Can You Turn Right on Red in California?

Turning right on a red in California is legal if there’s no sign prohibiting it, but be sure to yield to other traffic and pedestrians with a green light.
Written by Andrea Barrett
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Turning right on a red light in California is legal, but make sure you make a full stop before entering the intersection. You also must yield to pedestrians, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and other vehicles with a green traffic signal light.
When you see a red light at an intersection, there’s only one thing to do: Stop. But in most states, it’s legal to turn right on a red light assuming there’s no sign prohibiting the turn. 
However, the rules don’t apply to all intersections, which means you need to watch for signs and pay attention to the road. Otherwise, you could end up facing the hefty ticket that’s attached to an illegal turn.
Lucky for you,
car insurance
is here with what you need to know about turning right on a red in California, like when it's legal and what penalties you could face for breaking the law. (Wishing you had a lower
California car insurance cost
? We can help with that, too.)

Can you turn right on red in California?

Yes—right turns on a red light are legal in California as long as you come to a complete stop before entering the intersection and yield to other vehicles. Just make sure there's not a sign prohibiting turns.
21453 of the California Legislature
makes it clear that, without such a sign, a driver facing a steady red signal can turn right. However, they must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and other vehicles approaching the intersection that have a green signal.

What about left turns on red?

Left turns on a red light are legal in California as long as there’s no sign prohibiting the turn—but they can only be made from a one-way street to another one-way street. You must signal and come to a complete stop before making your turn, and yield to any pedestrians, cyclists, or vehicles moving on their green signal.
Key Takeaway As long as there are no posted signs that prohibit the turn, right turns on a red is legal in California. 
Make safe driving pay
Get rewarded for safe driving. Earn points and unlock benefits. Totally free.
Start earning now

Penalties for an illegal right turn on red in California

Turning right on a red light in California is generally legal, but certain intersections prohibit these turns. If you’re caught making an illegal right or left turn, you could be facing a violation of the California Vehicle Code Section 21453(b). 
If you’re found guilty of this driving violation, you could be facing a ticket with a base fine of $35. However, when you add on additional fees and penalty assessments, the total could exceed $235 plus 1 point on your driving record
On top of that, you’ll likely see an increase in your car insurance premium when your provider sees the change to your driving record. 
rating reverse-full
"I’m earning
awesome rewards
every week, just for driving safe!”

How to find affordable car insurance in California

On the off chance you land a ticket for an illegal turn, chances are it’ll bump up your insurance premium. That’s where the
trusted super app
comes in. In two minutes or less, Jerry can help you find the best deals on car insurance in California—driving tickets or not.
Just download the app, enter your information, and Jerry will search a pool of up to 50+ top insurers to find you the right coverage at the lowest price. Once you find the best policy, Jerry’s team of expert agents will take care of all the paperwork to get you switched over. More savings, less stress.
quoted me a price that saved me almost $4000 a year in California! I definitely recommend Jerry.” —Patricia B.
Jerry automatically checks if you are paying the lowest price for your insurance, for free.
Instantly compare top insurance companies
No spam or unwanted phone calls · No long forms
What insurance do you want to compare?
Are you overpaying for car insurance?
Compare quotes and find out in 45 seconds.
Try Jerry

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings