Can You Turn Left at a Red Light in Texas?

Drivers often question whether it is legal to turn left on red at a stop light in Texas. In Texas and most other states, it is legal to make a right-hand turn on a red light unless signage specifically prohibits this action (Tex. Transp. Code § 544.007 (a) (1)). To turn right at a red light, drivers are required to come to a complete stop, ensure that the way is clear of pedestrians and oncoming traffic, and only then proceed with caution. But what about turning left at a red light?

Is It Legal to Turn Left on Red at a Stop Light in Texas?

After coming to a complete stop, making a left turn at a red light is legal when the street you are on is one-way, and the street you are turning onto is also one-way. Texas traffic laws allow drivers to turn left on red if:

  • The driver comes to a full stop at the intersection;
  • The driver yields right-of-way to pedestrians and other traffic;
  • Both intersecting streets are one-way; and,
  • There is no sign prohibiting a left turn on red.

Left on Red is Legal Here

When Can a “No Left on Red” Sign Be Posted?

The Texas Transportation Commission, a municipal authority, or a county’s commissioner’s court has the power to regulate traffic within their jurisdiction, including the placement of signs prohibiting a left turn on red. While Texas law does allow for left turns on red from one one-way street onto another, these entities can implement more restrictive controls if deemed necessary for safety or traffic flow.

This underlines the importance of drivers paying attention to all posted traffic signs and signals, as they supersede general traffic laws. Any deviation from these posted instructions can result in penalties, including fines. Therefore, driving attentively and following local traffic signage is not just a rule, but a responsibility that ensures safety on the roads.

What is the Penalty for Making an Illegal Left Turn at a Red Light in Texas?

The penalties for making an illegal left turn at a red light in Texas can be quite severe. If caught by law enforcement, the driver may receive a traffic citation. The penalty is a Class C misdemeanor (General Penalty –Tex. Transp. Code § 542.401), and can include a fine ranging from $1 to $200.

No Left on Red Sign

If a Driver Turning Left on Red Crashed into You, Call Our Injury Lawyers

The Texas personal injury lawyers at Thompson Law are dedicated to helping injury accident victims involved in collisions where drivers are violating Texas traffic laws, such as illegally turning left at a red light. We obtained 59 of the top 100 motor vehicle accident injury settlements in Texas in 2022. We offer FREE CONSULTATIONS and charge NO FEE unless we win. If we cannot recover a settlement for your injury accident, you will not owe us a penny.

No Win No Fee Sign - Injury lawyers representing clients hurt by drivers making illegal left turns at red lights in Texas

What to Do if you Were Injured in an Accident Where a Driver Illegally Turned Left on Red?

If you find yourself involved in an accident where a driver has illegally turned left on a red light in Texas, here are the recommended steps to follow after a crash:

  1. Check for any injuries:  If anyone is hurt, call 911 immediately.
  2. Call the police:  Regardless of the severity of injuries, it is advisable to call the police to the scene so that an official report can be filed. Once the police arrive, provide an accurate and honest account of the incident.
  3. Gather information:  While waiting for the police, gather as much information as possible. This includes the other driver’s name, contact information, driver’s license number, and insurance information.
  4. Take photos:  Take photographs of the accident scene, including the vehicles involved, their location, and any traffic signs or signals. These photos can serve as crucial evidence if the accident circumstances are later disputed.
  5. Look for witnesses:  If there were any witnesses to the accident, try to obtain their contact information.
  6. Contact your insurance company:  Contact your insurance company to report the accident.
  7. Seek legal advice:  In cases where the other driver was clearly at fault for turning left on red, consider seeking legal advice, especially if there were significant damages or injuries. Call our injury lawyers today to learn how we can help you with your injury claim.


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