The Traffic Stop: Traffic Control Signals

By MPD Officer Marla "Mo" Hawkinson
March 22, 2016

The bottom line on yellow lights: Entering an intersection while a yellow light is displayed is legal, but unsafe. A yellow light warns a Driver the red light is coming & ignoring warnings is dangerous. Take the time to look both directions at least once before entering the intersection; making this a habit will prevent a crash at some point.

Obviously, there are times when the traffic light changes after you are in the intersection and it would be impossible to stop at the appropriate place. Consider that depending upon the size of the vehicle load it may be difficult to stop prior to entering the intersection and therefore necessary to be more vigilant for traffic light changes. Inclement weather conditions are NOT an excuse for failure to stop as you should travel at a speed at which you may stop effectively. Until the traffic light changes to green, your vehicle should remain behind the crosswalk or stop line –whichever point is farthest from the traffic control device.

Finally, “creeping” into the intersection will not cause the light to change any faster, but blocking a crosswalk or entering the intersection while the light is red may earn you a ticket. (See last week’s post for more information on this.) In McPherson, disobeying a traffic signal is a moving violation punishable by a $60 fine and $75.50 court cost.

On Tuesdays, McPherson KS Police Department addresses a topic dealing with traffic enforcement in the City of McPherson. The “Traffic Stop” is organized by the Traffic Section of Patrol Bureau. We need suggestions for more topics to address! Please PRIVATE MESSAGE us your traffic enforcement questions unrelated to the addressed topic. Call us if ANY question requires an immediate answer on our non-emergency line: (620)245-1200.