If you get caught running a stop sign or red light in Massachusetts, 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 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 stop line, entering the crosswalk at the near side of the intersection, or entering the intersection.
Massachusetts 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.
Unlike some other states, Massachusetts doesn’t allow drivers to make a left turn at a red light.
In most states, a motorist is free to enter an intersection when the signal shows yellow. However, Massachusetts law requires drivers to stop at yellow lights unless they're so close to the intersection when the light switches to yellow that it’s unsafe to stop.
Depending on the circumstances, a red light or stop sign violation can run the driver anywhere from about $40 to $155.
A stop sign or red light conviction will also add two points to a motorist’s driving record.
In certain situations, a stop sign or red light violation could also lead to a reckless or negligent operation conviction. And if a motorist runs a light or stop sign and kills someone, homicide-by-motor-vehicle charges are a possibility.