If you get caught running a stop sign or red light in Kentucky, you'll typically be looking at a fine and points on your driving record. (This assumes you admit the violation or are found guilty, but there are other options for dealing with a ticket.) This article gives an overview of what the law prohibits and some of the specific consequences of a stop sign or red light violation.
At a red light (solid or flashing) or stop sign, motorists must make a complete stop at a clearly marked stop line or before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection. And if there is no stop line or crosswalk, the driver needs to stop before entering the intersection.
Kentucky law allows motorists to make a right turn after stopping at a red light unless there's a sign indicating the turn is prohibited. However, before turning, the driver must yield the right of way to pedestrians and other traffic passing through the intersection as directed by the signal.
In Kentucky, a motorist can do a left turn after stopping at a red light only from a one-way street onto another one-way street. Of course, drivers who make a left turn at a red light must yield the right of way to pedestrians and other vehicles lawfully using the intersection.
In some states, it's illegal to enter an intersection on a yellow light. However, in Kentucky, a steady yellow light is just a warning that the light is about to turn red. In other words, you're allowed to enter an intersection while the light is still yellow. But if you enter the intersection after the light has turned red, you can be cited for running the light.
Unlike a number of other states, Kentucky doesn't use automated cameras to detect and ticket red-light violators.
Under certain circumstances, Kentucky law allows motorcyclists to run a red light. Motorcyclists who are cited for a red light violation can get off the hook by proving:
The law provides this exception because motorcycles and bicycles are often too small for the light's sensor to detect.
Generally, a stop sign or red light violation carries $20 to $100 in fines. A red light or stop sign violation will also add three demerit points to the motorist's driving record. But a driver can typically avoid the points by completing traffic school.
Depending on the situation, a red light or stop sign violation could also lead to a reckless driving conviction. And if one of these violations results in the death of another person, vehicular homicide charges are another possibility.