Running Red Lights and Stop Signs in Idaho

Read about Idaho’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 Idaho, 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.)

Making the Stop

At a red light (solid or flashing) or a stop sign, Idaho law requires motorists to stop before reaching the nearest of the clearly marked stop line, crosswalk, or intersection. And in the case of a solid red light, the motorist must remain stopped behind the marked limit line until the signal turns green. If there is no limit line, the driver needs to remain at a stop in a location so as to avoid blocking the crosswalk.

Right-On-Red Rule

Idaho 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 Idaho, a motorist can make a left turn on red only onto a one-way street. Of course, the driver must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and other traffic lawfully using the intersection.

Meaning of a Yellow Light

In Idaho, a yellow light is a warning that the signal is about to turn red. In other words, you’re allowed to enter an intersection while the light is still yellow. But if you enter the intersection after the light has turned red, you can be cited for running the light.

Special Rules for Motorcycles

Some intersections use technologies that trigger the signal to switch when vehicles are detected. However, motorcycles are sometimes too small to for these technologies to detect. When this occurs, a motorcyclist can go through the red light, but must first stop and wait for a full signal cycle.

Fines and Points for Violations

Stop sign and red light violations are infractions in Idaho. Generally, the cost of a conviction is $90.

A stop sign or light conviction will also add three points to a motorist’s driving record. Accumulating too many points can lead to license suspension. However, drivers may be able to avoid the points resulting from a citation by completing a “traffic safety education course.”

Depending on the circumstances, a red light or stop sign violation could also lead to a reckless driving conviction. And if one these violations lead to a fatality, vehicular manslaughter charges are another possibility.

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