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What is the Consequence of Running a Red Light in Texas?

May 24, 2018

It may be the most universal of all traffic signals: the red light or red stop sign. We all know what red means, whether you’re in Texas or California, in Canada or Thailand. Yet, every day in Texas and across the country, there are traffic citations being issued for drivers running red lights or stop signs.

Indeed, the most common traffic violation associated with traffic control signals is for running a red light or stop sign. These citations may be issued for those who pass through (whether inadvertently or not) a red light or red turn arrow, or for those who fail to come to a complete stop when a stop sign is posted.

In some instances, the infraction may be caught by a traffic camera, or you may find yourself with flashing red and blue lights in your rear-view mirror.

While many instances of running a red light are due to inattentive or distracted drivers, there are some cases which are simply due to a misunderstanding of some of the laws. Here are a few everyday situations that all Texas drivers should be aware of:

1. It’s important that you come to a stop prior to entering the crosswalk, a clearly marked stop line, or entering the intersection itself. In the case of stop signs, you must come to a complete stop, no rolling stops or “California stops” are allowed.

2. So long as there are no signs restricting it, you can make a right turn after stopping at a red light, but you must always exercise caution and ensure you are following normal right-of-way rules.

3. Texas law allows motorists to make a left-hand turn after stopping at a red light only when turning from a one-way street onto another one-way street.

If you run a red light in the state of Texas and are stopped by a police officer, then you will likely have to pay a fine. The amount you will have to pay depends on where you were stopped. For instance, a ticket for running a red light in Austin is $275, while in El Paso it’s $175, and in Houston it is $230. The infraction is also considered a criminal offense and a moving violation which will dock two points from your driving record and could cause your insurance rates to increase.

If you get a ticket for a red-light violation that was caught by a traffic camera, then you can expect to pay less, since they are limited to $75. While you are presumed to be the driver of the car that you own, the camera is unable to verify that it was actually you behind the wheel and therefore these infractions are considered civil violations. While you are required to pay the ticket regardless of whether you were driving, the ticket will not appear on your driving record, won’t dock points, and your insurance company can’t use it as an excuse to raise your rates.

If you’ve been issued a citation for running a red light, whether by a police officer or a traffic camera, you still have the right to fight against the citation and pursue dismissal.

The attorneys at Fears Nachawati are experienced in representing all manner of cases, including those involving traffic violations. You can be assured that we will fight for you and your legal rights, and that no case is too big or too small for us to take on.

Don’t delay in reaching out to the experienced attorneys at Fears Nachawati for your free, no obligation legal consultation to discuss your options. Please call (866) 705-7584 or visit the offices of Fears Nachawati located throughout the great state of Texas, including in Houston, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.


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