Red Light and Stop Sign Tickets in Ohio

Learn about Ohio’s red light and stop sign laws and the consequences of a violation.

Ohio drivers who run stop signs or red lights will likely have to pay a fine. A red light or stop sign conviction will also add points to a person’s driving record. This article gives an overview of what the law requires and some of the penalties for a stop sign or red light ticket.

(Also, read about the options for dealing with a traffic citation.)

Making the Stop

When approaching a stop sign or red light (flashing or solid), drivers must come to a complete stop prior to the nearest of entering the crosswalk, reaching a clearly marked stop line, or entering the intersection.

Right-On-Red Rule

As long as there’s no sign prohibiting it, Ohio drivers are allowed to make a right turn after stopping at a red light. However, drivers must use caution and follow the normal right-of-way rules when making a right on red.

Left-on-Red Rule

In Ohio, motorists can make a left turn after stopping at a red light only from a one-way street onto another one-way street. As with making a right on red, drivers who make left turns after stopping at a red light must abide by right-of-way rules.

Meaning of a Yellow Light

In some states, it’s illegal to enter an intersection if the light is yellow. In Ohio, however, a solid yellow light is just a warning that the light is about to turn red. In other words, you can enter an intersection while the light is still yellow, just not after it has turned red.

Red Light Cameras

Ohio has laws on the books that place severe restrictions on jurisdictions that use red light cameras. However, in 2017, the Ohio Supreme Court held that these restrictions are unconstitutional. So, it’s likely that more jurisdictions in the state will start using automated cameras to catch red light violators.

(Dayton v. State, 2017-Ohio-6909.)

Penalties

Stop sign and red light violations are misdemeanors in Ohio. The exact classification and possible penalties depend on how many prior convictions the motorist has had within the past year:

  • First offense. Minor misdemeanor, which carries up to $150 in fines.
  • Second offense. Fourth-degree misdemeanor, which carries up to $250 in fines and/or a maximum 30 days in jail.
  • Third or subsequent offense. Third-degree misdemeanor, which carries up to $500 in fines and/or a maximum 60 days in jail.

A stop sign or red light conviction will add two demerit points to a motorist’s driving record. A driver who accumulates 12 or more points within a two-year period faces license suspension. However, eligible drivers can get a two-point reduction by completing a “remedial driving instruction” course.

Depending on the circumstances, a red light or stop sign violation could also lead to a reckless operation conviction. And a motorist who fails to stop at a red light or stop sign and causes the death of another person may face vehicular homicide charges.

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