Red Light and Stop Sign Tickets in Florida

Read about Florida’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 Florida, you'll typically be looking at a fine and points on your driving record. (Though there may be other options for dealing with the ticket.) This article gives an overview of what the law prohibits and some specific consequences of a stop sign or red light violation.

Making the Stop

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.

Right-On-Red Rule

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.

Left-on-Red Rule

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.

Meaning of a Yellow Light

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.

Red Light Cameras

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:

  • the jurisdiction must mail the notice of violation to the owner of the vehicle within 30 days of when the violation occurred
  • the notice must inform the owner of the right to view the photographic or video evidence and provide a means for the owner to do so, and
  • the owner must be informed of the right to request a hearing to contest the ticket.

A vehicle owner might be able to beat a red light ticket by proving to the court that:

  • running the light was necessary to yield to an emergency vehicle
  • law enforcement directed the person to go through the light
  • someone other than the owner was operating the vehicle when the violation occurred, or
  • an officer issued a ticket in person for the same violation.

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.

Fines and Points for Violations

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.

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