Can You Turn Right on Red in Kentucky?

Kentucky allows drivers to make a right turn at a red light unless there is a posted sign prohibiting it.
Written by Holden Easterbrook
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Mar 23, 2023
It’s legal to make a right turn at a red light in Kentucky, so long as you yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians. However, local authorities can prohibit these sorts of turns at specific intersections, so be on the lookout for posted signs before you do so.
Most people have heard the phrase “right on red” when learning to drive, but that rule doesn’t hold in all situations. At some intersections, turning right before the light turns green can leave you dealing with fines and demerit points, so knowing the law is crucial in this situation.
Thankfully, the
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Can you turn right on red in Kentucky?

In most instances, it’s perfectly legal to make a right turn at a red light—so long as you yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians.
However, there are sometimes exceptions to this. Cities, counties, and the Department of Transportation have the authority to ban right on red turns at certain intersections when it’s in the interest of the general public’s safety.
But don’t worry—you won’t be left guessing whether or not you can make a right-on-red turn. If the local authorities have forbidden this sort of turn, there will be a posted sign at the intersection in question. This holds for flashing red and yellow lights as well as intersections with two right-turning lanes.

What about left turns on red?

Kentucky also allows left turns at red lights, but only when you are on a one-way street and turning left onto another one-way street. If that’s not the case, you’ll need to wait for a green light or arrow.
Key Takeaway: Kentucky allows right on red turns if there is not a posted sign forbidding it and you yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians.

Penalties for an illegal right turn on red in Kentucky

You’ll want to be very careful before making a right turn at a red light, and for more reasons than just your safety.
Making an illegal turn is considered a red light or stop sign violation, and it comes with steep penalties:
  • A fine of $20-$100
  • Three demerit points on your driving record
While the fine is certainly a financial blow, the demerit points are the real concern. Car insurance providers check your driving record when determining your rates, and any points at all will flag you as a
high risk driver
. That means higher insurance premiums for the same amount of coverage as before.
Additionally, accruing too many points will get your driver’s license suspended. So, always be sure a turn is legal before you commit to it!
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How to find affordable car insurance in Kentucky

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