Can You Turn Right on Red in South Carolina?

Right turns on red are legal in South Carolina unless there’s a sign posted at the intersection prohibiting the turn.
Written by Mariza Morin
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Right turns on red are usually legal in South Carolina as long as there’s no sign indicating that the turn is prohibited. But drivers must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians using the crosswalk and other traffic at the intersection.
A steady red traffic light simply means stop. However, in most of the United States, you can actually turn right on red. 
Again—most states, but not all! So knowing the exact rules of the road for your area is vital if you want to avoid steep traffic citations associated with red light violations. 
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has created a guide to right turns on red in South Carolina including where you can make them, where you can’t, and what could happen if you break the rules. (Then, we'll show you how to score big savings on your
South Carolina car insurance costs

Can you turn right on red in South Carolina?

Yes, as long as there’s no sign specifically restricting it.
According to
Section 56-5-970
of the South Carolina Code of Laws, you may turn right at a steady red light if: 
  • You come to a full stop and check for approaching traffic
  • You yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and other traffic 
  • Local authorities haven’t posted a sign indicating that right turns on red are illegal
Simply put, just look for the appropriate sign to determine if a right turn on red is legal.
If there’s no sign and the intersection is clear, make sure you come to a full stop then turn right.
If you’re at a flashing red light, treat it the same way you would a stop sign. You can turn right, as long as you come to a complete stop first and make sure you’re in the clear to turn.
If you’re at a steady red arrow—just stop and stay put until it’s green. South Carolina law does not allow right turns on a steady red arrow under any circumstances.

What about left turns on red?

Yes, South Carolina drivers are permitted to make a left turn from a one-way street onto another one-way street after stopping on red first. Similarly, don’t turn if there’s a sign indicating that left turns on red are illegal.
Key Takeaway You can turn right on red as long as there’s no sign prohibiting it, but be sure to come to a complete stop and yield to pedestrians and other vehicles. 
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Penalties for an illegal right turn on red in South Carolina

While turning right on red is usually legal in the Palmetto State, it’s also possible to get a ticket if you’re caught making an illegal right turn. 
In South Carolina, stoplight or stop sign violations are considered misdemeanors. As a penalty, you could be charged with a fine of up to $100, but potential court costs can increase what you actually end up paying. 
Additionally, you’ll see at least four demerit points added to your
South Carolina driving record
. But you have the chance to reduce your points if you take a defensive driving course. 
Keep in mind that if you accumulate 12 or more points in South Carolina’s traffic violation points system, your license could get suspended for periods ranging from three to six months.
Not only will you get stuck with a misdemeanor charge and court costs, but your
insurance premium
will surely go up once this violation hits your driving record. Insurance companies want to see that you’re a safe driver, and making an illegal right turn on red proves otherwise.
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How to find affordable car insurance in South Carolina

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