Red Light and Stop Sign Tickets in West Virginia

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

If you get a stop sign or red light ticket in West Virginia, you’ll likely be facing 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 ticket.)

Making the Stop

Motorists approaching a stop sign or a signal exhibiting a red light (solid or flashing) generally must come to a complete stop prior to the nearest of entering the crosswalk, reaching a limit line, or entering the intersection itself.

Right-On-Red Rule

As long as there’s no sign specifically restricting it, West Virginia 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 West Virginia, 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 illegal to enter an intersection if the light is yellow. In West Virginia, however, a solid yellow or “caution” 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.

Fines and Points for Violations

Stop sign and red light violations are misdemeanors in West Virginia. Generally, a conviction carries the following maximum fines:

  • $100 for a first conviction within a year
  • $200 for a second conviction within a year, and
  • $500 for a third or subsequent conviction.

A stop sign or red light conviction will also add three demerit points to a motorist’s driving record. A driver who accumulates too many points faces license suspension. However, eligible motorists can get a three-point reduction by completing a defensive driving class.

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 the death of another person could face negligent homicide charges.

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