Can You Turn Right on Red in Alabama?

Unless a road sign prohibits it, you can legally make a right turn on red in Alabama.
Written by Kaitlin May
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Ensuring you’re making the right moves when you turn right in
is as simple as looking out for a prohibitive road sign. If there are no signs against it, you can legally make a right turn—as long as you give pedestrians and other drivers the right of way.
While you’ll be in the clear with most right-hand, red-light maneuvers, each state has its set of laws around turning safely—and you need to know where your home state stands to avoid penalties.
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Can you turn right on red in Alabama?

It’s legal to turn right on red in Alabama as long as there are no road signs prohibiting it. Make sure to be mindful and keep your eyes peeled no matter what kind of turn you’re making. 
In Alabama, the laws for both solid and flashing red lights are the same. In all cases, drivers need to do the following:
  • ​​Come to a complete stop at a marked stop line
  • Stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection
  • If neither is present, the driver needs to stop before entering the intersection
Despite being in the clear to make a right turn, it’s important to make a complete stop before you head for that next maneuver. You’ll also need to give pedestrians and other traffic
the right of way
while they legally use the intersection.
Head over to
Section 32-5A-34
to read Alabama’s red light regulations in full.

What about left turns on red?

Alabama joins the majority of states in allowing drivers to make a left turn from a one-way street onto another one-way street. The turn needs to follow a complete stop, and you have to look out for pedestrians before putting your wheel in motion. 
Key Takeaway: If there’s no posted sign prohibiting a right turn, you can safely make one as long as you’ve stopped completely and checked for pedestrians first.

Penalties for an illegal right turn on red in Alabama

It’s crucial to stay attentive without assuming that every right turn on red is automatically approved by law in Alabama. 
If you happen to miss a sign prohibiting a right turn and get caught in action, you’ll earn a misdemeanor, up to $100 in fines, and a potential 30-day stay in jail.
Repeat offenses come with state-imposed costs and fees that can accumulate to astronomical expenses. Here’s how each offense breaks down:
  • Second offense: up to $200 in fines and/or 30 days in jail
  • Subsequent offense: up to $500 in fines and/or three months in jail
Beyond fines and jail time, a stop sign or red light violation comes with three
demerit points
on your
driving record
. Keep in mind that racking up 12 or more points within two years can get your driver’s
license suspended
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