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Running Amber and Red Traffic Lights

Traffic signals help keep motorists moving in a safe and orderly fashion. Failing to stop at a red light or racing to get through as the light changes can increase your risk of car accidents resulting in serious injuries for you, any passengers in your vehicle, and other motorists. This type of reckless behavior also puts bicyclists and pedestrians at risk. In addition to the potential liability you face if a crash does occur, breaking this law can result in heavy fines and points on your license, which could jeopardize your driving privileges.   

Running Traffic Lights a Leading Cause of Car Accidents

Previously, we pointed out statistics from Target Zero Nevada which indicate that over a four-year period, more than 300 people were killed and close to 2,400 were injured as the result of intersection crashes. Failing to stop at red lights or to heed changing traffic signals is another leading factor that can make these types of accidents more likely to occur, which often result in potentially serious and fatal injuries.  

Under the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS 484B.307), all roadway users are required to follow instructions conveyed by colored traffic signals, including motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. No doubt, their lack the protection in collisions with motor vehicle puts these people at an increased risk when intersection crashes do occur. Anytime a driver behaves recklessly or violates the law, such as by running a red light, they can be held financially responsible for any injuries or property damages that occur as a result. Even if an accident does not occur but you get stopped for disregarding traffic signals by Las Vegas law enforcement, you could be facing fines of up to $395, along with an assessment of four demerit points on your driver’s license.

Rules for Stopping at Amber or Red Lights

The Nevada Driver Handbook provides clear guidelines for stopping at amber or red lights on roadways and in intersections:

  • At red or amber lights: You must come to a complete stop before the intersection. This means applying your brakes in enough time to stay outside of any traffic lines or crosswalks that exist. You must remain stopped until the traffic light changes to green. Provided there is no sign prohibiting it, you may make a right on red at certain intersections, but you must still come to a complete stop before making the turn.
  • At yellow lights: When a light is changing from green to yellow, this means you must proceed with caution. Do not speed up to avoid getting caught at a red light. If you are already in the intersection, continue moving while being aware of other vehicles. If it is a steady yellow light about to change to red and you have not yet entered the intersection, you must come to a complete stop.  

Not following these instructions can result in a traffic ticket, while putting you and others at risk. If you have been injured by another driver who ran a traffic light, it may be in your best interest to reach out to a Las Vegas car accident attorney for help.