Can you turn right on a red light?

On Behalf of | Apr 27, 2021 | Traffic Violations

Many people believe that you’re always allowed to turn right on a red light. They believe that you’re supposed to stop at the light, look for traffic, and then turn when you find space to do so. 

But is this true? If you’re wrong, could you get a ticket?

Are you in NYC or the surrounding areas?

The biggest question is just where you’re located when you go to make that turn on red. Generally, people in New York state can turn right on a red light — but there are exceptions. Some intersections restrict right turns entirely or during certain hours. If there is no sign, however, the right turn is permitted. 

In New York City, though, things work in the opposite manner. Overall, you can’t turn right on red. This is done to protect pedestrians and cyclists, which are both abundant in the city. However, some intersections have signs specifically stating that you can turn right on a red at those intersections. 

The key, then, is to look for the signs and to understand where you’re located and how the law works in that specific area. Once you know what the default is, then you can look for the signs that present exceptions to that rule. 

This is especially important for visitors who come to NYC from other towns or other states. They often assume right turns are legal, rather than assuming that they can’t turn unless a sign instructs them otherwise. 

Did you get a ticket for turning right on red?

Whether you’re a visitor or a resident, you could get a ticket for an illegal turn. If you do, be sure you know what legal steps to take to protect your interests.