Many car accidents happen at an intersection, especially in Pennsylvania where traffic is often congested. Drivers must safely follow red light and all traffic signals.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), all motorists must stop at a traffic light when they display a steady red light. Additionally:
- Turning at a red light: After coming to a complete stop, a driver may make a right turn at a stop light. However, they must first check for pedestrians and other traffic and proceed only when it is safe. A driver cannot turn at a red light if there is a “No Turn on Red” sign posted.
- Turning left at a red light: The same rules for turning right at a stop light apply when a driver is turning left but they can only turn left when traveling on a one-way street onto another one-way street.
- Flashing red arrow light: Although rare, a flashing red arrow light means a driver cannot proceed in the direction of the arrow, even a right turn on red.
- Where to stop at an intersection: Drivers cannot cross a marked stop line or painted crosswalk. Doing so may put pedestrians in danger.
- No line or crosswalk: If there is no stop line or painted crosswalk, drivers must stop before entering the intersection.
- Flashing red lights: Flashing red lights should be treated like four-way stop signs, where the driver comes to a complete stop before the marked lines. The driver who arrives at the intersection first and has come to a complete stop has the right-of-way.
- Yellow light: A yellow light is a warning, and drivers must slow down and prepare to stop as it turns red. If a driver cannot stop safely before entering the intersection, they may proceed through the yellow light with caution.
- Green light: A steady green light allows the driver to proceed through the intersection without slowing or stopping.
The driver with the steady green light at an intersection has the right-of-way to proceed and to cross the intersection. Any driver making a right or left turn at a green light must yield to pedestrians. The driver who arrives first at a four-way stop sign has the right-of-way, and if multiple vehicles arrive at the same time, the driver to your right can proceed first.
Not only is running a red light or failing to yield at an intersection or stop sign dangerous, but it is also a moving violation which may result in a traffic fine or ticket. You may also receive three points on your driver’s license, which may raise your premiums.
There are exceptions to the rule. In 2016, Pennsylvania passed a law that allows drivers, motorcycle riders, and bicyclists to go through a red light is the light appears to be malfunctioning or is broken. This law was passed for situations where a red-light sensor is malfunctioning or is otherwise unable to detect a motorist. However, drivers still must come to a complete stop and make sure it is safe to proceed, yielding to other drivers.
If you are involved in a car accident involving an intersection or a driver turning illegally, you may be entitled to compensation. Pennsylvania is a no-fault insurance state, which means that you typically file a claim with your own insurance company for compensation regardless of who caused the accident. However, you may hold the at-fault driver accountable if a serious injury occurred, allowing you to file a lawsuit against them. Contact a car accident lawyer right away.
Media Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Help Clients Who Have Been Injured in Red Light Accidents
Hiring a lawyer to assist you with your accident claim is the best way to receive the most compensation possible. Our Media car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. are here to help you. Call us today at 610-565-3701 or fill out our online form for an initial consultation. From our offices located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.