Texas drivers who get a ticket for running a stop sign or stop light have a number of options for dealing with the ticket. However, a conviction will likely result in fines and demerit points being assessed to a motorist's driving record. This article gives an overview of what the law prohibits and some of the consequences of a getting stop sign or red light citation.
Motorists approaching a stop sign or a signal exhibiting a red light (solid or flashing) must come to a complete stop prior to the nearest of entering the crosswalk, reaching a clearly marked stop line, or entering the intersection itself.
As long as there's no sign specifically restricting it, Texas 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.
Some states don't allow left turns on red, regardless of the circumstances. However, Texas drivers are permitted to turn left after stopping at a red light at the intersection of two one-way streets. In other words, a motorist can make a left on red from a one-way street onto another one-way street.
In some states, it's illegal to enter an intersection if the light is yellow. In Texas, however, a solid yellow light is just a warning that the signal 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.
Stop sign and red light violation fines vary depending on the circumstances, including where you received the ticket. But generally, fines range from about $150 to $275.
Generally, a stop sign or red light conviction will add two demerit points to a motorist's driving record. A driver who accumulates too many could face having to pay surcharges. However, eligible drivers can avoid the points that normally result from a violation by completing a defensive driving course.
Depending on the circumstances, a red light or stop sign violation could also lead to a reckless driving conviction. And a driver who runs a red signal or stop sign and causes a fatality may face vehicular homicide or manslaughter charges.