Is it Legal to Turn Right on Red in North Carolina?

5Is it Legal to Turn Right on Red in North Carolina?

The first traffic light was installed more than 100 years ago, in 1914 The three-light traffic light came less than ten years later. Cities and towns slowly began to put in traffic lights as cars became more common. Today, we cannot imagine what our roads would look like without them. The traditional three-light traffic signal has a red light for stop, a yellow light for caution/transition, and a green light for go. When you stop at a light, you may wonder whether you are allowed to turn right when it is red. Different states have different laws.


Right Turn on Red in North Carolina

North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) provides details on traffic laws. Statewide, vehicles are permitted to turn right on a red light after a complete stop unless otherwise posted. Vehicles are not allowed to turn left on a red light under any circumstances. When turning right on red, a driver must come to a full and complete stop at the line and may not turn unless and until it is clear to do so. There must be no cars coming, and the crosswalk must be clear.


Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matt Arnold answers the question: “What if the accident was my fault?”


Why are More Cities Banning Right Turn on Red?

While right turn on red is still allowed in North Carolina, a growing number of cities are banning this vehicular maneuver. According to the Associated Press, safety concerns are making cities reconsider whether they should allow right turns on red. Washington, D.C., has put a ban in place that will take effect in 2025, and other cities are considering similar action. The concerns come as more pedestrians and bikers are on the streets along with the use of larger vehicles, such as SUVs, that are not as able to see pedestrians in crosswalks.


Penalties for Illegal Turn on Redtraffic-1468345

When a right turn on red is not permitted, there will be a sign indicating no turn on red. If you make a right turn on red in a place where it is not legal to do so, the police could give you a ticket. A ticket for illegal right on red is a moving violation, and thus, you will accumulate points on your license. More importantly, areas that are designated for no right on red are likely high-traffic urban areas or other dangerous intersections. One of the most dangerous problems for turning right is the presence of pedestrians.


Pedestrian injuries can be extremely serious. Anytime a pedestrian is hit by a car, they could sustain severe or life-threatening injuries, even if the vehicle is not traveling fast. Generally, the driver must be aware of pedestrians and must not turn right unless it is safe to do so, even if they are allowed to by law. If you suffer injuries due to a negligent driver, you may be owed compensation for your damages. A driver is always responsible for driving in a safe manner and in accordance with the law.


If you were hurt in an accident caused by a negligent driver, you may be owed money for your damages. Contact us today at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 for a free initial consultation to discuss your injuries.



When it is time to fight, we fight to win. The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.




NCDOT: North Carolina Driving Laws

NCDOT: North Carolina Driving Laws


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