Stop sign violations are one of the major causes of traffic accidents. In fact, a study done back in 1996-2000 used four major cities to determine that 70% of traffic accidents occurred due to a stop sign violation. At one time or another, many of us have blown a stop sign or red light (in less occasions) on accident, but it's important to know the laws when it comes to the red traffic signals we see every day.
The stop sign wasn't even red at first, it was yellow. In 1954, they were switched to red to match those of the railroad signs already in place. Then, with the emergence of stop lights, you started to see the red in those, too. Everyone knows that when driving, red generally means stop, but you still find drivers disobeying the laws when it comes to stop signs and red traffic lights.
There are a few driving habits that may lead to a ticket for blowing through a red light or stop sign. One such habit is the "rolling stop," where a driver slows their vehicle, but doesn't completely stop. Traffic cameras are also becoming more and more popular and are able to catch people in the middle of an intersection when a light turns red. Depending on the state, the manner in which you receive your ticket will vary.
Signals Must Be Obeyed in All Parts of the Country
If you've ever been part of a defensive driving course, you know that each state has consequences for those who choose to disobey traffic signals. Therefore, all drivers must obey traffic lights and stop signs. If you are given a violation for either of these, you are not alone. Most people cited for traffic control violations have been cited for red light and stop sign violations. The following is what qualifies as running a red light or stop sign:
- The traffic light is red while you are going through the intersection.
- You fail to totally stop, or you yield incorrectly after stopping at the stop sign.
Rights and Lefts on Red
In the majority of states, a driver is allowed to turn right on red under certain circumstances. For example, drivers may turn right despite a red light showing if there's nothing indicating that doing so isn't allowed. In select states, a driver may actually be able to turn left on red. In these states, these left turns are only permitted when made from a one-way street where it is safe.
Red Means Stop No Matter What
The first ever traffic light was used in London, and the color red was used as the signal for stopping from the very beginning. The light turned out to be a success, but an explosion caused by a gas leak destroyed the signal. Then, stop lights were not allowed until an electrical version of the signal came out. The original electric signal started in Cleveland, Ohio. The year was 2014 and it used the two colors of red and green.
Can you imagine how crazy traffic would be without any stop signs or stop lights? It's definitely a sight none of us would want to see. Things like defensive driving would be out the window as everyone would be fending for themselves. Everyone now knows what the color red means, but tickets are still handed out like candy throughout the country. Fortunately, if you have received a ticket for a stop sign or traffic light violation, you can enroll in a traffic school course like defensive driving and have your fines and points reduced, and in some cases, completely wiped off your record.