Running a red light or stop sign is one of the most common traffic infractions in Arizona and the rest of the United States. Unfortunately, just because it is common does not make it a trivial violation: Penalties for either of these infractions are serious in Arizona and can, when combined with other traffic violations, lead to a suspended license or time in traffic survival school.
Running a Red Light or Stop Sign
You run a red light or a stop sign anytime you do not come to a complete and full stop at the limit line associated with a given stop sign or traffic signal. At a stop sign, this means coming to a complete stop and waiting for a full three seconds before resuming motion. The limit line is a white strip on the surface of the street. If there's no limit line, you'll have to come to a complete stop at the entrance to the intersection.
Remember: Flashing red lights are treated as stop signs.
Penalties for Running a Red Light or Stop Sign
The penalties for running a red light or a stop sign are not small, in Arizona.
First, there is a fine. The amount of the fine depends on the county, and changes rather frequently. However, in Arizona, it is often $250 for running a red light or a stop sign, or $165 if you're ticketed by a red light camera.
Second, there are the points on your driver's record. Running stop signs or red lights add 2 points to your record in Arizona.
Third, there are implications for your insurance. Running a red light or a stop sign makes you appear to be a more risky driver, so you can expect your insurance company to hike up your insurance premiums once they find out that you've been handed a ticket. The amount of the increase depends on your insurance company and past infractions, but there is evidence that the increase in your premiums is steeper for running red lights or stop signs than it is for speeding.
Finally, there is mandatory traffic survival school if a traffic court convicts you. Once the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) hears from the court that you've been convicted on a ticket for running a light or a stop sign, they'll send a notice that you're required to attend a traffic survival school session. This class is 8 hours long and has to be completed in-person, not online. Not taking the class results in an automatic license suspension.
Arizona Criminal Traffic Attorneys Fight to Protect Your Right to Drive
Getting a ticket for running a red light or a stop sign might not seem like much. However, while the penalties that you could face are small, individually, they are formidable when seen collectively.
Defending against a traffic ticket for running a light or stop sign is important. Contact the Arizona Criminal Traffic Law Firm for the help you need. Call us at (888) 202-9222 or contact us online.