If you get caught running a stop sign or red light in Arizona, you’ll typically be looking at a fine and points on your driving record. (Though there may be other options for dealing with a traffic citation that don't involve fines and points.)This article gives an overview of what the law prohibits and some specific consequences of a stop sign or red light ticket.
Arizona law specifies that at a solid red light a motorist must make a complete stop prior to entering the intersection. However, at stops signs and flashing red lights, the law provides drivers need to stop before reaching the nearest of a crosswalk, clearly marked stop line, or the intersection itself.
Arizona law allows motorists to make a right turn after stopping at a red light unless there’s a sign indicating the turn is prohibited. But drivers must use caution and follow right-of-way rules when making a right on red.
In Arizona, 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, motorists need to follow the normal right-of-way rules and proceed with caution when making the turn.
In some states, it’s illegal to enter an intersection on a yellow light. However, in Arizona, 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, just not after the light has turned red.
Some jurisdictions in Arizona use automated cameras at intersections to detect red light violators. However, jurisdictions that use red light cameras must post at least two signs (one within 300 feet and another more than 300 feet away from the camera) indicating to drivers that red light cameras are in use.
Typically, the maximum fine for a red light or stop sign violation is $250, plus surcharges. A conviction for either type of violation will also add two demerit points to the motorist’s driving record. And anyone convicted of a red light violation also must complete a “traffic survival school” course.
However, by taking a defensive driving course, an eligible motorist can get a red light or stop sign ticket dismissed. There’s a fee for the course, but the driver can avoid the consequences (see above) that result from a conviction.
Depending on the circumstances, a red light or stop sign violation could also lead to a reckless driving conviction. And if one of these offenses results in the death of another person, vehicular homicide charges are another possibility.