Posted on Friday, March 2nd, 2018 at 1:14 am    

Two Senators have proposed a bill that would reduce the fine for failing to completely stop at a red light before making a right turn. Currently, the fine for this offense is $100. Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) and Sen. Jerry Dill (D-San Mateo) propose to lower the fine to $35. However, drivers who cause pedestrian accidents or hit bicyclists while turning would face higher fines.

The reasoning behind the bill is that the fine is not appropriate for the seriousness of the traffic violation. Once you add court costs and fees to the fine, a driver who is guilty of failing to stop at a red light before turning right could pay $500 for the violation. The Senators do not believe this violation justifies such a high fine. The bill does not change the fact that turning right at a red light without coming to a full stop is against the law. The bill simply lowers the fine for the traffic offense.

Opposition to the Bill

Sen. Hill proposed similar legislation a few years ago, but the legislation died in part from opposition by police. Sen. Hill argues that the fine should never have been this high and it was a mistake to include this violation in the 1997 legislation increasing fines for failing to stop at a red light. The 1997 legislation was intended to increase the fines for drivers who went straight through a red light. The fines should not have been increased for rolling stops for right-hand turns on red, according to Sen. Hill.

AAA Northern California supports the proposed legislation. At the time of the article, the California Police Chief’s Association that opposed the previous legislation had not issued an opinion on the new proposed bill.

Turning Right on Red

As discussed above, it is illegal to make a right-hand turn on red without coming to a complete stop. If you come to a full stop, there is no sign stating you cannot turn, and the way is clear, you can legally turn right on red in California.  Some groups who oppose reducing the fine for this traffic offense claim that lowering the fine will increase the number of traffic accidents. Sen. Hill disagrees.

Regardless of whether the fine is lowered or not, if a driver turns right on red and causes a traffic accident, the driver can be held liable for damages. Even though you can turn right on red, you must yield the right of way to oncoming traffic.

Sacramento Traffic Accident Attorneys

If a negligent driver causes you injury, you need an experienced car accident attorney to file your injury claim. Our lawyers have the expertise and resources to handle any traffic accident claim.

For a free legal consultation with a Sacramento traffic accident attorney, contact The Tiemann Law Firm by calling (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our website.  Our law firm serves clients in Sacramento, Folsom, Roseville, El Dorado Hills and other communities in the greater Sacramento area.

Source: “Rolling right on red could soon be cheaper in California.” Billy Kobin. The Sacramento Bee. 17 February 2018.

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