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Is it always legal to turn right at a red light?

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2019 | Traffic Offenses And DUI

Making a right turn at an intersection while the traffic light is red is common in everyday driving. Yet sometimes turning right on a red light is not legal. Conducting an illegal turn can pose legal problems for a driver down the road, particularly if the turn results in an auto accident that causes injury. To maintain safe driving, an Illinois resident should know the ways state law forbids right turns on a red light.

According to Illinois law, a posted sign can supersede the legality of turning right on red. In some circumstances, law enforcement may place a sign at the intersection that warns drivers not to make a right turn while the light is red. A driver should maintain proper vigilance while approaching any intersection, including taking note of any signs that are posted at the intersection.

Sometimes local government can trump the legal permission state law gives to drivers to turn right on red. Illinois law specifies that a local authority may pass through an ordinance a prohibition against drivers making right turns at a red light. So a driver should maintain awareness of laws made by a local community that alter the community’s traffic law provisions.

Illinois law also distinguishes between red circular lights and red arrows. When you approach a steady red arrow, you are prohibited from turning in the direction the arrow indicates. This prohibition extends even if you find the intersection is clear of oncoming traffic or pedestrians. Making a turn on this light is, according to state law, a traffic violation.

Traffic violations can take many forms, and drivers may find themselves in all sorts of legal situations with the law. For this reason, do not read this article as legal advice. It is only intended as general information.