Jul 11 2009
05:01 pm

Does anyone know the laws regarding redlight cameras and right turns? I got my first ticket in the mail today. I watched the video. I was in a right turning lane at the Kroger's at Young High Pike. It was late and it appears I slowed down and checked but did not completely stop before turning towards Kroger's. I don't care anything about where the money goes or the company, so no comments on that. I just know I will probably be laid off again by the time this is due and 50 or 118$ are bills that could be paid.
I am assuming the law says you have to come to a complete stop in turning lanes but I can't find a link. I can sort of concede to the safety aspects of the lighst as far as just intersections, but where it gets tricky I think are right turns. I think there has been some letters or maybe articles in the paper on that subject in the last year.

michael kaplan's picture

I was in a right turning

I was in a right turning lane at the Kroger's at Young High Pike.

that's where i got my ticket. you have to come to a complete stop before making a right turn. i'd imagine this intersection is a very lucrative trap for the city. and i've made this point many times: $50 is a regressive tax that adversely affects poorer people. complain to bob becker. he voted for the cameras.

Nobody's picture

stop on red light

a complete stop is california it is called a california roll...

redmondkr's picture

From the TN Driver Handbook

From the TN Driver Handbook and Study Guide (Pg. 16):

RED: Stop behind crosswalk or stop line.
Unless otherwise posted, you may turn right on
red after coming to a complete stop and when no
pedestrians or cross traffic are present.

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Rachel's picture

I got a ticket for not

I got a ticket for not coming to a complete stop at a light long before there were redlight cameras. This law has been on the books for a long time.

JRWnKnox's picture

Yeah, a complete stop is

Yeah, a complete stop is required before turning right. See Tenn Code 55-8-110(a)(3)(A): "A right turn on a red signal shall be permitted at all intersections within the state; provided, that the prospective turning car shall come to a full and complete stop..."

A KPD officer reviews the video and a ticket is issued if there's no stop.

Since you asked us to omit comments on the @$*# red light camera system itself, I won't...

Hayduke's picture

Right on red works fine

I've done right on red from Summit Hill onto Broadway many times. Always stop and never had a camera ticket.

I don't like the idea of some company getting most of the money out of these things, and yeah, any traffic fine is regressive. There ought to be a way to make it hurt regardless of income, but that gets complicated and invasive. Points are a partial solution.

But I can't see complaining about getting a ticket for doing something that's fundamentally unsafe (particularly to pedestrians and cyclists). If you do it there, you probably do it other places and just don't get caught. Stop behind the crosswalk, look and then go.

trobinson's picture

If you approach a STOP light

If you approach a STOP light or STOP Sign, it's a good bet to STOP before proceeding.
In the absence of links, common sense is a great tool to fall back on.
Another handy tip: If everybody follows the rules of the road the the camera companies will go out of business.
Liberty-- it's a heavy responsibility.

sean's picture

2 in 2 months

The new cameras installed this past spring seem to do a better job "policing" this habit than their predecessors. I've gotten two in two months after never getting one previously and I'm certain my driving habits are just as badly rushed as they've always been.

Does anyone know if a red arrow has special meaning to right turns as opposed to a plain red signal? There seems to be some popular discussion on this.

RealDemocrat's picture

I believe that a red arrow

I believe that a red arrow means do not turn right, period. That is definitely true at the top of cumberland turning onto Henley Street. A red light means stop and then you can turn right.

Hayduke's picture

Written test

Seems like a mandatory written test at license renewal wouldn't be a bad idea. Helping a teenager with algebra homework has reminded me how easy it is to forget (but think you know) things you haven't cracked a book on in decades. A review every four years doesn't seem like too often to make sure you know the rules of the road.

Cops should have to take it every six months.

redmondkr's picture

I thought about that when I

I thought about that when I looked up that manual the other day. I hadn't seen one of those since I got my license in the spring of 1962.

I downloaded it and have started my review.

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Nobody's picture

I understand you have to

I understand you have to come to a complete stop before turning on red. Most everyone knows that if they have a license. For me, the anger comes from the fact that getting a ticket for turning right on red after not coming to a COMPLETE stop is like getting a ticket for jaywalking or's ridiculous. There are people who get away with rape and mugging people on the street, but the common person is getting ticketed for not coming to a 100% complete stop before making a right turn at a red light. Yes, I understand the safety concerns, especially when pedestrians or bicyclers are trying to cross, but you should ALWAYS be paying attention to those kinds of hazards, even if you have a green light. The economy is terrible right now, everyone knows that, so why aggravate the whole situation by adding yet another fee to our already severely financially stressed lives? These cameras have also paved the way for the awesome speed cameras being set up in parts of our country, and they will come here before it's all over with. I think it's crazy. Not only are you on camera when you walk into a store or a bank or a hotel, but you are also going to be on camera when you're sitting in traffic or driving down the road, meaning you are being monitered at least once as you go about your daily routine. How invasive are all these cameras going to get, and shouldn't the police be the ones patrolling the streets to stop speeders and people who run red lights? Personally, I would be pissed if an officer pulled me over for doing a rolling stop at a red light, but since all they have to do now is sit on their ass and watch the video, it really pisses me off.

StaceyDiamond's picture


I'm only human, you know like they said about Michael Jackson, and I didn't stop. The video shows it. Stand now if you've never made a mistake driving or otherwise.I don't know if the tax is regressive, rich folks run lights too. You can argue either way about the light cameras. There is a WBIR camera that constantly films on Market Square, or at least its always aimed there, kinda creepy, but if someone was robbed I guess they'd appreciate it, same as with the giant KPD cameras downtown.

michael kaplan's picture

I don't know if the tax is

I don't know if the tax is regressive, rich folks run lights too.

A regressive tax is one that has a greater impact on people with lower incomes. $50 to someone earning $20,000/year might be a significant burden, while it is hardly noticeable to someone earning $200,000/year. It would be interesting to know how much the city is collecting at the Chapman/Moody intersection from drivers who don't come to a complete stop. And whether the number of violations gets less every month.

And as I type this, an ad came up (courtesy Google) for a company that supposedly will help you fight traffic tickets ...


Ray Butler's picture

red light screw

Got a ticket for the California roll. Sucked, but the video had me dead to rights. Still don't like the cameras and don't think that they are for safety. They produce hundreds of thousands of $$ a month in revenue. They are not at dangerous intersections but at congested areas that tend to hold for onger periods of time. People who violate here are just trying to not get caught in another red light cycle. For the driver it is not a safety thing but a time thing.

Trigger's picture

Define Complete Stop

I had the opportunity to teach Driving Instruction to students of all ages who had a hearing impairment. Quite and interesting task I must say...Coming to a complete stop is defined as a stop for at least 2 seconds. Mississippi, two Mississippi. Now that you've gotten caught, doesn't it make you think about being more careful next time you approach a yellow light? That is the point; changing people's bad habits to prevent accidents. By the way, yellow means "caution, the light is about to turn red. Prepare to stop." acoording to the Tennessee Drivers Handbook. It does not mean "punch it, before the darn thing turns red."

Now, if only the rapists and other habitual criminals could understand that incarceration and other forms of punishment were meant to change their behavior.

Joe328's picture

I paid one and I'm still

I paid one and I'm still happy with the cameras. The one on Chapman Hwy near John Sevier has not had a death since the cameras were installed. The year before the cameras there were several accidents which resulted in two or three deaths.

As for turning right on a red. The police have no idea of the spirit of law. Your required to come to a full stop short of the crosswalk and check for pedestrians. If you blast through the crosswalk and stop well past the crosswalk. The police will not issue a ticket.

StaceyDiamond's picture


I certainly make sure I come to a complete stop now. That particular night ironically I was frazzled from being lost on Martin Mill in total darkness and was so glad to be back in the city, hookers and cameras and all, then I got the darn ticket.

Sarah's picture

Question about the ticket?

Recently, I didnt make a complete stop behind the white line and then paused a sec and then continue turning right. I noticed a camera in front of me when I was turning. I live in California and I was wondering if i might get caught or not. How long till they mail you a ticket?

Chrissy B's picture


My "violation" was on 8/28 and I just received my citation.
I came to a complete and full stop behind the white line (3 secs...on the video). but then had to pull up till only the back half of the car was behind the while line in order to see more clearly. Lane was clear, so I turned right. So if you don't wait another 2-3 seconds it apparently still counts at a roll-through. *shrug* Guess my old lady/ annoyingly cautious title will have to be replaced by "speed demon/racer". ;)

Up Goose Creek's picture


I think that's what happened to me turning right from western. You have to go past the white line to see who's coming.

I've learned to alter my traffic patterns - detour down 11th st for example, turn right on Hill or Church. Best to just avoid camera intersections unless you are driving straight through. I don't trust myself to consistantly overcome 40 years of right rolling.

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