Yes, in Texas, you are legally allowed to turn right at a red light after coming to a complete stop, as long as there’s no sign prohibiting such a maneuver. Before you turn right at a red light, stop before entering the crosswalk, and yield the right of way to pedestrians and oncoming traffic. This rule is outlined in Texas Transportation Code § 544.007(d)(1).
Is It Legal to Turn Right on Red at a Stop Light in Texas?
It is legal to turn right on red at a stop light in Texas per Texas traffic laws. However, there are a few steps that you must take to ensure your actions are within the law:
- Come to a complete stop: This isn’t a “rolling stop”. You are required to halt completely, we recommend for about 3 seconds, before proceeding.
- Stop before entering the crosswalk: Your stop line is before the crosswalk, not in or past it. It’s crucial to stop here to ensure the safety of pedestrians.
- Check for signs prohibiting the turn: Some intersections may have a sign that explicitly prevents a right turn on red. Always observe such signs.
- Yield to pedestrians and oncoming traffic: Before you make your turn, make sure the way is clear of any pedestrians and oncoming traffic. You must yield right of way to both, or risk being at fault for a car accident.
When Can a “No Right on Red” Sign Be Posted?
A “No Right on Red” sign can be posted in a variety of scenarios depending on the specific traffic conditions of the area. These scenarios include, but are not limited to:
- High pedestrian traffic: If an intersection is frequented by a large number of pedestrians, a “No Right on Red” sign might be installed to ensure their safety.
- Limited visibility: At intersections where the view of oncoming traffic is obscured, these signs can be used to prevent accidents.
- Complex traffic patterns: In areas with complex traffic patterns, such as those involving multiple lanes or unusual road geometries, these signs can be used to simplify traffic movements and reduce confusion.
- Safety concerns: If a particularly dangerous intersection has a history of accidents and it is determined that turning right on red contributes to the risk, these signs may be put up as a safety measure.
Always remember to obey these signs as they are installed for the safety of all road users. Not adhering to them could lead to traffic violations or, worse, accidents.
What is the Penalty for Making an Illegal Right Turn at a Red Light in Texas?
In Texas, making an illegal right turn at a red light is considered a serious violation of the Texas Transportation Code § 544.007. The violation is a Class C Misdemeanor, and if you are found guilty you will have to pay a fine. The amount of the fine can vary depending on the jurisdiction but can range anywhere from $1 to $200 (General Penalty –Tex. Transp. Code § 542.401).
Remember, this is not just about the fine; a traffic violation could also impact your driving record and your insurance premium. It’s always vital to follow the traffic laws to ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road.
Do Any States Prohibit Right Turns at Red Lights?
Yes, there are states in the United States that do not generally permit right turns at red lights. Here are some examples:
- New York City, New York: Even though the state of New York does allow right turns at red lights, New York City is an exception. According to the NYC traffic rules, unless a sign permits it, right turns at red lights are prohibited within the metropolitan jurisdiction.
- District of Columbia: In the District of Columbia, turning right is prohibited at intersections lacking certain parameters, such as: 1) minimum sight distances, 2) odd-shaped intersections, 3) intersections with significant traffic by pedestrian children or elderly, 4) heavy pedestrian traffic intersections, or 5) intersections with “WALK” signs. You can find more details on this rule in DC Municipal Regulations Title 18, Section 4013.
It’s important to note that even in states where turning right on red is allowed, there may be local ordinances or signs that prohibit this maneuver at specific intersections. Always follow signage and local laws to avoid traffic violations.
If a Driver Turning Right on Red Crashed into You, Call Our Injury Lawyers
Our experienced Texas personal injury lawyers are committed to providing support and pursuing justice for victims of accidents where drivers have violated Texas traffic laws, such as illegally turning right at a red light. We are proud of our track record: In 2022 alone, we achieved 59 of the top 100 motor vehicle accident injury settlements in Texas.
We believe that everyone deserves access to legal assistance, which is why we offer FREE CONSULTATIONS for all potential clients. What’s more, we operate on a contingency basis, which means you pay NO FEE unless we win your case. If we are unable to recover a settlement for your injury accident, you will not owe us a penny. We are here to help you navigate the complexities of your case and work tirelessly to secure the compensation you deserve.
What to Do if You Were Injured in an Accident Where a Driver Illegally Turned Right on Red?
If you find yourself in a situation where you were injured in an accident caused by a driver who illegally turned right on red, it’s crucial to know the steps to take to protect your rights and interests. Here’s what you should do after an auto accident:
- Seek medical attention immediately: Your health is your priority. Even if your injuries seem minor, get checked out as some symptoms might appear later.
- Document everything: Take pictures of the accident scene, your injuries, and damages to your vehicle. Gather witness contact information.
- File a police report: It’s essential to have an official record of the incident. Be sure to obtain a copy of the report for your records.
- Notify your insurance company: Report the accident to your insurance provider as soon as possible, as most policies require you to promptly report any collisions.
- Consult with our personal injury attorneys: Our experienced accident attorneys can guide you through the legal process and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Remember, every action taken after the accident can significantly impact the outcome of your case. Contact Thompson Law today.
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