CMV Law: Some Uniform Rules Of The Road

Stopping, Standing, or Parking

Stopping, standing or parking a vehicle is prohibited except at the certain locations specified within the statute, except “when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic, or in compliance with law or the directions of a police officer or official traffic-control device.  For example, stopping standing or parking is prohibited on a sidewalk or crosswalk, within an intersection, on a controlled-access highway.  The statute lists numerous other areas where stopping is prohibited, restricted, or time-limited. Reference to its specific language is necessary whenever addressing a fact pattern which includes a stopped vehicle. The statute has been held to past constitutional muster and not void for vagueness.  Stopping in a prohibited location may constitute negligence per se.

Approaching and Entering Intersections

This code section governs two vehicles approaching and entering an intersection, providing the general rule that the vehicle approaching on the left shall give right of way to the vehicle approaching from the right in the absence of traffic control devices to the contrary.  Failure to comply with this code section may be charged as negligence per se. The rule has been interpreted to extend to situations where the two vehicles are not arriving at the intersection at exactly the same moment, but where the distances between the vehicles and their relative speeds and positions show that the driver approaching from the left should reasonably apprehend a collision will occur unless he yields the right of way.
There are, however, several exceptions to this general rule. First, when there is a signal, but it is out of operation, each driver must treat the inoperable signal as a stop sign. Drivers do not have to stop “if the traffic signal is properly signed as a pedestrian hybrid beacon and operating in the unactivated dark mode.” Further, when approaching an intersection where one road terminates, i.e., a “T” intersection, the driver on the terminating road must yield to traffic on the through road, whether such traffic is coming from the right or left.
While the right of way rules set forth above typically govern, there is case law that creates a duty on a driver to observe and heed an obvious peril, such as approaching traffic which obviously will result in collision should he fail to slow.

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