What is a right-of-way violation?

On Behalf of | Oct 29, 2022 | Traffic Violations |

Today’s cars, trucks and SUVs are larger and heavier that those of the past. In fact, according to Bankrate, most passenger vehicles on the road today weigh between 2,600 and 5,500 pounds. The sheer weight of these vehicles makes them dangerous to other drivers, passengers and pedestrians.

Both to keep traffic moving smoothly and to protect vulnerable individuals, some vehicles must stop or yield to allow others to pass. A right-of-way infraction happens when a driver fails to yield. The severity of the traffic offense, though, depends on what the at-fault driver did not yield to.

Other cars

Drivers in other cars have the most protection, as they are surrounded by reinforced metal cages. While failing to yield the right of way to other cars is a traffic offense, it also is a comparatively minor one. Indeed, your fine for a garden-variety failure to yield may be under $100.


Unlike other drivers, pedestrians have virtually no protection during collisions with motor vehicles. Therefore, not yielding the right of way to pedestrians is a serious matter in the Tar Heel State. If you violate the law, you might have to pay a steep fine. Furthermore, state officials are likely to assess demerit points to your driving record.

Emergency vehicles

Patrol cars, firetrucks, ambulances and other emergency vehicles are often in a hurry to reach their destinations. Everyone has an interest in keeping these vehicles moving, of course. Like with not yielding to pedestrians, failure to yield to an emergency vehicle can trigger costly fines and demerit points.

Ultimately, if a right-of-way violation puts your driving privileges in jeopardy, it is advisable to explore all possible defenses and any other available options for protecting your license.