Unlike a left-hand turn which has more rules and is oftentimes more dangerous, a right-hand turn is pretty basic. As long as the driver adheres to a few parameters they can rest assured that they are making a lawful turn that will not result in any kind of traffic citation.
If you do not follow the Rules of the Road in Nevada and are cited for making an illegal right-hand turn then you can face a fine of up to $305.
Just like most other traffic violations, you will not only face a monetary penalty but will also have up to four demerit points levied against you. If you have a good attorney helping you out then those penalties are likely to be reduced.
Calling Ticket Busters after you have been cited for any traffic violation in Nevada will help your cause to get the fine and demerit points lessened on your behalf. Ticket Busters has helped countless people in the Las Vegas area and can certainly help you. Once you reach out to our office (via telephone, email or simply by coming in), we will assign a professional legal team member to your case.
If a driver gets to an intersection that is showing a red light, they are able to make a right-hand turn. To make a legal right-hand turn a driver would need to follow the following three rules:
The Intersection Does Not Prohibit Right Turns on Red, and It Is Safe to Turn Right
A right-hand turn will not be legal if there is signage at the intersection indicating that turning right is prohibited. Sometimes this can be the case if there are blind spots or the intersection has been determined to be a high collision area where authorities try to mitigate car accidents by placing restrictions.
The driver must also use their judgment to ensure that making a right-hand turn and entering into the flow of traffic is safe and will not impede any of the oncoming cars. If a driver turns right and an oncoming car has to change its motion then there could be a citation.
For instance, if a driver turns right and an automobile traveling in that same direction has to brake, slow down or change lanes to avoid the first car then this would not be considered a safe turn. If witnessed by a law enforcement officer you could get a traffic ticket.
Sometimes there are blind spots due to large trees, shrubbery, or traffic devices that limit the view of the driver who is making the turn. It is the responsibility of the car making the turn to ensure that it is safe to do so.
The second rule per NRS 484B.307 is…
The Driver Comes to a Stop Before Turning and Has the Right-of-way
As most drivers learned when they were first eligible to obtain their driver’s license, a car must come to a complete stop at a red light, stop sign or when making a right-hand turn at a red light.
Many drivers will simply slow down to a crawl before making the turn but a situation like this would be a violation.
That is traditionally called a “California Stop” and is prohibited.
At a red light, a car must come to a full stop and it is often recommended that a driver count to “two” while stopped to ensure that they are completely stopped.
The Driver Is in the Rightmost Lane and Signals Right
The first part of this one should be obvious—the driver must be in the far right lane.
In any situation (whether the traffic light is showing red or green) a driver must always be in the rightmost lane to make a right-hand turn. The only exception would be if the lane to the left was authorized as a right-turn lane.
It would be a very dangerous situation for a car to make a right hand turn if they are not in the far right lane as a car in that rightmost lane could get hit by the one that is turning.
The second part is that the driver making the turn must have his turn signal on. It seems to be a trend for drivers in Las Vegas to not put their blinkers on and if this is witnessed by law enforcement in any situation (making turns or changing lanes), then you would be considered violating the rules of the road and that is specifically listed in this Nevada Revised Statute.
Common Defenses to an Unlawful Right-Hand Turn
After reaching out to Ticket Busters, we will strategize a defense to help you with your ticket involving an improper right-hand turn. Our legal team will look at the details of your case and will verify that the right-hand turn you were cited for was actually illegal.
Presence (or No Presence) of a No Right Turn on Red Signal
Sometimes police officers make mistakes. Our legal team at Ticket Busters will review surveillance photos and videos to find out if there was a “No Right Turn on Red Signal” sign present at the time of your interaction.
Another defense for making a right-hand turn when it was prohibited to do so would be when there was an emergency situation.
An emergency can range from many types of scenarios such as avoiding a collision, getting out of the way of an emergency vehicle or helping out a pedestrian.
If there is a police car or ambulance with their emergency lights blazing and they are trying to pass you to get to the scene of an important situation then it would make sense for you to turn right assuming the situation was safe even if there was signage prohibiting that type of turn. At times there might be a big pileup that is occurring where cars are smashing into each other causing a chain reaction.
If a situation like this was occurring and making an illegal right hand turn would prevent you from being hit or would help stop the chain reaction then it would seem reasonable to do that action.
If a situation presented itself where a pedestrian was in some type of trouble (being robbed or suffering from an injury or medical episode) and a driver turning right would be of assistance to that person then it would also be just cause for making an improper right hand turn at a red light.
There is a doctrine for “sudden emergency” that pertains to drivers in Nevada violating certain traffic laws if they were acting reasonably. It is not a sure thing that a prosecutor would drop a charge for this reason but it might help. A good attorney would certainly make this case and you can rest assured that a lawyer from Ticket Busters would bring this to the prosecutor’s attention if possible.
Cited a Traffic Ticket? We Can Help
Another way that Ticket Busters could help you with your traffic citation would be to try and get your charge reduced.
Oftentimes, if a driver in Nevada has a clean record and does not have a long track record of getting tickets, a prosecutor might reduce the ticket to a non-moving violation. You may think that it is not a big deal because you are still receiving a ticket; however non-moving violations are much more welcomed for a couple of reasons.
Typically a violation of this type will not cause your insurance rates to increase. That is a very big deal. The other benefit of getting your ticket reduced is that a non-moving violation does not incur any demerit points.
That may not matter much to a driver who does not get cited for many tickets but it is still a net positive.
Your lawyer should review all aspects of your case and when presenting to the prosecutor in charge, if the case is well made it is quite possible that your charges could be dropped completely.
Another way to defend yourself is to go to trial.
Your attorney (or even yourself if you decide to fight the ticket alone) can set up a hearing for you to present your case. Often times this can be helpful as most people will simply pay for their ticket and not go this route.
Driving safe is the best practice which means driving the speed limit, always looking both ways at intersections and coming to a complete stop when instructed to. If we had more safe drivers, we would have less traffic jams in Las Vegas and people would certainly be healthier as there would be less injuries.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it legal to make a right hand turn on a red light in Nevada?
Yes, provided you follow certain guidelines. You must come to a complete stop, make sure the intersection is clear, and that you are turning into a safe lane of travel. Additionally, if there’s signage prohibiting right turns on red, then you must abide by those laws as well. Some exceptions also exist, such as in the case of an emergency situation.
What should I do if I get a traffic ticket?
Your first step should be to consult with an experienced attorney, who can help you navigate the court system and ensure your rights are protected. In some cases, you may be able to get your charges reduced or even dismissed completely. It’s important to take action promptly, as most tickets have deadlines associated with them which must be met in order to avoid penalties.
Can I get out of a ticket for making an illegal right-hand turn?
In certain circumstances, it is permissible to make a right hand turn on a red light in Nevada. For example, if you are trying to avoid an accident or help out a pedestrian in trouble, it might be considered a reasonable and just cause for making the illegal turn. It’s important to remember that your attorney could use the “sudden emergency” defense as a way to argue in your favor and possibly get the ticket dropped. Additionally, if you took all reasonable precautions before making the turn and were acting lawfully, then that may also be grounds for the dismissal of the ticket. Each case is evaluated on its own merits, so it’s best to consult with an attorney who can help you understand your options.