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Is there any law stating you must stop at a solid yellow light in Oregon?

Lebanon, OR |

I got pulled over yesterday for making a right hand turn with my blinker in advance, onto a 2 way street with a solid yellow light. The officer said that, and I quote "In Oregon, as opposed too other states a solid yellow light means you must stop." Is this true or was the officer just misinformed? He didn't write me a ticket and gave me a warning, but I was still curious about this matter.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. From 811.260

    (3) Steady circular yellow signal. A driver facing a steady circular yellow signal light is thereby warned that the related right of way is being terminated and that a red or flashing red light will be shown immediately. A driver facing the light shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, shall stop before entering the marked crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or if there is no marked crosswalk, then before entering the intersection. If a driver cannot stop in safety, the driver may drive cautiously through the intersection.

    (4) Steady yellow arrow signal. A driver facing a steady yellow arrow signal, alone or in combination with other signal indications, is thereby warned that the related right of way is being terminated. Unless entering the intersection to make a movement permitted by another signal, a driver facing a steady yellow arrow signal shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, shall stop before entering the marked crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or if there is no marked crosswalk, then before entering the intersection. If a driver cannot stop in safety, the driver may drive cautiously through the intersection.


  2. Take the warning as a gift. My colleague gave you the code section!


  3. In California, "[a] driver facing a steady circular yellow or yellow arrow signal is, by that signal, warned that the related green movement is ending or that a red indication will be shown immediately thereafter." Cal. Veh. Code § 21452.

    In Washington, "[v]ehicle operators facing a steady circular yellow or yellow arrow signal are thereby warned that the related green movement is being terminated or that a red indication will be exhibited immediately thereafter when vehicular traffic shall not enter the intersection. Vehicle operators shall stop for pedestrians who are lawfully within the intersection control area as required by RCW 46.61.235(1)." Wash. Rev. Code § 46.61.055.

    In Oregon, "[a] driver facing a steady circular yellow signal light is thereby warned that the related right of way is being terminated and that a red or flashing red light will be shown immediately. A driver facing the light shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, shall stop before entering the marked crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or if there is no marked crosswalk, then before entering the intersection. If a driver cannot stop in safety, the driver may drive cautiously through the intersection." Or. Rev. Stat. § 811.260.

    Apparently, we Oregon drivers need to be aware that when we are entering an intersection that is showing a yellow light, we are doing so because we could not stop in safety. Safety might include avoiding a rear-end collision by drivers from neighboring states that have laws written differently.

    Disclaimer: This posting is made available for general informational purposes only. There is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney author. This posting is not a substitute for competent legal advice. Only a licensed attorney that specializes in this area in your home state and with whom you have an attorney client relationship can provide legal advice to you. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and any advice depends on the particular factual circumstances of your case. The information and materials provided are general in nature.

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