If you get caught running a stop sign or red light in Oregon, you’ll typically be looking at a fine. This article gives an overview of what the law prohibits and some of the 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 a stop sign, motorists must come to a complete stop prior to the nearest of reaching a marked limit line, entering the crosswalk at the near side of the intersection, or entering the intersection itself.
Oregon 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, drivers must use caution and follow right-of-way rules when making a right on red.
In Oregon, a motorist can do a left turn after stopping at a red light only onto a one-way street. Of course, motorists need to follow the normal right-of-way rules and proceed with caution when making the turn.
In Oregon, a yellow light means that traffic facing the light is “warned” that a red light will soon follow. Unlike some other states, Oregon law requires drivers to stop at a yellow light. A driver is permitted to drive through a yellow light only if the driver cannot safely come to a stop and proceeds cautiously.
Oregon law permits the use of automated cameras at intersections to catch red light violators. Red light camera tickets are mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle. A vehicle owner might be able to beat a red light camera ticket by proving to the court that someone else was operating the vehicle when the violation occurred.
In some circumstances, motorcyclists and bicyclists in Oregon may run red lights legally. If a traffic light fails to turn green after going through a full cycle, a motorcyclist or bicyclist can proceed through the intersection with caution. The reason for the special rule is that devices that trigger red lights have difficulty detecting the presence of motorcycles and bicycles.
Stop sign and stop light offenses are class B traffic violations in Oregon. Fines for class B traffic violations range from $135 to $1,000, with the presumptive fine being $265.
However, eligible drivers can get a traffic violation dismissed by completing traffic school.
Depending on the circumstances, a red light or stop sign violation could also lead to a reckless driving conviction. And if one these offenses result in the death of another person, vehicular homicide of manslaughter charges are a possibility.