officer's evidence.

The Initial Measure to Counter the Allegations - Seek legal assistance from the skilled and knowledgeable team of attorneys, former police officers, and legal experts at RRM Law. They are aware of the charging officers' enforcement strategies and the court's cross-examination procedures, so you can grasp the proceedings and get the best result.

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