If you get caught running a stop sign or red light in Arkansas, you’ll likely face fines and demerit points on your driving record. (There could be other options available that allow you to avoid the fines and points.) 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) or stop sign, motorists must make a complete stop before the crosswalk or limit line at the near side of the intersection. And if there is no crosswalk or limit line, the driver must stop prior to the intersection itself.
Arkansas law allows motorists to make a right turn after stopping at a red light unless there’s a sign indicating the turn is prohibited.
In Arkansas, motorists are allowed to make a left from a one-way street to another one-way street after stopping at a red light.
In Arkansas, 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, but not after it has turned red.
The intervals at which some traffic lights switch depend on a sensor that detects when a vehicle is stopped at the light. However, these sensors often fail to detect motorcycles because of their size. So, Arkansas has a special rule that allows motorcyclists to go through an intersection at a red light after coming to a complete stop. Of course, a motorcyclist must exercise care and only enter an intersection on red only when safe to do so.
Unlike many other states, Arkansas doesn’t use cameras to detect red light violators.
Stop sign and red light violations are misdemeanors. For a first violation, a motorist faces up to $100 in fines and/or up to 10 days in jail. For a second violation within a year, there’s up to $200 in fines and the maximum possible jail time is increased to 20 days. And a motorist who’s convicted of a third offense within a year is looking at up to $500 in fines and a maximum six months in jail.
A stop sign or red light ticket will also add three demerit points to a motorist’s driving record.
Depending on the circumstances, a red light or stop sign violation could lead to a reckless driving conviction. And if one of these offenses results in a fatality, negligent homicide charges are another possibility.