If you get caught running a stop sign or red light in Louisiana, you’ll typically have to pay a fine. 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 stop sign, motorists must make a complete stop at a clearly marked stop line or before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection. And if there is no stop line or crosswalk, the driver needs to stop before entering the intersection itself.
Louisiana law allows motorists to make a right turn after stopping at a red light, provided there’s no sign indicating the turn is prohibited. However, before turning, the driver must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and other traffic passing through the intersection as directed by the signal.
In Louisiana, a motorist can do a left turn after stopping at a red light only from a one-way street onto another one-way street. And, so long as there’s no sign prohibiting it, a driver is allowed to make a U-turn at a red light after coming to a full stop. Of course, drivers who make a left or U-turn at a red light must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and other vehicles lawfully using the intersection.
In Louisiana, a steady yellow light is 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.
Louisiana law allows the use of automated cameras placed at intersections to catch red light violators. However, municipal and local parish authorities must post signs within 500 feet of the camera that clearly indicate to drivers that cameras are in use at the intersection. And red light camera tickets won’t go on the motorist’s driving record. Also, in some cases fighting a red light camera ticket can produce results.
Generally, a motorist who’s found guilty of a red light or stop sign violation will have to pay a fine. Fine amounts vary by municipality and parish. However, tickets for these types of violations generally range from about $150 to $225. And when a violation involves the injury or death of another person, the driver may face jail time, increased fines, and license suspension.
However, depending on the circumstances of your case, you may have alternatives that don't involve having to pay a fine.
Depending on the circumstances, a red light violation could also lead to a reckless driving conviction. And if a motorist runs a red light and ends up causing the death of another person, vehicular homicide charges are a possibility.