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Editorial: A yield sign sits at James Payton Blvd. and Old Birmingham Hwy. – and almost no one uses it correctly

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SYLACAUGA, Ala. – As Sylacauga residents, we all use the intersection of James Payton Blvd. and Old Birmingham Hwy. In fact, its one of the busiest intersections in town.

But recently, almost no one is using it correctly.

Within the last calendar year, a ‘YIELD’ sign has been placed at the intersection for drivers turning right onto James Payton Blvd. Often times the sign is ignored, or drivers turning right simply do not know what to do when they see the upside down, red and white, triangular sign. Many drivers turning left from Old Birmingham Hwy. will stop in the turn lane to simply avoid collision, because cars turning right are not obeying the sign.

Alabama Code Section 32-5A-113 says:

“The driver of a vehicle approaching a yield sign shall in obedience to such sign slow down to a speed reasonable for the existing conditions and, if required for safety to stop, shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or, if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering it.  After slowing or stopping, the driver shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another roadway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time such driver is moving across or within the intersection or junction of roadways.  Provided, however, that if such a driver is involved in a collision with a vehicle in the intersection or junction of roadways after driving past a yield sign without stopping, such collision shall be deemed prima facie evidence of his or her failure to yield right-of-way.”

Drivers turning right onto James Payton Blvd. must yield to drivers turning left off of Old Birmingham Hwy. These drivers turning left have the right-of-way at this intersection not only for safety reasons, but to increase the flow of traffic for vehicles turning left from James Payton Blvd. to Old Birmingham Hwy.


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