Can You Turn Right On Red In Texas?

Last Updated on May 21, 2022 by Fair Punishment Team

Have you found yourself wondering if you can turn right on a red in Texas? Perhaps you have seen other vehicles do so and want to know if it is legal or not?

Or maybe you are curious and want to know more? Whatever your reason might be, we have the answer for you! 

We know how tricky it can be to keep up to date with all the different driving regulations, especially if you are driving in multiple states.

It can be hard to know what you can do and when you can do it, leaving many of us feeling anxious behind the wheel. The last thing any of us want to do is cause an accident or break the law. 

And turning right on a red sounds like a traffic violation that is sure to land us a fine. But with many other drivers doing it, you start to wonder if it is legal or not. And that’s where we come in! 

Find out today if you can turn right on a red in Texas and how to do so safely! 

What Does Turning Right On Red Mean?

Before we get into the article, let’s have a quick recap for those in the room that need it! Turning right on a red means that as a driver, you turn right while the traffic light is still on red.

This might seem self-explanatory, but there are many people out there who aren’t sure what this means!

Can You Turn Right On Red In Texas?

Turning right on a red usually refers to intersections where the traffic lights have instructed you to come to a stop.

But sometimes, even though the light is on red, your path to the intersection can be free from vehicles and pedestrians and it can be tempting to ignore the red light and continue with your journey. 

But whether it is legal or not is a question many of us want answered. Being able to turn right on a red can help claw back some journey time and even help with long traffic queues.

And thankfully, after today, you will find out if it is legal or not! 

Before we find out if it is legal to do this in Texas or not, it’s worth noting that this discussion only applies to spaces where you can legally make a right turn.

We are not talking about intersections where there are signs that state no right turn, or where you could turn right and travel the wrong way down a one-way street.

We are only referring to spaces where you can legally turn right and would usually do so when the traffic light is on green. 

If you turn right where you shouldn’t, no matter what color the traffic light is on, then you can be charged with a traffic violation. You could receive points on your driving record, a fine, or both.

You could also cause an accident if you were to drive somewhere you are not supposed to. You could hit an unsuspecting vehicle or pedestrian and cause severe damage. 

So no matter the answer you learn today, remember that this only applies to where you can legally turn right! Now that we have cleared that up and established what turning right on red is, let’s find out if you can do it in Texas or not!

Can You Turn Right on Red In Texas?

Can You Turn Right On Red In Texas?

Yes, you can turn right on a red light in Texas! Just like most of the country, provided that it is safe to do so and you follow the rules of the road, you can turn right while the light is on red. Remember, this only applies to spaces where you can turn right.

If there are no right turn signs then you will not be able to turn red, regardless of the color of the light. 

This is welcome news for those whose journeys are routinely slowed down by red lights when they need to turn right.

As with all things relating to driving, we still need to follow the rules of the road to ensure that other drivers and pedestrians are safe too. 

There are some guidelines that you must follow to ensure that you are not breaking the law when turning right at a red light in Texas. Let’s take a look at those now. 

  • You must stop in the correct place before turning right at a red light. 

There are a few places this can be done, depending on the layout of the road and the red light. You might need to stop at a marked limit line.

If there is no limit line, then stop before entering the crosswalk and if there is no crosswalk, you will need to stop before entering the intersection.

The stop needs to be complete so that you can check the road is clear before continuing and taking the red turn. 

  • You can make a right turn on a red from both the left and right lanes of dual right-turn lanes. 

You can do this after stopping at one of the places we listed earlier. When performing the right turn, be sure to check that you can do so in both lanes.

If you cannot use the left lane of a dual right turn lane to turn right there will be signage that indicates this. You must follow the signs to avoid any traffic violations or potential accidents.

  • Check for no turn on red signs. 

If there is a sign by the red light stating that you cannot turn on a red light, then you must not turn on the red light.

If you do, you will be at risk of a traffic violation. If there is no sign there and you have followed the above steps, then you can turn right on a red in Texas.  

What States Can You Not Turn Right On Red In?

What about the other states? Well, in all fifty states you can turn right on a red light!

This has been in place since 1980 and allows all drivers to make a right turn while the light is on red unless a right turn is prohibited. 

That said, there are a few exceptions that you will want to be aware of.

Some states, such as New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Virginia, Nebraska, and California do not allow right turns on a red light if there is a red arrow displayed. 

You will need to wait until the traffic light indicates that it is safe for you too. If you do not, then you can be charged with a traffic violation.

To find out if there are any restrictions in other states, you can check the driving regulations with your local DMV office. 

Thankfully, as all states allow right turns on a red light, you are unlikely to have any issues!

How To Safely Turn Right On Red

Now that we know we can turn right at a red light in Texas and other states, let’s look at how we can do this safely.

Remember, you will need to follow any regulations that also apply in your state, be sure to check these with your local DMV office if you are unsure. 

Turning right at a red light isn’t overly difficult, you just need to make sure that you are safe at all times and not pose a risk to other vehicles or pedestrians. To help you do this, follow our three steps below. 

  1. Come To A Complete Stop

Make a complete stop as you approach the red light, even if there is no oncoming traffic. The law requires you to stop at a red light, so you must stop.

Don’t do a slow roll that will allow you to cruise through the red light, stop fully and check your surrounding area before continuing your journey. 

  1. Wait For Oncoming Traffic To Pass

When you have stopped at the red light, you will want to look and see what line of traffic has a green light.

Sometimes turn signals and vehicles coming across the intersection will want the same turn as you. In these cases, it is best to be patient and let the other cars pass.

You want there to be no traffic in your way when you make your right turn and join a new line of traffic. 

Don’t try and race through the light as this can be dangerous and cause accidents. Avoid this and trying to fit into small gaps, it is better to wait and be safe than put your life and others in danger. 

  1. Look For Pedestrians 

After establishing that your line of traffic is clear, check for pedestrians. Whether that is on a crosswalk or pedestrians looking to cross the road, keep an eye out for them!

You want to ensure that there are no pedestrians on the white line or cyclists, who will often sneak through red lights too.

Make the most of all your mirrors to check that the road is clear before turning right on a red light. Following these steps will help to keep you and others safe when making a right turn.

Final Thoughts 

And there you have it, turning right on a red is legal in Texas! Providing that you follow the rules and tips we have listed above you can safely make a right turn while your light is on red.

Remember, that this is not essential and you don’t need to make the right turn without a green light if you don’t want to. While it can save you some time, it is best to only do so when it is safe and you are comfortable.