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What are the penalties for running a steady red light in Florida?

| Jun 29, 2021 | Traffic Violations |

Even the most careful Florida drivers make mistakes from time to time. Whether it’s because distracted driving is on the rise or because some traffic lights and stop signs aren’t easy to see, red light violations in Florida are extremely common. If you have been cited for disobeying a steady red signal on the road, then understanding the relevant laws can help you decide whether or not to fight your ticket.

How is “running a red light” defined in Florida?

Florida law mandates that all vehicles facing a steady red light “shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection” or come to a complete stop before entering any intersection if there no crosswalk. However, Florida law also makes no differentiation between a stop sign and a traffic light that has turned red. Both are grouped under the blanket term “steady red signal” and are subject to the laws listed in Florida Statute 316.

Statute 316 also covers steady red signals displayed on one-way streets and when pedestrians do or do not have the right of way to cross the road. Unless performed while committing another offense, failing to stop for a steady red light is considered a noncriminal traffic infraction.

If you are operating a vehicle while you commit the infraction, then it is classified as a moving violation. If you fail to stop for a steady red signal, such as a train crossing light, while walking, then your actions are treated as a pedestrian traffic violation.

How much can you be fined for running a steady red light in Florida?

In Florida, the typical fine for running a steady red light ranges from $125 to $200. Drivers who are caught running a steady red light on camera will usually a face a fine on the higher end of that spectrum. As you can guess, it’s usually more difficult to fight a Florida traffic ticket when there is video evidence of a driver committing the moving violation in question.

You are entitled to challenge a Florida traffic ticket that you feel is unjust. If you have recently received a citation for running a red light, then an experienced attorney may be able to help you resolve the situation without having to pay the full amount stated on the ticket.