Driving in Arizona is filled with picturesque landscapes and beautiful weather, but it’s also essential to be aware of the state’s traffic laws, especially when it comes to red light violations. In this blog post, we will provide a comprehensive guide to understanding Arizona red light violation penalties and laws, ensuring a safe and responsible driving experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Committing a red light violation in Arizona can lead to substantial fines, points on the license, mandatory Traffic Survival School and potential suspension of the license.
  • Understanding traffic-control devices and adhering to right/left turns on red lights is necessary for safe & efficient traffic flow.
  • Contesting a ticket by challenging an officer’s view or citing limited visibility may lead to dismissal of violations. Responsible driving habits promote safety for all road users.

Arizona Red Light Violation Consequences

A driver receiving a red light violation ticket in Arizona
Running a red light in Arizona can lead to serious consequences, including:

  • Fines
  • Points on your driver’s license
  • Mandatory Traffic Survival School
  • Potential license suspension

Abiding by traffic laws and coming to a complete stop when needed is key to maintaining a clean driving record in Arizona.

Although the cost of a red light ticket depends on the jurisdiction within Arizona, the penalties for disregarding a red light should not be taken lightly. Avoiding these penalties requires constant awareness of traffic signals and a consistent focus on safety.

Fines and Points

The penalty for running a red light in Arizona is $250. Additionally, two points will be added to your license for a red light violation. In some cases, attending a defensive driving class may be required to mitigate the impact of the violation on your driving record.

Bear in mind that red light tickets, along with the ensuing fines and points, can significantly affect your insurance rates and driving record. To evade these repercussions, consistently obey traffic laws and exercise caution when nearing intersections equipped with red light cameras, as red light camera tickets can also have similar consequences.

Traffic Survival School

Attendance at a complete traffic survival school is mandated by the Motor Vehicle Division for drivers found responsible or convicted of a red light violation in Arizona (A.R.S. 28-645), unless they are eligible and attend a defensive driving school for dismissal of the charge. To avoid the necessity of having to attend traffic survival school, it is crucial to diligently abide by traffic laws and prioritize safety during your drives.

If you are eligible to attend defensive driving school, doing so can help you avoid paying the court fine and having a red light violation on your record. You should ensure the class is completed at least seven calendar days before the court date mentioned on your summons and complaint.

License Suspension

A license suspension could be imposed if a driver accumulates multiple red light violations or fails to pay the associated fines. Garnering eight or more points in a year in Arizona could also lead to a driver’s license suspension.

Maintaining a focus on safety and complying with traffic laws can help you avoid potential license suspension. Stay aware of traffic signals, use caution, and always stop completely when necessary.

Understanding Arizona’s Traffic-Control Devices

Stop signs and traffic lights are used to regulate traffic flows at intersections and crossings in Arizona. These are examples of traffic-control devices. These devices are designed to maintain order and safety on the roads, ensuring that drivers and pedestrians can navigate intersections without confusion or danger.

In Arizona, traffic-control devices include:

  • Traffic signals
  • Stop signs
  • Yield signs
  • Speed limit signs
  • Pedestrian crossing signs
  • School zone signs
  • Railroad crossing signs

You should familiarize yourself with these devices and their rules to drive responsibly and avoid traffic violations.

Right and Left Turns on Red in Arizona

A driver making a right turn on a red light in Arizona
Making right and left turns on red lights in Arizona is governed by specific rules and regulations to ensure safety and smooth traffic flow.

Below, we will cover the rules for making these turns and why it’s important to follow them.

Right Turn on Red

In Arizona, it is permissible to make a right turn on a red light if there is no sign prohibiting it, provided you follow these guidelines:

  • Come to a complete stop before making the turn.
  • Turn into the closest lane that is safe and practicable.
  • Yield to pedestrians and oncoming traffic.
  • Assess for potential hazards or vehicles approaching from other directions.
  • Verify that it is safe to proceed before making the turn.

Neglecting these guidelines could lead to fines, points on your license, or even license suspension. For avoiding such outcomes, practice safe driving and stay cognizant of traffic laws while making right turns on red lights.

Left Turn on Red

Left turns on red lights are allowed in Arizona when turning from a one-way street onto another one-way street, or when turning from a two-way street onto a one-way street, provided there is no sign prohibiting the turn. As with right turns on red, drivers must come to a complete stop and turn into the closest lane practicable.

When making a left turn on a red light, prioritize safety, yield to oncoming traffic, exercise caution, and ensure there are no approaching vehicles that may pose a hazard. Following these guidelines allows drivers to safely and responsibly navigate left turns on red lights.

Yellow Light rules and Duration in Arizona

A yellow traffic light in Arizona
A yellow traffic light serves as a warning signal that the green light is about to change to red. When approaching a yellow light, drivers should make a sound judgment. Factors such as speed, proximity to the intersection, and other vehicles’ behaviour, should all be taken into account..

In Arizona, yellow lights are required to remain illuminated for a minimum of three seconds. This duration provides drivers with enough time to react appropriately, either by slowing down and preparing to stop or cautiously proceeding through the intersection if it is safe to do so.

Arizona Red Light Camera Locations and Effectiveness

A photo of an Arizona red light camera capturing an Arizona red light violation in action near 3rd Street and Roosevelt Row, Phoenix, Arizona.
Red light cameras are used in Arizona to enhance traffic safety and enforce adherence to traffic regulations by capturing photographic evidence of vehicles that violate red light signals. These cameras are typically located at intersections with a high rate of vehicular traffic or a record of red light infractions.

Studies have shown that red light cameras, a type of traffic cameras, are effective in reducing red light violations and right-angle collisions. Being aware of red light camera locations and the effectiveness of these devices can help drivers stay mindful of traffic laws and prioritize safety on the road.

Arizona Photo Radar Laws and Enforcement

In Arizona, photo radar laws and enforcement are employed to augment traffic safety and enforce adherence to traffic regulations, in accordance with Arizona law. This includes the use of fixed and mobile photo enforcement cameras for speed and red light violations.

It’s important for drivers to be aware of photo radar laws and enforcement in Arizona, as violations captured by these cameras can lead to fines, points on your driver’s license, and even license suspension. An understanding and adherence to traffic laws can help drivers avoid the negative repercussions of photo radar violations.

Tips for Responsible Driving in Arizona

Being a responsible driver in Arizona means understanding and complying with the state’s traffic laws. These include:

  • Respecting speed limits
  • Obeying traffic signals
  • Using turn signals
  • Maintaining safe distances from other vehicles
  • Avoiding distractions
  • Buckling up
  • Paying attention to weather conditions
  • Being cautious in school zones
  • Abstaining from driving under the influence of alcohol.

Practicing these safe driving habits will not only help you avoid traffic infractions and penalties but also contribute to the overall safety and well-being of all road users. Remember, responsible driving is a collective effort that starts with you.

Psychological Strategies for Effective Red Light Navigation

When it comes to navigating red lights, it’s not just about obeying traffic rules – it’s also a test of your psychological discipline. Understanding the psychology behind stopping at red lights and how you can employ mental techniques to do so consistently is key to safe and ticket-free driving.

The Red Light Dilemma: A Battle of Impulsivity

As you approach a red traffic light, you often experience a subtle psychological tug-of-war. On one side, there’s the impulse to stop, driven by the association of red with caution and danger. On the other side, there’s the desire for convenience and efficiency, urging you to disregard the red light and proceed. To navigate this internal struggle successfully, you can employ mental techniques that prioritize safety.

One effective approach is mindfulness – stay fully aware of the present moment and recognize the potential risks of running a red light. By consciously acknowledging the consequences of ignoring the red signal, you can reinforce the importance of obeying it and reduce the likelihood of impulsively attempting to beat the light.

Visualization and Anticipation

Visualization is another powerful psychological tool that you can use to your advantage. By mentally rehearsing the act of coming to a complete stop at a red light, you create a mental blueprint that guides your behavior on the road.

Visualize the process of decelerating, braking, and waiting patiently at a red light not only to reinforce the importance of stopping but also to prime your brain to react calmly and confidently when faced with a red signal. Furthermore, anticipation plays a crucial role. When you anticipate the possibility of encountering a red light ahead, you are better prepared to stop in a composed manner, rather than reacting abruptly.

Embracing the Red Light Pause

Embracing patience is perhaps the most significant mental technique for consistent red light compliance. Instead of viewing red lights as frustrating obstacles, shift your perspective to see them as opportunities for a brief pause and reflection. This change in mindset can alleviate the stress associated with stopping at red lights and make the experience more tolerable. By accepting red lights as necessary safety measures and opportunities to reset and refocus, you can reduce the temptation to rush through intersections, ultimately avoiding red light violations and the associated penalties.

Mastering the psychology of stopping at red lights is as crucial as understanding the mechanics of driving. By employing mental techniques such as mindfulness, visualization, anticipation, and embracing patience, you can navigate red lights with ease, ensuring safety and compliance with traffic laws. These psychological strategies not only contribute to responsible driving but also reduce the risk of receiving red light tickets, making the roads safer for everyone.


In conclusion, understanding Arizona red light violation penalties and laws is essential for maintaining a clean driving record and ensuring the safety of all road users. Remember that, if you find yourself facing penalties for a red light violation, consider an Arizona DOT-approved defensive driving course. Finally, by familiarizing yourself with traffic laws, practicing safe driving habits, and being aware of red light camera locations, you can contribute to a safer and more responsible driving environment in Arizona. Stay vigilant, drive responsibly, and help make Arizona’s roads safer for everyone.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a red light violation in Arizona?

In Arizona, a red light violation carries a maximum fine of $250 plus surcharges, and two demerit points are added to the motorist’s driving record. Additionally, anyone convicted of a red light violation may be eligible to take an Arizona defensive driving school course to avoid increases to their insurance premiums and reduce points on their license.

Do red light camera tickets go on your record in Arizona?

Yes, red light camera tickets do go on your record in Arizona, as they are considered moving violations by law. These violations usually result in fines and points being added to the driver’s record, making it an important offense to avoid.

Do you have to pay red light camera tickets in Arizona?

Yes, you can be required to pay a red light camera ticket in Arizona if the citation is served and legally enforceable.

How long does it take to get a red light camera ticket in Arizona?

It typically takes 7 to 14 days to receive a red light camera ticket in Arizona after the violation has occurred, though this can vary depending on the issuing agency. For example, the City of Phoenix typically issues tickets within 7 days, while the Arizona Department of Public Safety may take up to 14 days.

What counts as running a red light in Arizona?

In Arizona, running a red light or stop sign is a violation that carries significant penalties, including fines and an accumulation of 2 points on the driver’s license. A motorist must make a complete stop at a solid red light before entering the intersection, while stops signs and flashing red lights require a stop prior to reaching the nearest crosswalk, clearly marked stop line, or the intersection itself.