Red Light and Stop Sign Tickets in Delaware

Read about Delaware’s red light and stop sign laws and the consequences of a violation.

If you get caught running a stop sign or red light in Delaware, you’ll typically be looking at a fine and points on your driving record. This article gives an overview of what the law prohibits and some of the specific consequences of a stop sign or red light ticket.

(Also, read about the options for dealing with a traffic citation.)

Making the Stop

At a red light (solid or flashing) or stop sign, motorists must make a complete stop prior to reaching the stop limit (marked by a sign or painted line) or the crosswalk. And if there is no stop limit or crosswalk, the driver needs to stop before entering the intersection itself.

Right-On-Red Rule

Delaware 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, drivers must use caution and follow right-of-way rules when making a right on red.

Left-on-Red Rule

In Delaware, 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.

Meaning of a Yellow Light

In some states, it’s illegal to enter an intersection on a yellow light. However, in Delaware, 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 it has turned red.

Red Light Cameras

Delaware law permits the use of automated cameras to detect red light violators. A motorist who gets caught by a red light camera will receive a notice of the violation by mail. The notice is mailed to the registered owner of the car and is supposed to include the time, date, and location of the violation, as well as photos taken of the driver going through the light. Persons who wish to contest a red light citation must request a hearing in writing within 30 days of the citation issue date. A person can beat a red light ticket by proving:

  • someone else was driving the vehicle when the violation occurred
  • entering the intersection was necessary to yield to an emergency vehicle, or
  • the violation occurred while driving in a funeral procession.

(Read more about contesting a red light camera ticket.)

Penalties

Red light violations. For a first red light violation, the driver faces $75 to $230 in fines. For each subsequent violation within a two-year period, the driver is looking at $100 to $575 in fines and/or ten to 60 days in jail.

Red light camera violations. The fine for red light camera violations is $137.50.

Stop sign violations. For a first stop sign violation, the driver faces $55 to $75 in fines. For each subsequent violation within a one-year period, the driver is looking at $57.50 to $85 in fines.

However, a motorist who’s convicted of traffic violation (except red light camera tickets) will also have to pay court costs and various fees. These additions can significantly increase the total amount the driver has to pay.

And a red light or stop sign violation (except red light camera violations) will add three demerit points to a motorist’s driving record. Accumulating too many points can lead to license suspension. But a driver can receive a three-point credit for completing a defensive driving course.

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