If you get convicted of a stop sign or red light violation in West Virginia, you'll likely be facing a fine and demerit points being assessed to your driving record. (However, you may have other options, like fighting the ticket.) This article gives an overview of what the law prohibits and some of the consequences of a stop sign or red light violation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Stop sign and red light violations are misdemeanors in West Virginia. Generally, a conviction carries the following maximum fines:
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.