If you get caught running a stop sign or red light in Maine, you'll likely face fines and demerit points on your driving record. This article gives an overview of what the law prohibits and some specific consequences of a stop sign or red light violation.
At a red light (solid or flashing), motorists must make a complete stop at a sign or mark on the pavement indicating where to stop or, in the absence of such an indicator, at the actual traffic control device. For stop signs, drivers must stop prior to the crosswalk or stop line, and if there isn't a crosswalk or stop line, before the intersection itself.
Maine 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, the motorist making the right turn must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians using the crosswalk and other traffic lawfully in the intersection.
Many states permit drivers to turn left onto a one-way street after coming to a complete stop. In Maine, however, a left turn isn't allowed at a red light.
In Maine, a steady yellow light is 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, just not after it has turned red.
In 2009, a law went into effect that banned the use of red-light cameras in Maine.
Stop sign and red light violations are traffic infractions and generally carry a $146 fine. A stop sign or red light ticket will also add four demerit points to a motorist's driving record. However, drivers can reduce their points by completing a defensive driving course. And there are sometimes other options for dealing with a traffic ticket.
Depending on the circumstances, a red light or stop sign violation could also lead to a "driving-to-endanger" conviction. Also, if one of these offenses results in the death of another person, vehicular manslaughter charges are possible.