Traffic Inbox: Turning right on red? You still have to stop first

By Ryan Harper, Real Time Traffic Expert
Last Updated: Monday, April 06, 2015, 8:31 AM EDT

It can be painful at times waiting your turn to turn right on red in long line of cars.

Raul from Maitland, who must experience this frequently, posed this question:

When turning right on red in a long line of cars, I always see drivers tailgating other cars to make sure they can go, too, without actually stopping at the white line. Is this legal?

This is a common practice seen frequently throughout Florida. Drivers become frustrated waiting to turn right, and either go right through the white line or drive over it, wading out into the intersection.

Unfortunately for them, this is not legal. Sounds like a no-brainer, right?

Apparently not. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, troopers find themselves writing tickets for this offense often.

"The only exception about going over that white bar before stopping is that if you have to move forward to see oncoming traffic before you make that right turn on red. Then you are allowed to go past that stop bar," said FHP Sgt. Kim Montes. "But if you are fourth or fifth in line, and you have stopped several times, you still have to stop at the closest point to that intersection."

Getting caught by local law enforcement is not the only way you can get a ticket, as long as we have red light cameras around. If you are caught not stopping before the white line before turning right, you could find yourself in another line — at the DMV, paying a hefty fine.

If you have a traffic question, Ryan Harper can answer it. Send him your question.