Jury Instruction When Defendant Proceeds on Green Light Without Due Care


Even if a driver has a green light, they must still give way to vehicles that are lawfully in the intersection and who have not been able to completely cross the street. A motorist who enters an intersection recklessly without looking out for traffic is guilty of negligence.

In Maryland, a motorist may be guilty of negligence even though he or she has a green light. Take a moment and digest that. Because few seem to understand this.

Left turn cases are tough. But there are situations where the plaintiff can prevail on a left-hand turn case. We seek this jury instruction where the Plaintiff is taking a left-hand turn on an orange light or a light that just turned red. For counsel arguing this instruction to the trial judge, use the following holdings from the cases below in making your argument:

The mere fact that driver has a green light does not relieve her from the duty of giving way to vehicles already lawfully in the intersection. Baltimore Transit Co. V. Presberry, 233 Md. 480, 226 A.2d 540 (1967).

When given the green light or any other signal to proceed, drivers must exercise reasonable care and caution to avoid running into any cars or pedestrians who have not been able to get completely across the street. Heffner v. Admiral Tax Serv., Inc., 196 Md. 465, 77 A.2d 127 (1950).

If a motorist enters an intersection recklessly without looking out for traffic in the intersection, he is guilty of negligence, even though he has the green light or other signals to proceed. Heffner v. Admiral Tax Serv., Inc., 196 Md. 465, 77 A.2d 127 (1950).

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