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Texas Traffic Laws for Right Turn on Red

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Implemented during the 1970s to reduce vehicle emissions and fuel consumption, all states and the District of Columbia have motor-vehicle laws allowing motorists to turn right at a red traffic light after stopping. The Texas Department of Public Safety's "Texas Drivers Handbook” is a useful reference for many of the driving rules and practices in Texas, including the right turn on red rules.

General Rule

In Texas, drivers are allowed to turn right on red, after stopping, unless the right turn on red is prohibited by law. (See Reference 1, page 5-1.) A regulatory traffic sign advises motorists if a right turn on red is not allowed.

Left Turn on Red

Texas law also allows drivers to turn left on red if both streets at the intersection are one-way. (See Reference 1, page 5-1.)

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Pedestrians

Pedestrians crossing a street with the “walk” signal or a green light have the right-of-way. The Texas handbook requires that motorists turning right on red must yield to pedestrians. (See Reference 1, page 4-7.)

Penalties

Motorists failing to yield the right-of-way when turning right on red may be cited for a moving violation. This violation is subject to a fine and points assessed under the Texas Driver Responsibility Program.(See Reference 2, Table 1.) Drivers also can be cited for not coming to a complete stop prior to turning right on red.

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