How to make a right turn at a red light

  • Driving Coach
  • February 26, 2018

Most intersections in the United States allow drivers to turn right while the light is red. This is one way that traffic flows keep going and lines of cars from getting too long. Before you turn right on red, there are three critical steps to make sure you are doing it right and staying safe.

1. Always stop behind the white line

At every intersection, there is a white line. This is a point for drivers to know where they should stop at a red light. Ideally, this keeps the intersection clear for other drivers to move around and see better. The white line is also placed with enough space for pedestrians to have ample room to walk in the crosswalk and be seen by all drivers.

Stopping at the white line is required for all drivers, including those who want to turn right. When approaching the intersection, stop at the white line before proceeding to make sure that you are ready to complete the next two steps.

2. Take time to observe

The biggest reason that drivers need to stop behind the white line is to give them time to observe. If you are stopping properly, you will take time to look around. There are three main things to look for while stopped:

  • Signs– not every intersection allows you to turn right when the light is red. It is important that you look around at the posted signs to make sure you aren’t breaking the law. Others require a special signal specifically for drivers turning right. Don’t turn if this light is red since it means there are others with a green turn signal.
  • Pedestrians– Whether they are in the crosswalk already or getting ready to cross, pedestrians have the right of way. Do not drive into the crosswalk area if you see people there. It is illegal and creates a potentially dangerous situation for them.
  • Oncoming traffic- Stopping allows you to wait until there is an opening for you to pull in without slowing down traffic.

It doesn’t take long to look for these things while stopped, especially once you become experienced. Each one is very important and rushing through the intersection puts a lot of people in danger, including yourself.

3. Proceed with caution

Once you have taken time to observe, make sure you approach the turn with caution. Bicyclists are difficult to see and can quickly come up behind you. Pedestrians might try to run in front of you to cross before the light changes. Vehicles further up the road from you might be turning right or left into the lane you’re trying to enter. These situations are all common scenarios that happen fast if you are not paying close enough attention.

Once you turn into the lane, speed up to match the flow of traffic to prevent any other problematic situations.

Making the right-handed turn with these three steps will help you complete a successful move while avoiding any incident, injury, or lawbreaking.

How to make a right turn at a red light

Red lights – we all dread them. Waiting around, especially when you’re in a hurry, is never ideal. But, as you approach a red light to take a right hand turn with no sign stating “No Turn On Red”, you’re lucky enough not to have to participate in the waiting game. Before you make your turn around the corner, there are a few precautions you should take into consideration.

  1. Before you do anything you must obey the red light and come to a complete stop in the rightmost lane with your turn signal on. Make sure you stop behind the limit line (or crosswalk or intersection if there is no line). There’s no need to roll the stop and end up with a ticket or cause a collision.
  2. Yield to oncoming traffic, motorcyclists, and bikers. Most importantly, yield to pedestrians, as they have the right of away. Even if they are waiting for the walk sign, for their safety, wait to turn. If there is a heavy flow of traffic, you may be better off waiting until you have a green light. It’s important to be patient.
  3. Hug the corner but be mindful of bike lanes and bikers. As you look over your right shoulder with your signal on, get ready to turn and make sure there are no bikers sneaking up behind you. As you begin the turn, hug the right curb to avoid the next lane of traffic.

As you advance towards a red light, ready to make a right turn, remember these three key safety tips to properly approach a red light. Turning right on a red light sounds simple, but using these tips will ensure the safety of you and those around you.

Most drivers will make a right turn on a red traffic light when they have an opportunity to do so. But, where it is legal, how many know how to do it correctly?

How to make a right turn at a red light

Funny how speed cameras make motorists see red, yet they give the green light to intersection cameras.

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Most drivers will make a right turn on a red traffic light when they have an opportunity to do so.

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Drivers who wish to turn right on a solid red traffic light must first come to a complete stop before making such a turn. They must be aware of any vehicular, cycle, or pedestrian traffic approaching from the left or right side of the street. All such traffic has the right of way to proceed prior to any driver being able to make a right turn on the red light.

Are you able to turn right on a red? Back to video

When considering a right turn on a red light, drivers must also be aware of any cyclists or other vehicles that may creep into their blind spot.

Whenever there is a crash involving a driver who executes a right turn on a red light, the driver turning right will very likely be assessed total blame or at least partial blame. The law states that such a turn may only be made if it is safe to do so.

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Every time a driver makes a right turn on a red light, the driver is susceptible to increased liability exposure. It is best to avoid the right on red move unless the visibility is clear, pedestrians are few and far between and the red light is in its initial phase. A red traffic light, which is well into the cycle, is bound to change at a most inopportune time, often leaving the driver red-faced and stranded, as pedestrians gain the right of way.

Drivers who make a right turn on red must always be conscious of the approaching drivers who have a left turn advance arrow. Many of these oncoming drivers making a left turn on the green advance arrow will turn wide into the lane, which a driver making a right turn must use to do a proper and legal turn. The hazards are numerous when any driver considers doing a legal right turn on a solid red traffic light.

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In a recent survey of a relatively busy signalized intersection, not a single driver, when unobstructed by traffic, made the complete stop required by law, before proceeding to make the right turn on a solid red traffic light.

This behaviour is common in all jurisdictions that permit the right turn on a solid red. Sadly, pedestrians are the ones who are most at risk when drivers do not stop for a proper look for hazards before making the right turn.

The legal stop is one in which the driver stops completely.

The complete stop must be made before the natural path of the pedestrians across the driver’s path, if no road markings are present.

Where road markings exist, whether painted crosswalks or otherwise indicated, the driver must completely stop before the crosswalk when turning right on a solid red traffic light. Where no road crosswalk markings are in evidence, the imaginary extension of a sidewalk across the road is a legal crosswalk.

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Most drivers think they must stop even with the stop sign.

This is a popular misconception. The stop sign tells a driver what to do, not necessarily where to do it.

It is advisable to make two stops before making a right turn on a red traffic light.

The first stop will satisfy the legal responsibility and the second will allow the driver to get a better look at all traffic, before proceeding safely around the turn.

Red is a colour often associated with emergency situations. We should all try our best to observe the meaning and intent of the red traffic lights, for our own good and that of others.

Steve Wallace is a member of the College of Teachers and the owner of Wallace Driving School on Vancouver Island and the Interior of B.C.

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    Check Out Our Visuals to Help You Understand

    The graphic below shows that some states (e.g., Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Nevada, and North Carolina) prohibit entering the right lane when making the left turn.

    How to make a right turn at a red light

    Some states are less strict and allow drivers to complete a left turn into either lane of the cross street as shown below, e.g., California, Missouri, Texas. Consult your state’s Drivers handbook for details.

    How to make a right turn at a red light

    The next graphic shows which lanes are used by cars turning from a two-way street onto a one-way street and from a one-way street to a two-way street. After coming to a complete stop, you may make a turn onto a one-way street from another two-way street (unless otherwise indicated).

    How to make a right turn at a red light

    Here is an example of making turns in California and Texas. Notice that the driver may complete the turn in any lane open to traffic if it is safe to do so as shown by arrows below.

    How to make a right turn at a red light

    Quick Re-Cap

    Right Turn against a Red Light: Signal and stop for a red traffic light before the stop line (or limit line), if there is one, or before entering the intersection. If there is no sign that prohibits a right turn on the red light, you may turn right. Be careful that you do not interfere with pedestrians, bicyclists, or vehicles moving on their green light. Note: that a right turn on a red light is prohibited by law in New York City.

    Right Turn:

    • As you prepare to turn, reduce speed and stay as far to the right as possible. Begin the turn in the lane nearest to the right-hand curb and end the turn in the lane nearest the right-hand curb.
    • Give turn signal.
    • Yield to pedestrians who may be crossing your path. Scan for any bicyclist in your path.
    • Avoid making wide, sweeping turns in the other lane.

    Left Turn:

    • Turn on the left turn signal before you make the turn and slow down.
    • Look both ways and make sure that the oncoming lanes are clear.
    • Make the turn from the designated lane (use left lane).
    • Do not enter into the right lane. In some states, it is illegal to enter the right lane after the turn is completed.

    Just remember to turn with care.

    How to make a right turn at a red light

    Stoplights are a common sight especially in the city where they are used to control the flow of traffic. This begs the question, why are there roads where cars can turn right against a red light and there are places that don’t allow this to happen? We understand that in certain cities they have different rules, but this then makes it harder for a motorist to judge when it’s legal to do so or when it’s not. With that said, we want to end the confusion once and for all and discuss a few things to look out for if you want to safely and legally turn right on red.

    You may turn right on a red light if it’s a solid red

    We are sure by now that you know what the three lights of a stoplight mean. You must, at all costs, obey the lights – especially taking caution during a yellow light. When it comes to turning right on a red light, the first and most important step is to completely stop behind the limit line, a pedestrian lane, or the intersection line. Just because you can, doesn’t mean pedestrians and oncoming traffic on green lights should give way for you. Turn with extreme caution as you don’t have the right of way.

    Turning right? Make sure you’re in the correct lane

    How to make a right turn at a red light

    Another important thing you need to be aware of is that you need to be in the proper lane before you turn right. Vehicles on the inner lane are not allowed to turn right. If you wish to turn right and you’re in the inner lane, you must slowly and carefully make your way to the outer lane before approaching the intersection. In preparation to turn right, flick on your turn indicator ideally a hundred feet to where you’re making the turn.

    You may not turn against a red arrow light

    If you see that a stoplight has a dedicated red arrow light this means that you can’t simply turn on red. The light is there to tell you when it’s safe to turn right so it is best to follow what the light says for you to avoid getting a beating-the-red-light violation. Remember to check carefully for red arrow lights or signs telling you not to turn right on red at intersections as they are your best guide in that situation. You can only turn right on a red arrow light if a traffic enforcer tells you to do so, if no order is given just stick to what the light says.

    No turning when there’s a sign saying not to

    How to make a right turn at a red light

    The idea is simple, if there are no signboards that prohibit turning right during a red light and it’s a solid red light, you may turn right cautiously. If you see a sign with a right arrow, a red circle around it, and says “on the red” below it, you have to wait for the stoplight to turn green. In the Philippines, signs are often made up entirely of words saying “No right turn on a red signal.”

    Sometimes, signs are obstructed from sight so coming to a full stop may help you inspect the surroundings. These signs are usually posted a few meters before the right turn and are commonly attached to poles.

    Things to keep in mind

    Now that you have established whether or not you can legally make a right turn on a red light, here are some things you still need to be aware of. Before turning, always check your side mirrors and rearview mirror. Look out for motorcycles, electric bicycles, cyclists, or electric scooters on your right before you step on the gas. Again, remember you don’t have the right of way if you’re turning right against a red light so don’t cut perpendicular traffic or honk at pedestrians crossing the road. We see a lot of drivers do this on the road and they aren’t just irritating, they also put everyone around them at risk.

    You must yield to traffic. Wait for a few moments to make the turn after the vehicle in front of you, as cars approaching from your left are not obliged to stop for you. Don’t make the turn if the view to your left is obstructed by a large vehicle like a truck. It’s always safe to observe defensive driving then be sorry in the end. As we keep on saying, drive safe, everyone.

    You may not make a U-turn at any intersection where there are traffic lights unless there is a sign to indicate U-turns are permitted.

    How to make a right turn at a red light

    A green light at an intersection means you may turn left, right or drive straight though the intersection, unless a sign prohibits any of these movements, once the intersection is clear and it’s safe to do so.

    If you want to turn left you can enter the intersection on a green light, but you must yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians. If traffic is heavy, you may be forced to complete your turn on an amber (yellow) or red light.

    How to make a right turn at a red light

    You can often predict the appearance of an amber (yellow) light by taking note of how long the light has been green and by watching for the “don’t walk” light, especially if it is flashing.

    When approaching an amber (yellow) light at an intersection, you must stop before entering the crosswalk. If you have already entered, or cannot stop safely, proceed with caution.

    How to make a right turn at a red light

    When approaching a red light, you must stop and remain stopped until the light changes. If you are making a right turn at an intersection, you may make the turn, but only after stopping and yielding the right of way to pedestrians and to any vehicles travelling through the intersection.

    This also applies to making a left turn at the intersection of two one-way streets. Some intersections may have a sign prohibiting turns on red lights.

    When approaching a red light and a light with a solid green arrow, you may proceed in the direction of the arrow only after yielding the right of way to any other vehicles and pedestrians.

    How to make a right turn at a red light

    When approaching a red or green light and a flashing green (left turn) arrow, you may proceed in the direction of the green arrow.

    After the left turn arrow, an amber (yellow) arrow may appear. This means the green light is about to appear for traffic in both directions.

    How to make a right turn at a red light

    When approaching a flashing amber (yellow) light, you must proceed with caution.

    How to make a right turn at a red light

    Alternating flashing amber (yellow) lights may warn you that traffic lights ahead are red or about to turn red.

    When approaching an amber (yellow) light, you must yield the right of way to any pedestrians in the crosswalk or pedestrian corridor.

    How to make a right turn at a red light

    When approaching a flashing red light you must stop, but you may then proceed when it’s safe.

    How to make a right turn at a red light

    Pedestrians may not cross an intersection when they are facing a red light, an amber (yellow) light or a “don’t walk” light or symbol. A flashing “don’t walk” means pedestrians should finish crossing the street if they have already started. Some signals have a countdown showing how many seconds remain before it is unsafe.

    Chapter 4: Signs and Signals

    In this chapter

    Red — Stop in front of the marked crosswalk or, if there’s no marked crosswalk, before the sidewalk out of the way of pedestrians and vehicles. Unless a sign shows otherwise or vehicle/pedestrian traffic does not permit, you may, after stopping completely, turn right. You may also turn right or left from a one-way street to another one-way street.

    Amber — An amber light is a warning that the light is going to turn red. Slow down and stop — never accelerate to “make the light.” If you’re already in the intersection when the light turns amber, continue through.

    Green — You may proceed, but you must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in the crosswalk and to other vehicles already in the intersection. To turn left, you may enter the intersection on a green light, but you must yield to pedestrians and oncoming traffic. You may have to complete the turn during an amber or red light.

    How to make a right turn at a red lightHorizontal How to make a right turn at a red lightVertical

    How to make a right turn at a red light

    Flashing Red — Come to a complete stop, proceeding only when safe.

    Flashing Amber — Slow down and be prepared to stop. You must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians.

    Amber Arrow — A steady amber arrow may be shown after a green arrow. The amber arrow is a warning that oncoming traffic may next receive a green signal. Slow down and stop. If you’re already in the intersection when the amber signal appears, continue and complete your turn.

    Green Arrow — You may proceed only in the direction of the arrow, either steady or flashing, providing you’re in the proper lane.

    Flashing Green Left-Arrow — You may proceed only to make a left turn, unless facing another signal that indicates other movements are allowed. (Flashing leftarrows may be shown together with steady red, amber or green lights.)

    How to make a right turn at a red light

    Green U-Turn Arrow — You may proceed to make a U-turn after yielding to pedestrians and other vehicles already in the intersection.

    Green Left-Arrow with Red Light — When a green left-arrow is shown with a red light together you may proceed and make a left turn only. It’s illegal to make a right turn at an intersection when a green left-arrow is shown with a red light, even if there’s no sign indicating a right turn is prohibited on a red light. Under no circumstances are you allowed to turn right or drive straight through when a green left-arrow is illuminated with a red light. If a green left-arrow is illuminated alone (the red light is not on) you may turn right if it’s safe to do so and no sign prohibits it.

    28-645 . Traffic control signal legend

    A. If traffic is controlled by traffic control signals exhibiting different colored lights or colored lighted arrows successively one at a time or in combination, only the colors green, red and yellow shall be used, except for special pedestrian signals carrying a word legend. The lights shall indicate and apply to drivers of vehicles and pedestrians as follows:

    1. Green indication:

    (a) Vehicular traffic facing a green signal may proceed straight through or turn right or left unless a sign at that place prohibits either turn. Vehicular traffic, including vehicles turning right or left, shall yield the right-of-way to other vehicles and to pedestrians lawfully within the intersection or an adjacent crosswalk at the time the signal is exhibited.

    (b) Vehicular traffic facing a green arrow signal, shown alone or in combination with another indication, may cautiously enter the intersection only to make the movement indicated by such arrow or such other movement as is permitted by other indications shown at the same time. Vehicular traffic shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to other traffic lawfully using the intersection.

    (c) Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian control signal as provided in section 28-646, pedestrians facing any green signal, except if the sole green signal is a turn arrow, may proceed across the roadway within any marked or unmarked crosswalk.

    2. Steady yellow indication:

    (a) Vehicular traffic facing a steady yellow signal is warned by the signal 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.

    (b) Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian control signal as provided in section 28-646, pedestrians facing a steady yellow signal are advised by the signal that there is insufficient time to cross the roadway before a red indication is shown and a pedestrian shall not then start to cross the roadway.

    3. Red indication:

    (a) Except as provided in subdivisions (b) and (c) of this paragraph, vehicular traffic facing a steady red signal alone shall stop before entering the intersection and shall remain standing until an indication to proceed is shown. On receipt of a record of judgment for a violation of this subdivision or an act in another jurisdiction that if committed in this state would be a violation of this section, the department shall order the person to attend and successfully complete traffic survival school educational sessions within sixty days after the department issues the order. Notwithstanding section 28-3315, if the person fails to attend or successfully complete traffic survival school educational sessions, the department shall suspend the person’s driving privilege pursuant to section 28-3306 until the person attends and successfully completes traffic survival school educational sessions. A person whose driving privilege is suspended pursuant to this subdivision may request a hearing.В If the person requests a hearing, the department shall conduct the hearing as prescribed in section 28-3306. A law enforcement officer or a jurisdiction issuing a citation to a person who violates this subdivision shall provide written notice to the person that if eligible, the person may attend defensive driving school or, if not eligible or if the person chooses not to attend defensive driving school and is found responsible or enters a plea of responsible for a violation of this subsection, the person must attend and successfully complete traffic survival school educational sessions. The notice shall include a reference to red light violations and state that if the person is required to attend traffic survival school the person will receive notice from the motor vehicle division.

    (b) The driver of a vehicle that is stopped in obedience to a red signal and as close as practicable at the entrance to the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or if there is no crosswalk, then at the entrance to the intersection, may make a right turn but shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and other traffic proceeding as directed by the signal. A right turn may be prohibited against a red signal at any intersection if a sign prohibiting the turn is erected at the intersection.

    (c) The driver of a vehicle on a one-way street that intersects another one-way street on which traffic moves to the left shall stop in obedience to a red signal but may then make a left turn into the one-way street.В The driver shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and other traffic proceeding as directed by the signal at the intersection, except that such left turn may be prohibited if a sign prohibiting the turn is erected at the intersection.

    (d) Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian control signal as provided in section 28-646, a pedestrian facing a steady red signal alone shall not enter the roadway.

    B. If an official traffic control signal is erected and maintained at a place other than an intersection, this section applies except as to those provisions of this section that by their nature can have no application. Any stop required shall be made at a sign or marking on the pavement indicating where the stop shall be made, but in the absence of a sign or marking the stop shall be made at the signal.

    C. The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection that has an official traffic control signal that is inoperative shall bring the vehicle to a complete stop before entering the intersection and may proceed with caution only when it is safe to do so. If two or more vehicles approach an intersection from different streets or highways at approximately the same time and the official traffic control signal for the intersection is inoperative, the driver of each vehicle shall bring the vehicle to a complete stop before entering the intersection and the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the driver of the vehicle on the right.

    Cassandra from Thornton writes, “What’s driving you crazy? Do you have to turn right on red? I am constantly getting honked at by drivers for not turning right on the red light when it is seeming clear to go. Depending on the intersection, you can’t always see who is coming through the green light or a larger vehicle is obstructing your line of sight. It was my impression that turning right on red is legal unless otherwise posted, but not necessarily required.”

    The short answer Cassandra is no, you don’t have to turn right on red.

    You are completely within your legal right to wait until the light turns green. Even though there is no law that says you must turn right on red, there will be drivers who will argue there is no reason not to turn on red unless it is unsafe.

    According to the Colorado Driver Handbook, “After stopping and yielding to pedestrians and other traffic, and if not prohibited by a traffic sign, you may turn right while the light is red.” The key word in there is “may.” It does not say must, it says may. That makes the right turn on red optional.

    No one can tell another driver when they feel it is safe to make any kind of maneuver, including to turn right on red. That said, other drivers who disagree with your decision will let you know the easiest way they know how — lay on the horn. I’m sure that is an uncomfortable feeling as the blaring horns could make you feel even more unsafe. In our fast-paced world, it is hard for other drivers to think someone wouldn’t want to turn right on red and keep going when they have the opportunity to do so.

    I was talking to several people about this story, including a woman named Susanne.

    “I was involved in a pretty bad accident several years ago because a 16-year-old girl turned right on a red light just as I was going through the intersection,” she said. “My body and car took the brunt of the accident.”

    Another woman told me even though you legally don’t have to go on red, it’s inconsiderate to other drivers and blocks the flow of traffic by waiting there and not turning especially when it is safe.

    Conversely, a man named Sage I spoke with said, “I’ll just put my hands on the horn until I’m satisfied. When people honk at me, they can go around me.”

    For the drivers who want to turn on red, the 911 Driving School says just because it is legal, that doesn’t mean this is a free pass to turn unless the conditions are right. Since you have a red light, that means someone else has a green light and they have the right of way and are probably not watching for people to pull out. It is also imperative when wanting to make a right turn on red to watch for pedestrians and bike riders. Some of the people on a bike will be in the crosswalk, but other riders choose to be on the road, riding with traffic.

    On a separate note, in Colorado, drivers are allowed to make a left turn on red from a one-way street onto another one-way street. The move is legal after stopping at a red light, provided there’s no sign prohibiting such a turn. As with making a right on red, the driver must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and other traffic lawfully in the intersection before turn left at a red light.

    Denver7 traffic anchor Jayson Luber says he has been covering Denver-metro traffic since Ben-Hur was driving a chariot. (We believe the actual number is over 25 years.) He’s obsessed with letting viewers know what’s happening on their drive and the best way to avoid the problems that spring up. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or listen to his Driving You Crazy podcast on iTunes , Stitcher , Google Play or Podbean.

    How to make a right turn at a red lightPut yourself in the following situation: You are stopped at an intersection in Pennsylvania. The traffic light is red, and you want to make a right turn. Beside the traffic light is a sign that reads ‘Right Turn Signal.’ You check for pedestrians and cross traffic; all is clear. The traffic light is still red.

    Let me ask you…Can you legally turn right on red at this intersection?

    Did you say NO? If so, you are not alone. The majority of drivers do not understand the meaning of this sign. In fact, it is viewed by many, as one of the most confusing, least intuitive road signs in PennDOT’s showroom.

    A ‘Right Turn Signal’ sign is posted close to a traffic signal to indicate that the signal controls right-turn movements. They appear only at intersections with dedicated turn lanes and green-arrow signals, and are intended to avoid confusion about which signals apply to which lane.

    How to make a right turn at a red lightOk, so what exactly does that mean? In simple terms…This sign is telling you that the traffic signal on the far right of the traffic arm, applies to vehicles turning right. When it’s a green arrow, you can turn right. Yellow means prepare to stop. And of course, red means stop. If a ‘No Turn On Red’ sign is NOT present, you may turn right on red, when it’s safe. You don’t need to wait until for the green arrow. You need to be mindful, however, that there may be left-turning vehicles coming from the opposite direction.

    So let’s ask that question again. Can you legally turn right on red at an intersection posted with a ‘Right Turn Signal’ sign? YES! In Pennsylvania, unless there’s a sign that reads ‘No Turn On Red’, it’s legal to turn right on a red, after coming to a complete stop – but only when it’s safe to do so.

    Ask around, see how many people think ‘Right Turn Signal’ means ‘No Turn On Red.’ The results may surprise you.

    Becoming comfortable and complacent behind the wheel is easy to do after years of driving experience. However, safe and defensive drivers seek to broaden their knowledge base to better understand the road, and keep up-to-date with traffic rules and regulations.

    In this post, we are going to expand on red-light procedures and 6 instances where we may proceed on a red light.

    1. Turning Right at a Red Light

    Without a regulatory sign prohibiting the action.

    Due to the potentially dangerous nature of right turn on red lights, this maneuver is a “permissive action” not a “required action”. Meaning drivers may turn right, after coming to a complete stop at the stop line, if it is safe to do so however they are not required to. While right turns at red lights are a common driving practice in Canada many European and Asian countries prohibit the maneuver altogether.

    There may be certain intersections where a right turn at a red light is prohibited. It could be due to a number of different factors such as the number of accidents that have taken place at the intersection; the angle or height of the intersection might not allow for enough observation to make the turn in safety; there might be more than three other intersecting roadways; the rate of speed posted for the road being turned onto is posted 70 km/h or higher or other factors may also be taken into consideration. It is safe and reasonable to assume right turns are permitted in BC unless you see a sign prohibiting the maneuver.

    2. Turning Left When You’re Committed

    Making a left turn at an intersection when already legally committed to the intersection on the green light.

    Chances are you’ve been in an intersection waiting to turn left only to get stuck in the middle while other drivers run the yellow light. In this situation, as long as you have passed the last line of the crosswalk and are legally committed to the intersection you must promptly and safely complete your left turn even if the light has changed to red. Motorists should allow other vehicles to clear the intersection prior to entering.

    3. Flashing Red Light

    A single flashing red light may be indicating a 4 way stop ahead. Flashing red lights may also occur if the intersection is having a malfunction or when service to the light is being performed. Drivers must stop at the marked stop line or crosswalk, and may proceed only when it is safe to do so. Drivers are to treat this situation as a four-way stop and proceed when safe to do so.

    4. When Directed to do so by a POLICE OR Peace Officer

    There may be situations where police, peace officers or traffic controllers take control of an intersection. This could be due to an accident, power failure or possibly construction. In these scenarios police and peace officers OVERRIDE the traffic lights. Drivers are required to follow the directives of these individuals and proceed only when directed and it is safe to do so.

    5. Turning Left at a Red Light from a Two-Way onto a One-Way

    Drivers are permitted to turn left from a two-way street onto a one-way street while at a red light intersection, provided the intersection is clear of all existing traffic, cyclists, or pedestrians. Drivers must come to a complete stop before entering the intersection or entering a marked crosswalk. This maneuver may feel unnatural, as left turns typically require drivers to cross over traffic travelling in the opposite direction. However, on a one-way roadway, only one direction of travel is permitted so approaching traffic from the opposing direction is not a factor.

    6. Pedestrian Crosswalks at Locations Other than Intersections

    Section 129(5) of the Motor Vehicle Act (MVA) outlines the procedure for a red light displayed at a place other than an intersection. An example of this would be a pedestrian controlled lighted crosswalk. In this case, the driver must come to a complete stop and give right of way to the pedestrian (and to any other approaching pedestrians or cyclists). Once the pedestrian or cyclist has safely crossed the driver’s path of travel, the driver may proceed.

    The more you know, the better prepared you can be for our fast-paced and sometimes complicated roadways. It’s important to keep yourself informed about the lesser-known rules and regulations that are in place, like when you can proceed on a red light.

    Traffic lights control the flow of vehicles and pedestrians to improve safety and access to roads. You should drive at a speed that gives you time to react if the traffic lights change.

    If you go through a yellow or red traffic light, you may receive an infringement notice. The notice could either be from a police officer or arrive in the mail for a camera-detected offence.

    You may drive through a flashing yellow light or arrow with caution. You need to apply the give way rules to avoid colliding with other vehicles.

    Obeying traffic lights

    You must not drive past the stop line on the road at a red traffic light or, if there is no stop line, the traffic light.

    Example of red traffic light—with the top light lit up

    You must not drive in the direction of the red traffic arrow past the stop line at the traffic light or, if there is no stop line, the traffic light.

    Example of red arrows on traffic lights—with arrows lit up in the top light to the right

    Stop if it is safe to do so

    You must stop on a yellow light, unless it is unsafe to do so. The yellow light is not the end of the green light phase—it is the beginning of the red light phase.

    If it’s safe to stop, you must not drive past the stop line at the yellow traffic light or, if there is no stop line, the traffic light.

    Example of yellow traffic light—with the middle light lit up

    If it’s unsafe to stop—such as being close to the light when it changes from green to yellow—you may proceed through the yellow light.

    Example of yellow arrows on traffic lights—with arrows lit up in the middle lights on the right

    Drive with caution

    Drive past the light

    You can drive past the green traffic light or arrow, as long as the intersection is clear. You must not enter the intersection if you cannot drive through it because the road ahead is blocked.

    Example of green traffic light or arrow—the green light is lit up in the bottom left, with the green arrow lit up in the bottom right.

    Traffic lights showing a white B light

    If you’re in a bus lane driving a bus, taxi, limousine, or riding a bicycle, you may drive/ride past the white B light.

    Example of white B light—with the white B lit up in the bottom right

    Turning right at traffic lights

    If the light is green and there are vehicles approaching from the opposite direction, you can move forward into the intersection past the stop line if you can do so safely.

    If there is a safe gap in oncoming traffic, you may complete the right turn. If you’re in the intersection and the oncoming traffic continues until the lights turn yellow or red, you must complete the turn on the yellow or red light.

    Video of yellow traffic lights

    Watch the video to better understand yellow traffic lights.

    Some people think it’s legal to drive through a yellow light if your front tyres are over the stop line before the light changes to red.

    But, that’s not the rule.

    It’s only legal to drive through a yellow light if you are unable to stop safely when the light changes.

    You see, the yellow light is not an extension of the green light, it’s actually the beginning of the red.

    So when you approach traffic lights, you should always be prepared to stop in case the light suddenly changes. And you should check your rear view mirror for vehicles travelling close behind. If the light turns yellow, you must stop if it’s safe to do so.

    However, if you’re so close to the intersection when the light changes that you are unable to stop safely, you are legally allowed to drive through the yellow light.

    Now, if the light changes to yellow after you’ve moved into an intersection waiting to turn right, you are also legally allowed to drive through the yellow light to clear the intersection.

    Knowing the rules makes travelling through intersections much safer for everyone.

    U-turns

    You can only make a U-turn at the following locations when there is a U-turn permitted sign.

    • traffic lights
    • children’s crossings
    • level crossings
    • marked foot crossings
    • pedestrian crossings.

    Trooper Steve answers viewer questions

    Daniel Dahm , Digital Content Manager

    ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions and shares tips about the rules of the road, helping Central Florida residents become better drivers by being better educated.

    The most recent question Trooper Steve addressed was from Rick, who asked, “I see a lot of people making right turns on red from the left of two right turning lanes. Is this allowed in Florida?”

    “With road expansions happening across our area, it is becoming very common that you see more than one right turning lane,” Trooper Steve said. “Remember, you are never required to make a right on red. If there is a red light and you do not feel comfortable making the right after you’ve stopped, then you are allowed to wait until that light turns green.”

    That may irk drivers behind you, but Trooper Steve said that’s their problem, and you should do what you feel is proper and safe.

    But what about those multi-lane right turns?

    “In Florida, you are allowed to make a right turn on red from any of the multiple right turning lanes if there is no signage limiting that movement,” Trooper Steve said. “Occasionally, there will be a sign that says, ‘Right on red only from right lane,’ meaning no right turns would be permitted other than the far right turning lane.”

    If no sign exists, then you are allowed to make a right on red from any of the multiple right turning lanes.

    What Is Red Light Running?

    If a car enters an intersection right after a traffic light has changed to red, the driver has committed a violation of the rules of the road. Drivers are — for some reason — in an intersection when the signal changes, such as those who are waiting to take a left-hand turn, are not considered red-light runners. In locations where drivers are allowed to make a right turn on red, motorists who do not come to a full stop before turning could be considered as red-light runners. Violations also include drivers who are turning right on red at an intersection when they are not allowed to do so.
    Some studies that were conducted for many months at busy intersections across the United States before the implementation of red light cameras, found that the normal driver would run a red light every 20 minutes at a traffic signal. Red-light running was even more common during peak travel times. When analyzing data from 19 separate intersections that did not have red-light cameras, the violation rate was found to be 3.2 per hour at each intersection.

    Who Primarily Runs a Red Light?

    The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety administered a survey by phone back in 2017 that found 93 percent of motorists said it was unacceptable to run a red light if they were able to stop safely. However, 43 percent reported that they had run a red light in the last 30 days. When looking at drivers who were involved in deadly red-light crashes in 2017, the drivers who ran the lights were usually male, young, and involved in previous crashes or alcohol-related accidents. The red light runners were also more likely to have been speeding of intoxicated at the time of the collision and less likely to carry a valid driver’s license.

    Laws For Red Lights & Stop Signs in Utah

    How to make a right turn at a red light

    If you get a red light or stop sign ticket in the state of Utah, you will probably have to pay a fine and demerit points assess regarding your driving record. Now, we are going to take a closer look at what is prohibited under and the law as well as the possible consequences of a stop sign or red light violation in the state.

    • Making the Stop. Drivers who are approaching a stop sign or a red light signal are required to come to a full stop before the nearest crosswalk, reaching a marked stop-line, or entering the intersection entirely.
    • Right-On-Red Rule. As long no sign is posted that directly restricts it, Utah law allows for drivers to make a right turn after coming to a stop at a red light, but drivers should use caution and follow the standard right-of-way rules when making a turn.
    • Left-on-Red Rule. In some states, drivers cannot turn left on red, no matter what the circumstances are, but drivers in Utah are allowed to turn left after stopping at a red light of a one-way street. Basically, a driver can make a left turn on red from a one-way street onto another.
    • The Meaning of a Yellow Light. In certain states, the law prohibits drivers from entering an intersection once the signal has changed to yellow. However, in Utah, a solid yellow light is just a warning that signals the light is about to turn to red. Essentially, you are allowed to enter an intersection when the light is yellow, just not after it turns to red.

    Special Rules for Motorcycles, Mopeds, and Bikes

    Certain traffic signals are triggered by a switch after a sensor detects the presence of a car that is waiting at a red light, but these sensors do not always detect motorcycles, mopeds, and bicycles due to their size. When a person driving one of these vehicles is ticketed, they can possibly establish a defense by showing that:

    • They came to a full stop at the intersection or stop line;
    • They waited a reasonable amount of time — at least 90 seconds — without being detected by the sensors;
    • No other car had right-of-way;
    • No pedestrians were crossing or near the intersection; and
    • They continued through the intersection cautiously.

    Fines and Points for Violations

    Stop sign and red light violations are infractions in the state of Utah. Usually, the fine for a conviction is around $120. IN most cases, a stop sign or light conviction will add 50 demerit points to a driver’s record. When a driver has 200 or more points within a three-year timeframe, they will face a suspension of their license. However, eligible drivers can possibly remove 50 points from their record through the completion of a defensive driving course. Depending on the case, a red light or stop sign violation could result in a reckless driving conviction, and a motorist who runs a red light or stop sign and causes death could face automobile homicide charges under certain circumstances — such as illegal use of a cellphone or impairment on drugs or alcohol.

    Dave Bartkowiak Jr. , Digital Managing Editor

    We received this traffic question a couple of times through our 4YI form, where you can ask us anything about Michigan and/or Metro Detroit and we will do our best to get back with an answer(s).

    “I remember when you could turn left on a one-way (during a red light) when you were making a Michigan left — is it still legal?”

    Yes, it is legal for a vehicle to make a left turn onto a one-way street during a red light. This scenario is encountered when you are executing a “Michigan Left” — see here:

    The Michigan Vehicle Code — Section 257.612 — reads as follows:

    “(ii) Vehicular traffic facing a steady red signal, after stopping before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or at a limit line when marked or, if there is no crosswalk or limit line, before entering the intersection, may make a right turn from a 1-way or 2-way street into a 2-way street or into a 1-way street carrying traffic in the direction of the right turn or may make a left turn from a 1-way or 2-way street into a 1-way roadway carrying traffic in the direction of the left turn, unless prohibited by sign, signal, marking, light, or other traffic control device. The vehicular traffic shall yield the right of way to pedestrians and bicyclists lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to other traffic lawfully using the intersection.”

    Thanks for the question! You can make that left turn onto a one-way street despite the red light, but make sure traffic is clear and there are no pedestrians in the way.

    4YI — Ask us a question about Metro Detroit or Michigan

    What do you have questions about in Metro Detroit or Michigan that you’d like us to investigate?

    Welcome to 4YI, the place where you can ask us those questions. We will work to track down the answer(s).

    Just fill out this quick form to send us a note:

    Traffic lights regulate traffic flow and make intersections safer for drivers, pedestrians and other road users. You must always obey traffic lights on NSW roads.

    Stopping at traffic lights

    Red light

    A red light means you must stop. You must stop as close as possible behind the ‘Stop’ line.

    Yellow (amber) light

    A yellow (amber) light means you must stop. You can only go through a yellow light if you cannot stop safely before the ‘Stop’ line.

    You should not stop suddenly, and you should not speed up to get through a yellow light.

    Green light

    A green light means you can go through the intersection if it’s safe to do so.

    You must also follow these rules for temporary traffic lights at roadworks.

    Turn signals

    Some traffic lights have arrows to control traffic turning right or left.

    Red arrow

    A red arrow means you must not turn. You must stop behind the ‘Stop’ line until the arrow turns green or disappears.

    Green arrow

    A green arrow means you can turn in that direction.

    Yellow (amber) arrow

    A yellow (amber) arrow means you must stop. You can only go through a yellow light if you cannot stop safely before the ‘Stop’ line.

    When a yellow (amber) arrow is flashing, this means you can turn in that direction. You must give way to pedestrians crossing the road you’re turning into.

    See Turning left and right for rules for turning when there are no signals.

    Turning left on a red light

    When you see this sign at traffic lights, you must stop at the red light, and then turn left when it’s clear. When turning, you must give way to traffic approaching from the right.

    Turning right at traffic lights

    When there’s a green traffic light but no right arrow signal, wait until oncoming traffic clears or breaks, and then turn.

    If the lights change to yellow or red while you’re in the intersection, you must turn right as soon as it’s safe to do so.

    You must not make a U-turn at traffic lights, unless there’s a ‘U-turn permitted’ sign.

    Signals for other vehicles

    Buses

    Some traffic lights have a ‘B’ signal for buses driving in a bus lane or bus-only lane. The ‘B’ signal is usually white on a black background (some traffic lights also have red and yellow ‘B’ signals).

    When the ‘B’ signal lights up, only buses can go through the intersection. This signal lights up shortly before the usual traffic lights change.

    When the ‘B’ signal turns red or yellow, buses must stop at the intersection.

    How to make a right turn at a red light

    Red traffic light and white ‘B’ bus signal showing only buses can go through intersection

    Trams (light rail)

    Some traffic lights have a ‘T’ signal for trams. The ‘T’ signal is usually white on a black background.

    When the ‘T’ signal lights up, only trams can go through the intersection.

    When the ‘T’ signal turns red or yellow, the tram must stop or prepare to stop.

    Bicycle riders

    Some traffic lights have bicycle signals for bicycle riders. These signals are used where bicycles are allowed to ride across a pedestrian crossing and also at some intersections.

    When the ‘Bicycle’ symbol turns green, bicycle riders can go through the crossing or intersection. They must stop when the ‘Bicycle’ symbol turns red.

    Vehicles must not stop in the area reserved for bicycles at traffic lights (bicycle storage area).

    Pedestrian signals

    Most traffic lights have areas where pedestrians can cross. Red and green pedestrian symbols or lights show them when to cross. Pedestrians must follow these signals.

    Some signals have pedestrian countdown timers which show how many seconds a pedestrian has left to cross the road.

    When you’re turning at an intersection, you must give way to pedestrians crossing the road that you’re turning into. Even if the pedestrian symbols or lights are flashing red, you must give way to any pedestrians still crossing.

    You must also stop for pedestrians crossing at a pelican crossing.

    Red-light speed cameras

    Red-light speed cameras detect both red light and speeding offences at high-risk intersections.

    The camera detects your vehicle if you cross over the ‘Stop’ line or enter the intersection after the traffic light has turned red.

    The camera also detects your vehicle if you go over the speed limit at any time, whether the traffic light is red, amber or green.

    See Speed limits to find out more about the rules and penalties for speeding.

    TAMPA, Fla. — From time to time, on the Driving Tampa Bay Forward tip line, we get questioned about whether or not you can turn right on a red light.

    You may have had this question yourself. You’ve been at an intersection and wondered “why isn’t this person turning?”

    Well, turning right on red isn’t legal in every state. It also depends on the intersection.

    The Florida Department of Transportation says:

    “A red RIGHT arrow means that you must come to a complete stop at the marked stop line or before moving into the crosswalk or intersection. After stopping, you may turn RIGHT on the red arrow at most intersections if the way is clear. Some intersections display a “NO TURN ON RED” sign, which you must obey.”

    How to make a right turn at a red light

    Here’s the exact law from the Florida Highway Patrol:

    FSS 316.075

    (c) Steady red indication.—
    1. Vehicular traffic facing a steady red signal shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection and shall remain standing until a green indication is shown; however:

    a. The driver of a vehicle which is stopped 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 the intersection in obedience to a steady red signal may make a right turn, but shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and other traffic proceeding as directed by the signal at the intersection, except that municipal and county authorities may prohibit any such right turn against a steady red signal at any intersection, which prohibition shall be effective when a sign giving notice thereof is erected in a location visible to traffic approaching the intersection.

    b. The driver of a vehicle on a one-way street that intersects another one-way street on which traffic moves to the left shall stop in obedience to a steady red signal, but may then make a left turn into the one-way street, but shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and other traffic proceeding as directed by the signal at the intersection, except that municipal and county authorities may prohibit any such left turn as described, which prohibition shall be effective when a sign giving notice thereof is attached to the traffic control signal device at the intersection.

    How to make a right turn at a red lightIf you receive a traffic ticket for running a red light or stop sign in Charlotte, you may be tempted to handle it on your own and just pay the fine. However, a traffic ticket’s consequences can affect many aspects of your life and may cost you more in the long run if you take this approach rather than retaining an experienced traffic law attorney to help you.

    North Carolina’s Traffic Laws on Red Lights and Stop Signs

    Like all states, North Carolina has enacted laws regarding how drivers must drive when approaching a stop sign or stop light. Here are some of the rules that people must follow:

    • Stopping. When coming to a stop sign or stop light, drivers are required to come to a complete stop at the nearest of the following: entering the crosswalk, reaching a marked stop line, or entering the intersection.
    • Right-on-Red Rule. Under North Carolina’s Right-on-Red law, drivers are allowed to make a right turn at a red light after stopping if it is permitted. They must first yield the right of way when making the turn.
    • Left-on-Red Rule. It is illegal to make a left turn at a red light in our state.
    • Yellow lights. People can get a ticket for running a yellow light in some states. However, in North Carolina, a yellow light is simply a warning that the light will turn red soon. It is legal to be in the intersection when the light is yellow—but not if it has turned red.

    Penalties for Running a Red Light or Stop Sign

    Running a red light or stop sign is an infraction in North Carolina. Here are possible penalties you face:

    • Fine of up to $100
    • 3 points on your driving record
    • 3 points on your insurance record

    If you receive 12 or more points in a three-year period, you could have your driver’s license suspended. In addition, points on your insurance may result in your insurance rates increasing for years after you resolve your ticket.

    Have you Received a Traffic Citation in Charlotte, NC?

    If you received a traffic citation, you need to speak with an experienced traffic ticket attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Charlotte office directly at 980.207.3355 to schedule your free consultation.

    Proper obedience to traffic signals is an important part of being a responsible driver on Ohio roads. When the light turns red, it is common knowledge to put on the brakes and stop at the intersection to wait for the green light to switch on. Some drivers may wonder if it is legal to make a right turn at a red light if there are no vehicles approaching that could cross into your turn path. Ohio law provides a solid answer to that question.

    Section 4511.13 of Ohio’s traffic laws lay out the conditions for a right turn on red. When a motorist reaches an intersection where the traffic light has turned red, the driver is to stop. After coming to a halt, the driver is permitted to make a right turn under the same conditions as if the driver had stopped at a stop sign. If no other vehicle is approaching that has the right of way, the motorist may make the right turn.

    However, there are exceptions that do not permit a right turn on red. There may be a traffic control device at the intersection that warns against making a right turn. Also, not all red lights will allow for right turns. Ohio law permits you to turn right if the red light is a solid circle. However, if the red light is a red arrow, you cannot make a turn.

    Be aware that turning right on red carries special risks for smaller vehicles like motorcycles if they approach your path. The Dairyland Insurance website points out that drivers stopped at an intersection may see a motorcycle coming but misjudge how far away the motorcycle is. As a result, a motorist could pull out right into the path of the motorcycle, and if the motorcyclist cannot stop in time, a collision could result.

    Even though state law allows for motorists to make right turns on red given certain conditions, it is wise to be extra vigilant while you stop and look for approaching vehicles. A wrong move can cause one or more motorists or vehicle passengers to become gravely injured or even killed on the road.

    How to make a right turn at a red light

    (December 3, 2019) – Another Tuesday, another traffic tip! This week we are going to focus on turning right on a red light, but more specifically on a red ARROW light.

    How to make a right turn at a red light

    An ordinary (non-arrow) red light with accompanying “No Turn On Red” sign nearby.

    Most drivers (should be all drivers, but to err is human) know that a right on an ordinary red light is permitted after coming to a complete stop and looking to make sure traffic is clear. Vehicles may then proceed to make their right turn. The only time this is NOT permitted is when the intersection is marked with a “No Turn On Red” sign, which should be affixed to the traffic light post near the light itself. When it comes to a dedicated right turn lane that then displays a solid red arrow, drivers often get confused. Is a right on red still permitted when an arrow, or does one need to wait until the arrow turns green?

    The answer is yes, you may turn right on a red arrow after once again coming to a complete stop and checking that traffic is clear. Florida State Statute 316.075 covers traffic signals, and states:

    a. The driver of a vehicle which is stopped 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 the intersection in obedience to a steady red signal may make a right turn, but shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and other traffic proceeding as directed by the signal at the intersection, except that municipal and county authorities may prohibit any such right turn against a steady red signal at any intersection, which prohibition shall be effective when a sign giving notice thereof is erected in a location visible to traffic approaching the intersection.

    How to make a right turn at a red light

    Only if the sign is there saying you can’t!

    In short, in defining a “steady red indication” the statute does not differentiate between a circular red light and a red arrow light. A right on red may be made in both instances provided there is no sign prohibiting the right turn. The good news is there’s no need to sit at that red arrow and wait forever for green; just make sure to stop, look, and proceed when safe to do so.

    CAPE CORAL POLICE DEPARTMENT | Public Affairs Office | 1100 Cultural Park Boulevard | Cape Coral, FL 33990 | (239) 242-3341

    Some Lincoln drivers are comfortable turning right after stopping at a red light. Others are not so sure that it is legal. What is the answer? Would a driver end up in legal hot water if that driver turned right on red? According to Nebraska law, there is no problem with making right turns at a red light, provided the driver follows through on certain actions.

    Nebraska law spells out what a driver is to do before turning on red. First, the driver should stop at a marked stop line, or before entering a crosswalk, or prior to crossing an intersection if there is no marking available. From there, the driver must yield to pedestrians and oncoming traffic that have the right of way before crossing into the intersection to make a right turn.

    However, there may be instances where a driver is barred from turning right even if no one else has the right of way. According to state law, law enforcement can place traffic control devices at the intersection that forbid motorists from turning right. These control devices can take the form of signs that prohibit right turns. Sometimes police may be on hand to direct traffic.

    Drivers in the city of Lincoln should be aware that the rules on turning right change when the red light is an arrow. According to the Lincoln Journal Star, the city has recently instituted an ordinance clarifying that drivers cannot make right turns on red arrows. The city has since removed signs that remind motorists not to turn right on a red arrow so that drivers do not assume that such signs are needed in conjunction with a red arrow.

    Understanding the laws on turning right on red can help keep you out of legal trouble, plus they decrease the chances of getting into a motor vehicle accident. By recognizing when drivers and pedestrians have the right of way before turning on red, you can safely cross into an intersection with minimal risk to yourself or anyone else.

    Q: In New York state, is it legal to turn “right on red” on a solid right red arrow? I have been taught that it is not OK to turn, but many drivers blow horns for the car ahead to go “right on red”. I have asked police and cannot get a definitive answer on this. Thank you, Tom.

    A: Tom, Thanks for your question. Let them honk away while you patiently wait for the red arrow to turn green! It is not legal to turn right on a red arrow. But, in cities where the population is smaller than 1 million you can turn right on red if there is no signage prohibiting it.

    Title VII of the V&T law is entitled “Rules of the Road”, and it goes into more detail. For a right turn on a solid red light it says: at many intersections in New York State, governed by traffic lights, you may make a right turn when the light is red. You must come to a complete stop, check the intersection for vehicles and pedestrians, and proceed to make a right turn when it is safe to do so.

    The law goes on to confirm that turning right on red is prohibited in cities with a population of more than 1 million unless a sign permits it. It also says that turning right on red is prohibited if a sign at the intersection prohibits it.

    Pack your patience and stay safe Tom!

    Spectrum News’s Real-Time Traffic Expert, Lacey Leonardi, helps you get around accidents and congestion in Central New York. Every week, Lacey answers a viewer question on Spectrum News’s Traffic Inbox. Have a question about traffic or the rules of the road? Ask Lacey!

    Question: When there is an intersection with two right turn lanes, are both lanes allowed to turn right on red after stopping? And can drivers change lanes during the turn when both lanes are going the same direction? In my experience, the drivers changing lanes toward the left as they turn are completely oblivious to the other right-turning lane.

    Answer: There’s nothing stopping anyone from getting the Taco Bell logo permanently tattooed on their body, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. To the 17 people with Taco Bell tattoos, no judgment here; I respect your commitment. My point here is that there are plenty of things we are allowed to do that, for good reason, we choose not to do, and this includes how we drive.

    As drivers, we’re familiar with the right turn on red (RTOR), but to make sure we’re all on the same page I’ll summarize. At a red light, a driver intending to take a right turn (or a left turn onto a one-way street) may, after stopping for the red light and yielding to other cars and pedestrians in the intersection, make their turn. (Exception: When a sign is posted prohibiting a RTOR.) When an intersection has two right turn lanes, the law doesn’t limit the option for a RTOR to just the rightmost lane.

    Legally, yes, you can make a right turn on red from either right turn lane. But even though it’s allowed in both lanes, the fact that you asked this question is a good indicator that plenty of drivers aren’t clear about the rules in this situation. And that’s when problems can arise.

    You may find yourself at a red light behind another driver in the left of two right turn lanes, see that there’s no cross-traffic, and wonder why they don’t just take their right turn already. Maybe they see something you don’t see. Or maybe they don’t know they’re allowed to make that turn. Or maybe they know the law, but they also know that right turns on red lights account for a disproportionately high number of crashes with pedestrians so they’ve chosen not to take them. That’s a lot of maybes.

    A right turn on red is an option, not a requirement, and it should only be done if it can be done safely.

    To quote a phrase that was often said in our household, “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” If you have the option of making that turn, or you’re behind someone who does, it’s a good time to exercise clear judgment and patience.

    As to changing lanes during the turn, the Washington Driver Guide states, “If there are signs or lane markings that allow for two or more turning lanes, stay in your lane during the turn.” Pretty clear, right? Our state law leaves things more ambiguous, but does state that a driver shall not leave their lane until they’ve determined that it can be done safely. Is changing lanes in an intersection inherently unsafe?

    Since driving instructors are training our future drivers to be safe, I asked a few of them if they’d penalize a student for changing lanes in an intersection during a driving exam. The consensus was essentially, “Yes, after changing my shorts, there would likely be a penalty.”

    What does driving through an intersection and getting a Taco Bell tattoo have in common? Done poorly, they both can have long-lasting consequences. But I think I’d pick a bad tattoo over a serious traffic crash. The tattoo might be embarrassing, but a crash in an intersection could be life-altering.

    Many drivers know that it is legal to turn right while the traffic light is red, unless there is a sign expressly prohibiting it. The “turning right on red” rule is commonly practiced in Virginia, but what about turning left on red?

    How to make a right turn at a red light

    It turns out that you can turn left on red in Virginia, but only if: (1) the red traffic signal is a circular red; (2) you are currently stopped on a one-way street; and (3) you are about to turn left onto another one-way street. Under these circumstances, Virginia Code § 46.2-836 expressly permits a left turn on steady red after you have brought your vehicle to a complete stop. The code specifically permits a left on red if the traffic light is a circular red, as opposed to a red, turn-only arrow. In the latter case, you would need to obey the red and only turn once the light changes to a green arrow.

    In Virginia, the legal left turn on red can be distilled down to the image below.

    How to make a right turn at a red light

    Figure 1. Depicting a legal left turn on red from a one-way street onto another one-way street.

    Figure 1 above shows a white car that is currently stopped at the intersection of two one-way streets. There is no sign forbidding vehicles at that traffic light to turn left on red. Note that the traffic signal is an ordinary circular red, and not a red arrow signal. This is the only situation in which Virginia law permits the white-colored car to make the left turn while the stop light ahead of it is red. Contrast this with the figures below:

    Figure 2. Depicting a left turn from a two-way street onto a one-way street.

    Figure 2 above shows a white car that is currently stopped on a two-lane street and about to turn left onto a one-way street. This is not allowed in Virginia because the white car would be pulling in front of oncoming traffic from the opposing lane.

    How to make a right turn at a red light

    Figure 3. Depicting the intersection of two, two-lane streets.

    In Figure 3, shown above, a white car is stopped at a red light governing the intersection of two two-lane streets. It is illegal for the white car to make a left turn while the light is red, because it risks pulling out in front of oncoming traffic and across adjacent traffic. This situation is the highest-risk of the three, and Virginia law is explicit about forbidding left turns on red at these types of intersections.

    Keep in mind that no driver is ever required to make a left on red, nor a right on red. Adhering to traffic signs that either state in plain language “No Turn on Red” or forbid it via a symbol is important when you are at an intersection. Even if turning on red is permitted, remember that it is perfectly legal, and oftentimes safest, to wait until the light turns green and you can proceed safely. While following the law is key, safety is paramount.

    If you have been injured due to the negligence of another driver failing to yield to a traffic signal, you may be eligible for compensation. Call the experienced attorneys at Allen & Allen today, at 866-388-1307.

    How to make a right turn at a red light

    You can turn left on a red light in Michigan if you are turning left from a 1-way or 2-way street onto a 1-way street if the traffic is traveling in the direction of your left turn. While you can turn left on a red light, bicyclists, pedestrians, and all traffic using the street have the right of way and you must yield before turning left.

    Most people raised in Michigan have done this. We’re reasonably sure that somebody somewhere (maybe it was your high school biology teacher who doubled as your driver’s ed instructor way back when) told us it was legal to make a left on a red. Contrast that with what happens when you have a visitor from another state in your car where this is not allowed. Your visitor tells you this is definitely illegal and you have to wait for the light to turn green.

    So who is right? In today’s blog post, we will answer this question in full detail.

    When can you turn left on a red light in Michigan?

    Michigan law allows you to turn left on a red light so long as you stop before entering the intersection and so long as you are turning onto a 1-way street that is “carrying traffic in the direction of the left turn.” This applies whether you are turning from a 1-way or 2-way street. (MCL 257.612(1)(c)(ii))

    Can you turn left on a red light in Michigan onto a 2-way street?

    No, you can’t onto a 2-way street. You can only turn left on a red light in Michigan if you are turning onto a 1-way street and the traffic on the street must be going in the same direction as your left turn.

    What if there are bicyclists or pedestrians lawfully in the crosswalk or if there is oncoming traffic?

    If there are bicyclists or pedestrians lawfully in the crosswalk on the street that you are turning onto, then you must yield the right of way to them. You must also yield the right of way to vehicle traffic traveling on the street that you are turning onto.

    What if there is a sign saying you can’t?

    You cannot if it is “prohibited by sign, signal, marking, light, or other traffic control device.” (MCL 257.612(1)(c)(ii))

    Michigan law requires that a sign prohibiting a left turn on a red light “shall be located above or adjacent to the traffic control signal or as close as possible to the point where the turn is made, or at both locations, so that 1 or more of the signs are visible to a vehicle operator intending to turn, at the point where the turn is made. An additional sign may be used at the far side of the intersection in the direct line of vision of the turning vehicle operator.” (MCL 257.612(5))

    Injured in a car accident? Call the auto accident attorneys at Michigan Auto Law

    If you were injured in a car accident in Michigan and have questions about your legal rights to pain and suffering compensation, economic damages and auto No-Fault insurance benefits, you can speak to an experienced auto accident lawyer at (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation. You can also get help from an experienced No-Fault insurance attorney by visiting our contact page or you can use the chat feature on our website.

    How to make a right turn at a red light

    How to make a right turn at a red light

    Steven Gursten has been selected a Michigan Lawyer of the Year and has been voted consistently among the top 50 attorneys in Michigan (out of over 65,000 lawyers) by Super Lawyers. He is the current President of the AAJ Distracted Driving Litigation Group, Past-President of the Belli Society, a Past-President of the AAJ Truck Litigation Group and TBI Group, as well as Past-President of the Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association.

    Steve has been named a JD Supra Reader’s Choice Award winner – Top Author in the Insurance category annually since 2018. Steve has recovered the largest ever auto and truck accident settlement of any Michigan lawyer or law firm.

    “Maximum stars for this law company and particularly for Mr. Steven Gursten – Attorney at Law. Very professional and prompt! I also found very useful information about the new auto law. I recommended him to all my friends and neighbors.” – Mira

    September 23, 2014

    Question: What are the rules for making a right turn on red?

    Answer: There are several rules and things that you must watch for when making a right turn on red.

    The first and most important rule – and this is the law in all 50 states – you must come to a complete stop at the red light before making a right turn on red. Failing to obey this law gets a lot of drivers in trouble either through involvement in a crash, or by receiving a ticket for running a red light. Many drivers, at intersections where red light cameras are installed, receive a ticket for running a red light because they seem to have forgotten this law and make a “rolling right on red.” Red means stop!

    Making a right turn on red isn’t allowed at every intersection. If a “No Right Turn On Red” sign is posted, it’s illegal to turn. Sometimes, when the oncoming lane has a left turn light, an electric “No Right On Red” sign will light up. It’s your duty as a driver to be aware of all signs.

    Other intersections may have a red right turn arrow. Just like a red light, a red right turn arrow means you must stop. However, in some states, Florida included, it’s legal to turn right on a red arrow after you’ve come to a complete stop unless there’s another sign posted that says “No Right On Red.” If you’re unsure of what the law is in your state, check your driving manual or, to be safe, remain stopped until you get a green arrow.

    There are a lot of good reasons why you must come to a complete stop before making a right turn. Intersections can be a dangerous place and most crashes in the US happen at intersections. When you stop at a red light, before turning right, check for;

    • Pedestrians that may be in the crosswalk – they have the right-of-way.
    • Vehicles coming from the left on a green light (including bicycles and motorcycles) – they have the right-of-way.
    • Vehicles in the oncoming lane turning left on a green left turn arrow – they have the right-of-way.
    • Vehicles from the right that are making a U-turn at the intersection – they have the right-of-way.
    • Pedestrians and bicyclists entering the intersection from the right- they have the right-of-way.

    Another issue with right turns on red involves driver courtesy and good common sense. Sometimes, in heavy traffic, when traffic is backed up to the intersection, drivers must stop at the white line before entering the intersection to avoid blocking the intersection, if the light should change. Along with obeying the law, they are actually doing you a favor by keeping the intersection clear for you if your light should turn green. When you see a driver stop on a green light before entering the intersection, don’t take advantage of them by seeing that as an opportunity to make a right turn on red. It’s illegal, rude, and could lead to a road rage situation.

    You’re only allowed to turn right on red if the way is completely clear of all pedestrians and other traffic. Don’t allow yourself to get in the habit of a rolling right turn on red.

    While all course changes require knowledge and skill, making a right turn is easier, safer and more straight-forward than making a left turn. When turning right you do not need to worry about traffic traveling in the opposite direction from the road you are entering, which makes things a whole lot simpler. In some areas you can even turn right against a red traffic signal (check your state’s driving manual for information).

    1. How to make a right turn
    2. Right Turn on a Red Traffic Signal

    Easy though it may be, making right turns is a skill you must master before taking on the driving test. Here, we break down the process of making a right turn and discuss how it applies in different traffic situations.

    How to make a right turn

    Plan and prepare.
    Anticipate your right turn and make sure you are in the correct lane soon enough to maneuver. Avoid making last-minute lane changes as your vehicle will become a hazard for other drivers. Assume lane position three in preparation for your right turn, aligning your vehicle a few inches away from the right-hand lane divide markings.

    Signal your intention to turn right.
    This should be done well in advance of the turn so that other drivers are not forced to react at the last moment. Most state handbooks specify that turns should be indicated at least 100 feet in advance and that signal lights should remain active until the maneuver is complete. Use the right turn hand signal (left arm extended out the left window, arm bent at the elbow and forearm pointing upward) if your turn signals are broken or obscured.

    Reduce speed and check for cyclists and motorcyclists.
    Turn to check your vehicle’s blind spots in addition to using your mirrors, as bicycles and motorcycles can easily be hidden in these areas. Like any other vehicle, cyclists and motorcyclists have the right-of-way in this situation.

    Check for “STOP” or “YIELD” signs at the intersection and abide by their instructions.
    If a “YIELD” sign is present, you must slow down and allow cross-traffic and pedestrians the right-of-way. A “STOP” sign means that you must come to a complete stop to yield the right-of-way.

    Look for traffic lights controlling the intersection.
    You may turn right if the signal light is green or if the turn is protected, with a green arrow signal. You may usually make a right turn against a red signal light but only after coming to a complete stop. If a “NO TURN ON RED” traffic sign or a red arrow pointing in the direction of the turn are present, you cannot make the right turn.

    Check for pedestrians crossing the street.
    You MUST yield to pedestrians, at all times.

    Check for traffic in both directions before turning right.
    Only turn when you are certain it is safe and do not swing your vehicle wide during or prior to the turn.

    Finish your turn in the same lane.
    Changing lanes at an intersection is usually dangerous and sometimes illegal. Check your state’s driving manual to find out if intersection lane-changes are prohibited in your state.

    The number of directions in which traffic is moving may affect how you should execute a right turn. Different procedures should be followed on one-way and two-way streets, as detailed below:

    From a one-way street into a one-way street:

    If turning right from a one-way street into another one-way street, you should move into the furthest right lane as early as possible and remain there during the turn. In some cases, you may notice a lane marked “LANE USE CONTROL” accompanied by directional pavement markings. This indicates that more than one lane may be used to turn right into that street.

    From a one-way street into a two-way street:

    Follow the same steps outlined above when turning right from a one-way street into a two-way street. Assume a position in the right-hand lane unless signs and pavement markings indicate that other lanes may be used. Choose a lane marked “RIGHT TURN ONLY” over one marked “STRAIGHT OR RIGHT TURN” whenever possible, to avoid holding up traffic moving straight over the intersection.

    From a two-way street into a two-way street:

    You must always turn from the right-hand lane and remain there, when turning right from a two-way street to a two-way street. Motorists traveling from the opposite direction may intend to turn into the same street at the same time, in which case changing lanes during the turn could cause an accident.

    Right Turn on a Red Traffic Signal

    Drivers are permitted to make right turns through a red traffic signal in most states; this information can be found in your state’s driving manual. However, when turning right on a red traffic signal, you must treat the red light like a “STOP” sign. In this situation, drivers must come to a complete stop before the signal or stop line, yielding to cross-traffic and pedestrians using the crosswalk. Make sure there are no motorcyclists or cyclists close to your vehicle – particularly on the right side – before executing the turn.

    It will be quite clear when making a right turn is not permitted. This may be indicated with a red arrow signal light pointing to the right.

    In other situations, a “NO TURN ON RED” sign will be displayed. When one of these signs or a red right-facing arrow is present, you must not turn right until the signal light has turned green.

    Illinois law (625 ILCS 5/11-305 and 5/11-306) requires drivers facing a steady red signal to stop at a clearly marked stop line or, if no line exists, before entering the crosswalk. If a clearly marked line or crosswalk does not exist, the driver must stop before entering the intersection. The vehicle must remain stopped until an indication to proceed is displayed.

    Unless it is otherwise prohibited by a posted sign, motorists are permitted to make a right turn at a red light. The driver must yield to any oncoming vehicles as well as pedestrians within the crosswalk or intersection. If a right turn on red is prohibited, the vehicle must remain stopped until an indication to proceed is displayed.

    A steady yellow light warns that a red light will be displayed immediately thereafter, but it is not illegal for a driver to enter the intersection while a yellow light is displayed. If a driver enters the intersection after a yellow light is displayed and the light turns red while driving through the intersection, he/she could still be charged with running a red light.

    Disobeying a Stop Sign

    Illinois law 625 ILCS 5/11-1204(b), requires drivers to obey all stop signs. Drivers must stop at any intersection with a stop sign before entering the crosswalk or, if there is no crosswalk, at a clearly marked stop line. If neither a crosswalk nor clearly marked stop line exists, the driver must stop at the point nearest the intersection roadway where the driver is able to view approaching traffic. These rules must be followed unless the driver is directed to proceed by a police officer or a traffic control signal.

    Failure to Obey a Yield Sign

    Illinois law 625 ILCS 5/11-1204(c), requires drivers to obey all yield signs. Drivers must stop at a yield sign before entering the crosswalk or intersection if required to do so for safety. If there is no crosswalk, the driver must stop at a clearly marked stop line. If there is no crosswalk or clearly marked stop line, the driver must stop at the point nearest the intersecting roadway allowing the driver to view any approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway.

    Disobeying or Avoiding a Traffic Control Device

    Also, under 625 ILCS 5/11-305, drivers must obey all officially erected traffic control devices such as traffic signals and ‘no turn’ signs. Also, under this particular statute, it is illegal to leave a roadway and travel across private property for the purpose of avoiding a traffic control device. An example of avoiding a traffic control device is when a driver is approaching a red light and decides to cut through the parking lot of a gas station at the corner to circumvent the light.

    Under Illinois law, the above mentioned traffic tickets are are petty offenses, which are punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000.00 in addition to any mandatory court costs and assessments. Disobeying a stop sign, yield sign, traffic control device (e.g. red light) are all treated as moving violations under Illinois law. Paying your ticket will result in a conviction, which will be entered on your driving record by the Illinois Secretary of State. Convictions count against a suspension of your driver’s license. Convictions will likely cause increased insurance rates as well. If an accident results from running a traffic light or stop sign, or if an officer determines that a motorist was driving recklessly, additional charges may be filed. Furthermore, if a motorist is fleeing or eluding an officer and runs a red light or stop sign, more serious penalties may be imposed.

    Contact Our Traffic Ticket Attorneys

    An experienced traffic attorney may be able to assist in keeping these offenses off of your public record. A sentence of court supervision may be negotiated or a traffic attorney may be able to secure a finding of not guilty at trial. This will prevent the offense from counting against your driving privileges or affecting your insurance rates or employment.

    Once you are at the intersection, you will be dealing with different traffic scenarios:

    How to make a right turn at a red light

    One Right Turn Lane
    At most intersections, you can only make a right turn from the very right lane. These type of intersections do not have a sign showing multiple right turn arrows, do not provide lanes with white dash marking to allow multiple right lanes, and allow you to make the right turn to any of the open lanes with the correct flow of traffic.

    Multiple Right Turn Lanes
    At some intersections, there are options for making right turns from multiple right turn lanes. There may be a sign showing multiple right turn arrows. When you make a right turn from any of the multiple right turn lanes, you will need to stay in your lane using white dash lines as your guide of staying in your lane.

    Red Arrow Signal Light
    You must STOP until the light turns green.

    Green Arrow Signal Light
    You can GO, but you must still YIELD to vehicles, pedestrians or bicycles that are in your path.

    Standard Red Light
    You must STOP, make sure that there is no sign that says NO TURN ON RED, YIELD to all traffic that has a green light, YIELD to pedestrians who are still at the crosswalk, YIELD to any traffic that may still be at the intersection, look at all your surroundings (left, right, ahead, and left again) before turning and turn when it is safe. (Exception: You are not allowed to make the right turn at a red light in New York City.)

    Standard Green Light
    You can GO, but you must first YIELD to pedestrians that are on the crosswalk and/or approaching the crosswalk; you must also YIELD to any traffic that may still be at the intersection.

    Yellow Light
    You are more likely to need to stop and here is why:

    • Since you are making the right turn, you are driving at the slower speed, and more likely will not be able to make it through the yellow light before it turns red.
    • You have a very short time to evaluate the situation and to make sure that there are no pedestrians or bicyclists and everything is safe before making the turn.

    Stop Sign
    You must STOP, YIELD to the traffic that has arrived at the intersection first, YIELD to pedestrians that are on the crosswalk and/or approaching the crosswalk, look at all your surroundings (left, right, ahead, and left again) before turning, and turn when it is safe.

    Traffic control signal legend–right turn on red light, when.

    300.155. Whenever traffic is controlled by traffic control signals exhibiting different colored lights, or colored lighted arrows, successively one at a time or in combination, only the colors green, red and yellow shall be used, except for special pedestrian signals carrying a word legend, and said lights shall indicate and apply to drivers of vehicles and pedestrians as follows:

    (1) Green indication

    (a) Vehicular traffic facing a circular green signal may proceed straight through or turn right or left unless a sign at such place prohibits either such turn. But vehicular traffic, including vehicles turning right or left, shall yield the right-of-way to other vehicles and to pedestrians lawfully within the intersection or an adjacent crosswalk at the time such signal is exhibited;

    (b) Vehicular traffic facing a green arrow signal, shown alone or in combination with another indication, may cautiously enter the intersection only to make the movement indicated by such arrow, or such other movement as is permitted by other indications shown at the same time. Such vehicular traffic shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to other traffic lawfully using the intersection;

    (c) Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian control signal as provided in section 300.160, pedestrians facing any green signal, except when the sole green signal is a turn arrow, may proceed across the roadway within any marked or unmarked crosswalk.

    (2) Steady yellow indication

    (a) Vehicular traffic facing a steady yellow signal is 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;

    (b) Pedestrians facing a steady yellow signal, unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian control signal as provided in section 300.160, are thereby advised that there is insufficient time to cross the roadway before a red indication is shown and no pedestrian shall then start to cross the roadway.

    (3) Steady red indication

    (a) Vehicular traffic facing a steady red signal alone shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection and shall remain standing until a green indication is shown except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subdivision;

    (b) The driver of a vehicle which is stopped as close as practicable at the entrance to the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then at the entrance to the intersection in obedience to a red signal, may cautiously enter the intersection to make a right turn but shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and other traffic proceeding as directed by the signal at the intersection, except that the state highways and transportation commission with reference to an intersection involving a state highway, and local authorities with reference to an intersection involving other highways under their jurisdiction, may prohibit any such right turn against a red signal at any intersection where safety conditions so require, said prohibition shall be effective when a sign is erected at such intersection giving notice thereof;

    (c) Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian control signal as provided in section 300.160, pedestrians facing a steady red signal alone shall not enter the roadway.

    (4) In the event an official traffic control signal is erected and maintained at a place other than an intersection, the provisions of this section shall be applicable except as to those provisions which by their nature can have no application. Any stop required shall be made at a sign or marking on the pavement indicating where the stop shall be made, but in the absence of any such sign or marking the stop shall be made at the signal.

    (L. 1965 p. 445 § 31, A.L. 1973 1st Ex. Sess. H.B. 26)

    Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Missouri may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.

    I continue to notice a problem in St. Petersburg that concerns me. At fully controlled intersections, that is to say, that all directions of traffic are controlled by traffic signals, I see many near misses between a driver executing a legal u-turn on the green light and a driver attempting to turn right on red.

    In this situation, who has the right of way?

    U-turn on Green and Right Turn on Red, Who Has the Right of Way?

    My driving experience in St. Petersburg says that most people believe that the person turning right on red has the right of way. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    According to Florida Statute 316.075 vehicles may execute a u-turn on a green signal as long as there is no signage prohibiting a u-turn at the intersection. The driver executing the u-turn must yield the right of way to pedestrians and other vehicles which are lawfully in the intersection.

    Likewise, Florida Statute 316.075 permits a driver to make a right turn on red if it can be safely accomplished. Essentially, a driver attempting to execute a right turn on red must yield to everyone else lawfully within the intersection.

    Therefore, screaming, honking, and obscene gestures aside, the driver executing a lawful u-turn has the right of way.

    The Driver Making a Right on Red Has a Duty to Make Sure the Intersection is Clear

    There are numerous derivations of the same situation. If there is no signal or sign for the driver making the u-turn, but a stop sign facing the driver attempting to make a right turn, the driver making a legal u-turn still has the right of way.

    As a general rule, the driver attempting to execute a right turn on red will be at fault for accidents that occur at the intersection involving the right-on-red driver. The driver attempting to execute a right on red has a duty to make sure that the intersection is free of pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcycles, and other cars lawfully in the intersection.

    I know people will complain because it is impossible to discern whether cars in the left turn lane will execute a u-turn or simply make a left turn. It is a good practice when turning right on red to check the traffic approaching from the left, both crosswalks, and the left-hand turn lane so that you are certain it is safe to proceed with the right turn.

    Right on Red Can Causes Serious Accidents and Injuries

    The results of an inattentive driver turning right on red can be devastating. The only logical excuse for accidents caused in this manner is driver impatience. The best result of such an accident is usually a collision with a car making a u-turn.

    Car accidents with other cars or motorcycles approaching the intersection at full speed can have fatal consequences when the driver executing a right on red failed to do so properly.

    Collisions with bicycle riders or pedestrians lawfully in the crosswalk will also cause significant and serious injuries to the riders and pedestrians.

    Unfortunately, the results of this type of car accident can be devastating and include:

    1. Death;
    2. Traumatic brain injury and/or concussions;
    3. Spinal cord damage and/or paralysis;
    4. Disfigurement;
    5. Fractured or broken bones; and
    6. Neck and back injuries.

    Contact an Experienced St Petersburg Accident and Injury Lawyer

    Have you been involved in an accident caused by a driver attempting to turn right on red failed to properly yield the right of way? Contact an experienced St. Petersburg personal injury attorney at Jones Law Group today. The decision to hire an experienced personal injury attorney is an extremely important one. It should be a personal decision based upon research and a comfort level with your attorney that is only reached after a face-to-face meeting with the attorney that will be handling your case. Experience the personalized service that you will receive at Jones Law Group.

    Whether you were operating a car or motorcycle, or you were a pedestrian or bicyclist, and have been injured in an accident, you should immediately call Jones Law Group at (727) 571-1333 during regular business hours or (727) 753-8657 on weekends or after regular business hours. We will evaluate your case for free and you will never pay us a dime unless we recover compensation for your injuries.

    Jones Law Group
    5622 Central Avenue
    St. Pete, FL 33707

    Current as of January 01, 2019 | Updated by FindLaw Staff

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    (1) If traffic is controlled by traffic control signals exhibiting different colored lights, or colored lighted arrows, successively one at a time or in combination as declared in the traffic control manual adopted by the department of transportation, only the colors green, yellow, and red shall be used, except for special pedestrian-control signals carrying a word or symbol legend as provided in section 42-4-802 , and said lights, arrows, and combinations thereof shall indicate and apply to drivers of vehicles and pedestrians as follows:

    (a) Green indication:

    (I) Vehicular traffic facing a circular green signal may proceed straight through or turn right or left unless a sign at such place prohibits such turn; but vehicular traffic, including vehicles turning right or left, shall yield the right-of-way to other vehicles and to pedestrians lawfully within the intersection and to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk at the time such signal is exhibited.

    (II) Vehicular traffic facing a green arrow signal, shown alone or in combination with another indication, may cautiously enter the intersection only to make the movement indicated by such arrow or such other movement as is permitted by other indications shown at the same time. Such vehicular traffic shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to other traffic lawfully using the intersection.

    (III) Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian-control signal as provided in section 42-4-802 , pedestrians facing any green signal, except when the sole green signal is a turn arrow, may proceed across the roadway within any marked or unmarked crosswalk.

    (b) Steady yellow indication:

    (I) Vehicular traffic facing a steady circular yellow or yellow arrow signal is thereby warned that the related green movement is being terminated or that a red indication will be exhibited immediately thereafter.

    (II) Pedestrians facing a steady circular yellow or yellow arrow signal, unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian-control signal as provided in section 42-4-802 , are thereby advised that there is insufficient time to cross the roadway before a red indication is shown, and no pedestrian shall then start to cross the roadway.

    (c) Steady red indication:

    (I) Vehicular traffic facing a steady circular red signal alone 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 before entering the intersection and shall remain standing until an indication to proceed is shown; except that:

    (A) Such vehicular traffic, after coming to a stop and yielding the right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to other traffic lawfully using the intersection, may make a right turn, unless state or local road authorities within their respective jurisdictions have by ordinance or resolution prohibited any such right turn and have erected an official sign at each intersection where such right turn is prohibited.

    (B) Such vehicular traffic, when proceeding on a one-way street and after coming to a stop, may make a left turn onto a one-way street upon which traffic is moving to the left of the driver. Such turn shall be made only after yielding the right-of-way to pedestrians and other traffic proceeding as directed. No turn shall be made pursuant to this sub-subparagraph (B) if local authorities have by ordinance prohibited any such left turn and erected a sign giving notice of any such prohibition at each intersection where such left turn is prohibited.

    (C) To promote uniformity in traffic regulation throughout the state and to protect the public peace, health, and safety, the general assembly declares that no local authority shall have any discretion other than is expressly provided in this subparagraph (I).

    (II) Pedestrians facing a steady circular red signal alone shall not enter the roadway, unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian-control signal as provided in section 42-4-802 .

    (III) Vehicular traffic facing a steady red arrow signal may not enter the intersection to make the movement indicated by such arrow and, unless entering the intersection to make such other movement as is permitted by other indications shown at the same time, 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 before entering the intersection and shall remain standing until an indication to make the movement indicated by such arrow is shown.

    (IV) Pedestrians facing a steady red arrow signal shall not enter the roadway, unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian-control signal as provided in section 42-4-802 .

    (d) Nonintersection signal: In the event an official traffic control signal is erected and maintained at a place other than an intersection, the provisions of this section shall be applicable except as to those provisions which by their nature can have no application. Any stop required shall be made at a sign or pavement marking indicating where the stop shall be made, but in the absence of any such sign or marking the stop shall be made at the signal.

    (e) Lane-use-control signals: Whenever lane-use-control signals are placed over the individual lanes of a street or highway, as declared in the traffic control manual adopted by the department of transportation, such signals shall indicate and apply to drivers of vehicles as follows:

    (I) Downward-pointing green arrow (steady): A driver facing such signal may drive in any lane over which said green arrow signal is located.

    (II) Yellow “X” (steady): A driver facing such signal is warned that the related green arrow movement is being terminated and shall vacate in a safe manner the lane over which said steady yellow signal is located to avoid if possible occupying that lane when the steady red “X” signal is exhibited.

    (III) Yellow “X” (flashing): A driver facing such signal may use the lane over which said flashing yellow signal is located for the purpose of making a left turn or a passing maneuver, using proper caution, but for no other purpose.

    (IV) Red “X” (steady): A driver facing such signal shall not drive in any lane over which said red signal is exhibited.

    (2) Any person who violates any provision of this section commits a class A traffic infraction.

    While we know that turning right on a red light in Michigan depends on the intersection and signage, you may be wondering if there is ever a time when it’s legal to turn left on a red light? Yes, under certain circumstances.

    Under What Circumstances Are You Allowed to Turn Left on a Red Light in MI?

    You are allowed to turn left on a red light in Michigan under certain circumstances:

    You can turn left on a red light in Michigan if you are turning from a one-way or two-way street onto a one-way street and the traffic that you would be turning onto is going the same direction as your left turn. You are prohibited from turning left on a red light when the street that you would be turning onto goes two ways.

    You must also stop before entering the intersection.

    Remember You Never Have the Right of Way

    However, it’s extremely important to remember that when turning left on a red light you never have the right of way. That belongs to pedestrians, bicyclists, and other drivers who are using the street at the time.

    If there are any pedestrians or bicyclists who are legally in the crosswalk on the street that you would be making a left onto, you must yield to the, as well as other vehicles that are driving on the street you are turning onto.

    If you are at an intersection that has a sign, signal, light, marking, or any other device that says making a left on red is prohibited, you may not do so. This sign must be located above or adjacent to the traffic control signal or as close as possible to the point where the turn is made (or in both directions). Put simply, it’s important that at least one of these signs is visible to the driver who would be turning.

    The Attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. Can Help

    If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident as a driver, bicyclist, or pedestrian, you should not have to be bear the burden alone. When you are already dealing with so much, the last thing that you want to do is to have to worry about tackling the legalities of your situation.

    When there’s a green traffic light but no right arrow signal, wait until oncoming traffic clears or breaks, and then turn.

    If the lights change to yellow or red while you’re in the intersection, you must turn right as soon as it’s safe to do so.
    You must not make a U-turn at traffic lights, unless there’s a ‘U-turn permitted’ sign.

    The main points are:-

    • Enter the intersection as shown in the diagram, unless a sign indicates otherwise or there is a red right turn arrow
    • Wait until oncoming traffic clears or breaks and then turn safely.
    • If the lights change to yellow or red while you are in the middle of the intersection, you are allowed to turn right.
    • You must turn as soon as it is safe to do so.
    • Be sure your front wheels and car are straight and not blocking the oncoming traffic.

    A green arrow means you can turn in that direction. When there’s a green right arrow and a red light, you can turn right. You must not go straight ahead or turn left.

    A yellow (amber) arrow means you must stop. You can only go through a yellow light if you cannot stop safely before the ‘Stop’ line. When a yellow (amber) arrow is flashing, this means you can turn in that direction. You must give way to pedestrians crossing the road you’re turning into.

    A red arrow means you must not turn. You must stop behind the ‘Stop’ line until the arrow turns green or disappears. When there’s a red right arrow and a green light, you must not turn right. You can go straight ahead or turn left.