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?
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 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.
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.
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.
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:
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