Indiana Traffic Rule Update: Understanding the Right Turn on Red Rule in 2024

Traffic lights are a crucial element in maintaining order and safety on our roads. They guide drivers and pedestrians, ensuring a smooth flow of traffic and minimizing the risk of accidents. One common traffic light rule that many drivers encounter is the right turn on red. This rule allows drivers to make a right turn at a red light after coming to a complete stop and ensuring it’s safe to proceed.

The right turn on red rule can significantly improve traffic flow, especially during periods of low traffic volume. However, it’s important to understand the specific regulations and exercise caution when making a right turn on red.

This blog post will serve as a comprehensive guide for Indiana drivers regarding the right turn on red rule in 2024. We’ll explore the current regulations, exceptions, and safety tips to ensure you navigate intersections confidently and safely.

Recent Updates (if any) to the Right Turn on Red Rule in Indiana

As of April 24, 2024, there haven’t been any major reported updates to the right turn on red rule in Indiana. It’s always a good practice to check for any recent changes by visiting the official Indiana BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles) website or contacting your local law enforcement agency.

Understanding the Right Turn on Red Rule in Indiana (as of April 24, 2024)

When a Right Turn on Red is Permitted

In Indiana, you can make a right turn on a red light under the following conditions:

  • Come to a complete stop: This is an essential requirement. You must come to a complete stop behind the marked stop line or before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection. Rolling stops are strictly prohibited.
  • Yield the right of way: Before making the turn, you must ensure it’s safe to proceed. This means yielding to any oncoming vehicles, pedestrians, or cyclists crossing the intersection in any direction.
  • No posted restrictions: There should be no signs specifically prohibiting right turns on red at that particular intersection. These signs might be red circles with white arrows barring right turns or illuminated signs displaying “No Turn on Red.”

When a Right Turn on Red is Prohibited

Even if the light is red, you cannot make a right turn if any of the following conditions exist:

  • Oncoming traffic: If there’s oncoming traffic in the lane you intend to turn into, you must wait until the light turns green.
  • Pedestrians or cyclists: If pedestrians or cyclists are crossing the intersection in any direction, you must yield the right of way and wait until they have safely passed before making your turn.
  • School buses: If a school bus with flashing red lights is stopped ahead, you are prohibited from passing the bus and must wait until the lights turn off and the bus has started moving.
  • Restricted visibility: If your visibility is obstructed due to weather conditions, foliage, or any other reason, it’s unsafe to make a right turn on red. Wait for the light to turn green to ensure a clear view of the intersection.
  • Posted restrictions: As mentioned earlier, if there are signs specifically prohibiting right turns on red at that intersection, you must obey them.

Additional Considerations and Safety Tips

  • Use your turn signal: Always activate your right turn signal well before reaching the intersection to indicate your intention to turn. This helps other drivers anticipate your maneuver.
  • Double-check for oncoming traffic: Even if the coast seems clear initially, take a final glance in both directions before making your turn. Be aware of vehicles that may be turning left from the opposite direction or those that might be running the red light.
  • Proceed slowly: Don’t accelerate abruptly after making the turn. Enter the intersection cautiously and be prepared to stop suddenly if necessary.
  • Stay alert: Avoid distractions like using your phone or eating while driving, especially when approaching intersections.

Right Turn on Red in Major Indiana Cities (Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne, South Bend)


  • Indianapolis generally follows the same right turn on red rule as the rest of Indiana. However, due to the higher traffic volume in the city, exercising extra caution is vital.
  • Safety Reminders for Indianapolis:
    • Be particularly aware of motorcycles and bicycles, which might be harder to spot in traffic.
    • Pay close attention to red light camera enforcement, which is present at some intersections.

Fort Wayne

Fort Wayne also adheres to the standard Indiana right turn on red rule. Here are some city-specific pointers:

  • Yield to pedestrians in busy downtown areas.
  • Right turns on red might be prohibited at specific intersections with high pedestrian traffic. Look out for posted signage.
  • Safety Reminders for Fort Wayne:
    • During rush hour, avoid making right turns on red unless you have ample time to stop safely and assess oncoming traffic.
    • Be mindful of pedestrians crossing at uncontrolled intersections.

South Bend

South Bend follows the Indiana right turn on red regulations. However, some variations exist:

  • Right turn on red might be restricted during specific times of day at certain intersections, particularly near school zones.
  • Safety Reminders for South Bend:
    • Watch for school buses and yield the right of way when their lights are flashing.
    • Be extra cautious at intersections with a high volume of turning lanes.

FAQs on Right Turn on Red in Indiana

  • Can I turn right on red if there’s a yellow light? Technically, yellow is a warning light indicating the upcoming red signal. It’s generally advisable to slow down and prepare to stop at a yellow light. However, if you can safely stop before entering the intersection when the light turns red, you can legally complete your right turn after coming to a complete stop.
  • What is the penalty for violating the right turn on red rule in Indiana? Disobeying the right turn on red rule can result in a traffic citation. The specific fine amount may vary depending on the county and the severity of the violation.
  • Is there a specific time of day when right turns on red are prohibited? No, there is no general time restriction on right turns on red in Indiana. However, as mentioned earlier, some intersections might have specific restrictions during certain times, such as near schools during pick-up and drop-off hours.


Understanding the right turn on red rule and exercising caution are essential for safe and efficient driving in Indiana. By following the guidelines outlined in this blog post and staying alert at intersections, you can contribute to a smoother traffic flow and minimize the risk of accidents. Remember, safety is paramount. Always prioritize coming to a complete stop, yielding the right of way, and ensuring a clear path before making a right turn on red.

Additional Resources

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is intended for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It’s advisable to consult the official Indiana BMV website or your local law enforcement agency for the most up-to-date regulations on the right turn on red rule.

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MBS Staff
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