Red Light and Stop Sign Tickets in Utah

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

If you get a stop sign or red light ticket in Utah, you’ll likely be looking at having to pay a fine and demerit points being assessed to your driving record. This article gives an overview of what the law prohibits and some of the consequences of a stop sign or red light violation.

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

Making the Stop

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.

Right-On-Red Rule

As long as there’s no sign specifically restricting it, Utah 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.

Left-on-Red Rule

Some states don’t allow left turns on red, regardless of the circumstances. However, in Utah, 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.

Meaning of a Yellow Light

In some states, it’s against the law to enter an intersection once the signal has turned yellow. In Utah, 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.

Special Rules for Motorcycles, Mopeds, and Bikes

Some signals are triggered to switch when sensors detect the presence of a vehicle waiting at the red light. However, these sensors sometimes failed to detect motorcycles, mopeds, and bicycles because of their size. So, persons who get ticketed on one of these modes of transportation can establish a defense by proving:

  • they came to a complete stop at the intersection or stop line
  • they waited a reasonable amount of time (at least 90 seconds) without being detected by the sensors
  • no other vehicle had the right of way
  • no pedestrians were crossing or near the intersection, and
  • they proceeded through the intersection with caution.

Fines and Points for Violations

Stop sign and red light violations are infractions in Utah. Generally, the fine for a conviction is about $120.

Generally, a stop sign or light conviction will add 50 demerit points to a motorist’s driving record. A driver who accumulates 200 or more points within a three-year period faces license suspension. However, eligible drivers can remove 50 points from their driving record by completing a defensive driving course.

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 may face automobile homicide charges if certain other factors are present (illegal use of cellphone or impairment by drugs or alcohol).

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