If you get a stop sign or red light ticket in Wisconsin, you’ll likely have to pay a fine, and the conviction will add demerit points to your driving record. This article gives an overview of what the law requires and some of the consequences of a stop sign or red light violation.
(Also, read about the options for dealing with a traffic citation.)
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, Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin, 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 most states, a driver can’t be ticketed if his or her front tires cross the limit line prior to the signal turning red. However, the rule is different in Wisconsin: Motorist must stop at a yellow light except when the motorist is so close to the intersection when the light turns yellow that it’s unsafe to do so.
Some signals use sensors that detect when motorists are waiting at the light. These sensors trigger the signal to switch only if a vehicle is detected. However, because of their small size, motorbikes and bicycles often aren’t detected by the sensor. So, Wisconsin law permits persons using one of these modes of transportation to pass through a red light, provided they:
The fines for a stop sign or stop light violation are:
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 traffic safety course.
Depending on the circumstances, a red light or stop sign violation could lead to a reckless driving conviction. And drivers who run red signals or stop signs and cause the death of another person could face vehicular homicide charges.