Rhode Island drivers who get caught running a stop sign or stop light will likely have to pay a fine. This article gives an overview of what drivers can be ticketed for and some of the specific consequences of a stop sign or red light citation.
(Also, read about the options for dealing with a traffic citation.)
Motorists who approach a red light (solid or flashing) or stop sign must come to a complete stop prior to the nearest of entering the crosswalk, reaching a marked stop line, or entering the intersection itself.
As long as there’s no sign or red arrow specifically restricting it, Rhode Island law permits drivers to make a right turn after stopping at a red light. However, drivers need to use caution and follow the normal right-of-way rules when making the turn.
Rhode Island is in the handful of states that don’t allow drivers to make a left turn after stopping at a red light under any circumstances.
In some states, it’s illegal to enter an intersection if the light is yellow. In Rhode Island, 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.
Rhode Island law permits the use of automated cameras at intersections to catch red light violators. However, when red light photo-enforcement is used at an intersection, there must be signs that inform motorists about the cameras.
Red light camera violation notices—which are mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle—should include two or more photos of the violation. A red light camera conviction isn’t considered a moving violation and won’t affect the insurance rates of the vehicle owner.
Generally, the fine for a stop light or stop sign violation is $85.
However, depending on the circumstances, a red light or stop sign violation could lead to a reckless driving conviction. And a driver who runs a red signal or stop sign and causes a fatality could face vehicular homicide charges.