Right turns on red lights are legal in Missouri, as long as you yield to other drivers and pedestrians. Local governments are allowed to ban turning right on red at some intersections, so you should always check for a sign before turning.
A steady or blinking red light usually means stop, but in most parts of the country, you’re actually permitted to turn right on red—albeit with some restrictions.
Turning right on red isn’t legal at every intersection, so knowing your state’s laws is important if you want to avoid fines and other penalties.
Can you turn right on red in Missouri?
Yes. You can turn right on red in Missouri, as long as there isn’t a posted sign at the intersection that prohibits the turn.
According to Title XIX, Chapter 304 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, a driver may turn right at a steady or blinking red light if:
In short, the best way to make sure a right turn on red is legal is to look for a posted sign.
If there isn’t a sign, and turning right on red can be accomplished safely, you’re free to turn. Just make sure to come to a complete stop first, and proceed with caution, keeping an eye out for other drivers and pedestrians.
What about left turns on red?
Turning left on red is always illegal in Missouri.
Unlike many parts of the country, Missouri does not permit turning left on red from a one-way street onto another one-way street. In this circumstance, drivers are expected to wait at the intersection until the light turns green before proceeding.
Penalties for an illegal right turn on red in Missouri
While it’s legal to make a right turn on red in Missouri the majority of the time, it’s still possible to be ticketed for performing an illegal right on red turn.
A right turn at a red light that violates Missouri law is a misdemeanor offense and carries a range of possible penalties. The most common penalty is a fine of about $99, but fines can be as much as $500. In severe cases, you could face jail time of up to one year.
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