If you get caught running a stop sign or red light in Oklahoma, you'll likely face fines and demerit 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.
At a red light (solid or flashing) or stop sign, motorists generally must make a complete stop before entering the crosswalk at the near side of the intersection or at a clearly marked stop line. And if there is no crosswalk or stop line, the driver should stop prior to reaching the intersection itself.
Oklahoma law allows motorists to make a right turn after stopping at a red light, so long as there's no sign indicating the turn is prohibited. However, the motorist making the right turn must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians using the crosswalk and other traffic lawfully in the intersection.
In Oklahoma, a motorist is generally permitted to make a left turn from a one-way street onto another one-way street after stopping at a red light. Of course, drivers aren't allowed to make such a turn if there's a sign at the intersection indicating a left turn on red is illegal.
In Oklahoma, 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. But if you enter the intersection after the light has turned red, you can be cited for running the light.
Unlike many other states, Oklahoma doesn't use red light cameras.
In some circumstances, motorcyclists in Oklahoma can lawfully proceed through a red light. If a motorcyclist makes a complete stop at an intersection, and the light doesn't turn green because it fails to detect the motorcycle due to its size or weight, the motorcyclist can cautiously proceed through the intersection. However, the motorcyclist must yield the right-of-way to other vehicles and may not enter the intersection if doing so would pose a danger to another vehicle or person.
Stop sign and red light violations are misdemeanors. For a first violation, a motorist faces $5 to $500 in fines and/or up to 10 days in jail. For a second violation within a year, the maximum possible jail time is increased to 20 days. And a motorist who's convicted of a third offense within a year is looking at up to six months in jail.
A stop sign or red light ticket will also add two demerit points to a motorist's driving record. However, drivers can reduce their points by completing a driver improvement course.
Depending on the circumstances, a red light or stop sign violation could also lead to a reckless driving conviction. And if one of these violations results in the death of another person, negligent homicide charges are another possibility.