If you get caught running a stop sign or red light in Florida, 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 specific consequences of a stop sign or red light violation.
(Also, read about the options for dealing with a traffic citation.)
At a red light (solid or flashing) or a stop sign, motorists must come to a complete stop prior to the nearest of reaching a marked limit line, entering the crosswalk at the near side of the intersection, or entering the intersection itself.
Florida 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 Florida, 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 Florida, 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.
Florida law permits the use of automated cameras at intersections to catch red light violators. However, the state imposes certain requirements on jurisdictions that use red light cameras, including:
A vehicle owner might be able to beat a red light ticket by proving to the court that:
Also, red light camera tickets generally can’t be issued for drivers who don’t stop or stop too late at a red light and make a right turn in a “careful and prudent” manner.
Generally, stop sign and red light violations are noncriminal infractions in Florida. Fine amounts vary depending on the circumstances and where you received the ticket. But generally, a red light or stop sign ticket will cost the driver between $150 and $275 (including fines, fees, and court costs).
A stop sign or light conviction will generally add at least three demerit points to a motorist’s driving record. (Red light camera tickets, however, don’t add any points.) Accumulating too many points can lead to license suspension. But eligible motorists can avoid the points by completing “driver improvement school.”
Depending on the situation, a red light or stop sign violation could also result in a reckless driving conviction. And if one of these violations involves the death of another person, vehicular homicide charges are another possibility.