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Right now, the biggest cause of traffic accidents in major cities is running red lights. According to a recent government study, over 50 percent of these violations have decreased at intersections that have cameras attached to the traffic lights. Similar to tollbooths, these cameras capture the license plate information on the offender’s car. This enables the police to track the offender down and issue a ticket. You do not want to be that offender.

Fines and Penalties

Whether you have or have not violated this law, you should still be aware of the fines and penalties that come with it. Trying to get out of paying a ticket for a running a red light, in any state, is almost impossible. Unless your father is the sheriff, you are probably going to be subjected to paying a steep fine. While they differ in every state, the fines can cost you almost $400.

Points are handled similarly in every state. You may receive up to six points on your license for running a red light. You may get two for failing to observe the traffic signals, two for failing to stop for the traffic light and two more for failing to stop at the red light.

Traffic Points and Impact on Driving Record / License

The amount of points you will incur for running a red light varies from state to state. However, you can be certain that you will have points added to your license. At the very least, you will have two points added to your license. At worst, you may have six points added to your license.

State Fines and Penalties

Choose the first letter of your State

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State Avg. Fines Points Traffic School License Suspension Rate Jail
Alabama Up to $155 3 points, expect negligent increase on insurance premiums No, but judge and case specific circumstances allow for traffic school as means of dismissing ticket Case Specific Excluded from point count after two (2) years, unstated officially regarding driving record, but typically, never more than three (3) years
Alaska Up to $150 4 points, insurance premiums will possibly increase. Yes, more than 6 points in a year for provision license holders. Traffic school can be used once annually to reduce overall point total Two (2) suspensions based on points in two (2) years Point accumulating offenses on driving record for five (5) years
Arizona Officer discretion 2 points, premiums on insurance may rise. Not required, but voluntary attendance will dismiss ticket and avoid being placed on driving record Case Specific Point accumulating offenses on driving record for five (5) years
Arkansas Up to $100 3 points, expect negligent increase on insurance premiums Case specific, but potentially required License revocation on case specific basis Point accumulating offenses on driving record up to five (5) years
California Up to $100 1 point, insurance rates may increase. Yes, case specific, but one offense per eighteen months may be masked from public view if completing traffic school License suspension reinstatement automatically requires adminstrative hearing One (1) point offenses remain on record for three (3) years, two (2) point offenses remain on record for seven (7) years
Colorado $80-$120 4 points, insurance premiums will possibly increase. Yes, case specific, but will not dimiss points from record Hearing required to determine on case specific basis, 12 points accumulated equals mandatory suspension Point accumulating offenses on driving record no less than seven (7) years
Connecticut $124 2 points, premiums on insurance may rise. May be required by clerk, dismissal of fines or points possible through clerk approved traffic school arrangement Ten (10) points accrued result in suspension, revocation case specific pending hearing Points remain on driver record for two (2) years
Delaware $75 or possibly more at officer descretion 3 points, expect negligent increase on insurance premiums Yes, case specific and required, may be used to reduce overall point count Accumulation of fourteen (14) points means mandatory suspension for four (4) months Points offenses remain on record at least three (3) years and up to more than five (5) pending offense
DC Officer discretion 2-3 points, insurance premiums may increase. Yes, may be required, and can be used as means of reducing point total 10 points accumulated requires 90-day suspension, 12 point accumulation requires revocation needing official reinstatement Points remain on driver's record for two (2) years
Florida Officer discretion 4 points, insurance premiums will possibly increase. Yes, and basic driver improvement courses are option for dimissing points Twelve (12) points in one (1) year requires mandatory suspension, revocation is case specific and determined by hearing Offenses resulting in points kept on driving record for seven (7) years
Georgia $150-$325 3 points, expect negligent increase on insurance premiums Yes, and potentially used for one violation reduction every five (5) years Accumulation of fifteen (15) points in two years results in suspension Offenses resulting in points kept on driving record for seven (7) years
Hawaii Officer discretion Point system not applicable in state, insurance rates may increase though. Yes, may be mandated in event of serious offenses Case specific Offenses may remain on traffic abstract for no more than ten (10) years
Idaho $10-$141.50 3 points, expect negligent increase on insurance premiums Yes, once every three (3) years, drivers may reduce point total by three points Risk of suspension after 11 points in one (1) year or 17 points in two (2) years Point accumulating offenses on driving record for three (3) years
Illinois $75 20 points, insurance premiums may rise. Yes, required for some offenses, can be used as means of dismissing points in lieu of license suspension Mandatory suspension for accumulation of 15 points, revocations begin at 110 points Point accumulating offenses remain on record four (4) to five (5) years
Indiana At least $100 6 points, expect negligent increase on insurance premiums. Yes, driver safety program required in case specific situations and in lieu of point total nearing suspension levels Suspension based on hearing if driver accrues more than 18 points in two (2) years Point accumulating offenses remain on record for two (2) years
Iowa Case specific None, violation may increase insurance premium rates though Yes, courts may require driver improvement program Suspension required if three (3) or more violations assessed in one (1) year period Point and other violations remain on record for at least five (5) years
Kansas $116 -$176 No point system in state, violation may raise insurance premiums rates. Yes, may be required, and may be done every three (3) years to garner better insurance premiums Conviction of three (3) moving violations in one (1) year risks license suspension Violation convictions on record up to five (5) years
Kentucky $20-$100 3 points, expect negligent increase on insurance premiums Yes, can elect to attend once per year if eligible to dismiss violation for given offense causing attendance Suspension hearing required if accumualted more than twelve (12) points in two (2) year period Points expire after two (2) years, but remain on driver record for five (5) years
Louisiana First offense up to $175 No point system, reported to PDPS, may increase insurance rates. Yes, may be required, and can be used to suspend conviction of violation Specific violations result in suspension, including the vague wording of "excessive violations", number not noted Less than ten (10) years convictions remain on driving record
Maine $25-$500 4 points, insurance premiums will possibly increase. Yes, may be mandated, can be used to dimiss three (3) demerit points per one (1) year period License suspension for fifteen (15) days required for persons with more than 12 demerit points in 12 month period Violations remain on driving record for three (3) years up to no more than ten (10) years
Maryland Up to $500 2 points, premiums on insurance may rise. None License revoked for drivers with 12 points (19 if driver using vehicle for employment) in two (2) years Violations expunged from driving record every three (3) year cycle
Massachusetts Up to $50 2 points, premiums on insurance may rise. Yes, required if driver accumulates five (5) surchargeable events in three (3) years License suspensions begin with three (3) speeding violations being recorded in a one (1) year period All driving records remain in affect from "mid-eighties" to present
Michigan Case specific, normally up to $250 3 points, expect negligent increase on insurance premiums Yes, potentially mandated Accrual of 12 points on two (1) year period subject driver to license suspension of not more than one (1) year Points remain on driving record ever more than ten (10) years, affecting insurance rates for about three (3) years
Minnesota Up to $200 None, violations may increase insurance premium rates though Yes, courts may require driver imporvement course in lieu of or on top of existing offenses Conviction of three (3) offenses in one (1) year results in license suspension, length determined via hearing Offense counts ended on yearly cycle
Mississippi Up to $100 No point system in state, violation may raise insurance premiums rates. Yes, potentially mandated, but can be used to dimiss offenses Suspension or revocation at discretion of licensing agency Offenses maintained on active record for more than four (4) years
Missouri $5-$500 2 points, premiums on insurance may rise. Yes, either mandated or voluntarily undergone to reduce point total Driver subject to suspension for accumulation of more than 8 points in eighteen (18) months Moving violations maintained on record up to three (3) years, suspension on record for five (5) years
Montana $10-$100 2 points, premiums on insurance may rise. Yes, potentially mandated as sanction, but will not reduce or dismiss points Accrual of 6 points in eighteen (18) months makes driver subject to sanctions, but accrual of 15 points in thirty-six (36) months mandates suspension Points applied to record for three (3) years, but traffic violations remain in state database permanently
Nebraska First offense up to $100, subseqent up to $200 1 point, insurance rates may increase. Yes, possibly mandated as sanction, but also, can be used to remove 2 points every five (5) years Accumulation of 12 points in two (2) years immediately revokes license for six (6) months Driver's record viewed as public record, and infractions remain visible indefinitely
Nevada Up to $1,000 4 points, insurance premiums will possibly increase. Yes, potentially required, but also, can be used once per one (1) year period to reduce points voluntarily Accrual of 12 points in twelve (12) months results in six (6) month license suspension Driver records maintained for three (3) years for private individuals, longer for commercial drivers
New Hampshire Up to $1,000 3 points, expect negligent increase on insurance premiums Yes, required in some instances and as possible means of reducing points Accrual of 12 points in twelve (12) months results in three (3) month license suspension Points remain on driving record for three (3) years using Jan.1 as effective start date of three year period
New Jersey $50-$200 2 points, premiums on insurance may rise. Yes, case pending may be required, otherwise can be used to remove 2 points from record Accrual of 12 points in two (2) year period requires 30 day suspension of license Driver history abstract available in complete form or within five (5) year period
New Mexico< $10-$200 3 points, expect negligent increase on insurance premiums Yes, may be mandated or voluntarily undergone for points reduction Accumulation of 7 to 10 points in one (1) year may result in three (3) month suspension, pending hearing  
New York $30-$100 3 points, expect negligent increase on insurance premiums Yes, potentially required in specific cases, and may be used to remove up to 4 points in some cases Accumulation of 11 points in eighteen (18) month period results in one (1) month license suspension Driving record points may be removed no later than four (4) years from offense, but potetnial to view last ten (10) years of record available
North Carolina Up to $100 3 points, insurance premiums will possibly increase. Yes, driver improvement clinics may be mandated, and can be used once every five (5) years for 3 point reduction Accumulation of more than 12 points in three (3) years makes license subject to suspension Driving record points counted against driver for up to three (3) years, and violations on record available for viewing up to seven (7) years
North Dakota Up to $500 Officer discretion, may increase insurance premiums. Yes, and driver may elect to undergo driver improvement course once annually to reduce by 2 points Every point accumulated above 11 points requires seven (7) day license suspension Violations older than three (3) years do not remain on driving record
Ohio First offense up to $100 2 points, premiums on insurance may rise. Yes, remedial dirving instruction may be legally required to reinstate driving priviledges Accumulation of more than 12 points in two (2) years makes drivers subject to six (6) month suspension Violtaions older than three (3) years are not included in current driving record
Oklahoma $10-$200 2 points, premiums on insurance may rise. Yes, potentially mandated, but also can be used to reduce 2 points Accumulation of more than 10 points subjects driver to license suspension of one (1) month Offenses in last three (3) years are recorded on driving records
Oregon Up to $300 No point system, may increase insurance rates. Yes, if mandated, but not possible to reduce offense total Conviction of four (4) offenses in eighteen (18) month period requires hearing with driver improvement interview Offenses and convictions for traffic violations remain on record more than five (5) years
Pennsylvania At least $25 3 points, expect negligent increase on insurance premiums Yes, if mandated as sanction, but not means of reducing violation or dismissing points Accumulation of more than 6 points requires examination, accumulation of 6 more points requires hearing of potential suspension Violations remain on record for three (3) years, and for employment checks only, ten (10) year records can be obtained
Rhode Island $50 No point system, may increase insurance rates. Yes, if mandated by licensing authority Incurring three or more major violations in three year period results in one to five year suspension of license Records of violations and offenses kept for three (3) years
South Carolina First offense up to $200 4 points, insurance premiums will possibly increase. Yes, potentially mandated and means of removing 4 points Accumulation of 12 points in twelve months results in suspension, points older than one (1) year counted at half value Driving records are available in three (3) and ten (10) year increments
South Dakota First offense up to $200 3 points, expect negligent increase on insurance premiums No Accumulating 15 more points in one (1) year, or 22 points in two (2) year period results in suspension of 60 days Driving records of offenses and violations maintained indefintitely, points remain on record for three (3) years
Tennessee First offense up to $50 4 points, insurance premiums will possibly increase. Yes, may be mandated, and drivers may reduce points through course once every five (5) years Accumulation of more than 12 points in one (1) year period results in license suspension Driving records maintained for three (3) years
Texas $1-$200 2 points, premiums on insurance may rise. Yes, potentially required, and may be used to dismiss violation Incurring four (4) or more violations in one (1) year runs risk of suspension Driving record offenses and violations remain on record for no more than five (5) years
Utah Officer discretion 50 points, may increase premium rates on insurance. Yes, possibly court mandated, and if necessary, can be used once every three (3) years to remove 50 points Accumulating more than 200 points on license, if over 21 years old, in three (3) year period results in mandatory suspension of three (3) months Moving violations remain on driving record for three (3) years
Vermont First offense up to $175 2 points, premiums on insurance may rise. Yes, possibly required as part of license reinstatement Incuring 10 or more points in two (2) year period results in license suspension Violations remain on record for no more than three (3) years
Virginia Up to $200 3 points, expect negligent increase on insurance premiums Yes, driver improvement clinic may be required, and possibly used to offset 5 demerit points Accumulating more than 18 points in one (1) year, or more than 24 points in two (2) years results in license suspension Moving violations remain on driving record for three (3) years and speeding violations remain on record for five (5) years in state
Washington Up to $250 No point system, may increase insurance rates. Yes, potentially required by court authority Accruing four (4) offenses in one (1) year or five (5) offenses in two (2) years leaves potential for authority to suspend license as desired Moving violations and accidents remain on driving record for five (5) years
West Virginia Up to $100 3 points, expect negligent increase on insurance premiums Yes, drivers may be legally bound to attend, and attendance may reduce points as well Accumulating more than 12 points results in license suspension for no more than one (1) year at discretion of authority  
Wisconsin $40-$300 3 points, expect negligent increase on insurance premiums Yes, sometimes required, but voluntarily taken can reduce points by 3 every five (5) years Incurring 12 or more points in one (1) year makes driver subject to suspension at discretion of authority Violations, suspensions, and revocations remain on record for five (5) years from date of conviction
Wyoming Up to $200 No point system, may increase insurance rates. No Conviction of four (4) violations in one (1) year period results in 90 day suspension Violations remain on driver's record for no more than three (3) years

Hiring a Lawyer

Hiring a lawyer to defend you against a red light violation is very important. The reason why is because running a red light could lead to someone, including anyone in your car, being severely injured or dying. Therefore, it is seen as a reckless action that is very easy to prevent. Your lawyer can help clearly communicate your remorse and willingness to improve. The attorney may also be able to reduce the amount of points that will be added to your license. In addition, having to pay a lawyer to represent you may be enough of an incentive to never run a red light again. When in doubt, hire an attorney to help you with this violation.

 

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