Mississippi Traffic Rule Update: Understanding the Right Turn on Red Rule 2024

Traffic lights are essential for maintaining order and safety on our roads. But what happens when you approach a red light and want to turn right? In many states, including Mississippi, a well-established rule allows drivers to make a right turn on red after coming to a complete stop and yielding the right-of-way. However, navigating this maneuver can be confusing, especially for new drivers or those unfamiliar with the specific regulations in Mississippi.

This comprehensive guide will delve into the intricacies of the Mississippi right turn on red rule in 2024. We’ll explore the legal framework, safety considerations, potential exceptions, and common misconceptions surrounding this rule. Whether you’re a seasoned driver in Jackson or a new resident navigating the streets of Biloxi, this guide will equip you with the knowledge to confidently and safely make right turns on red lights in Mississippi.

Legal Framework: Mississippi Right Turn on Red Statute

The right to turn right on red in Mississippi is authorized by Section 63-3-309 of the Mississippi Code. This statute outlines the specific conditions under which such a turn is legal:

  • Complete Stop: Drivers must come to a complete stop behind the marked stop line before proceeding with the turn. A rolling stop or failing to reach a complete stop is a violation of the law.
  • No Posted Signs: The intersection must not have a “No Turn on Red” sign. These signs are typically used in high-traffic areas or where visibility is limited.
  • Yielding Right-of-Way: Drivers must yield the right-of-way to all oncoming traffic, including pedestrians crossing the street with a green light or in a marked crosswalk. This includes waiting for any vehicles already in the intersection to complete their turns before proceeding.

Safety Considerations for Right Turns on Red

While the right turn on red rule can improve traffic flow, safety remains paramount. Here are key safety considerations when making a right turn on red in Mississippi:

  • Visibility: Ensure you have a clear view of oncoming traffic in both directions before initiating the turn. This includes checking for pedestrians and cyclists who might be crossing the street.
  • Yielding Cautiously: Don’t simply assume oncoming traffic will stop for you. Actively look for vehicles that may be turning left, running a red light, or approaching at high speeds. Yield the right-of-way generously.
  • Blind Spots: Be mindful of blind spots created by vehicle pillars or large vehicles. Use your turn signal well in advance and double-check your surroundings before turning.
  • Weather Conditions: Adverse weather conditions like rain, fog, or snow can significantly reduce visibility. It’s best to exercise extra caution or avoid right turns on red altogether when weather conditions are poor.

Exceptions to the Right Turn on Red Rule

There are situations where the right turn on red rule in Mississippi does not apply. Here are some common exceptions:

  • Marked “No Turn on Red” Signs: As mentioned earlier, intersections with clearly posted “No Turn on Red” signs prohibit right turns on red lights.
  • School Buses with Flashing Lights: When a school bus has activated its flashing red lights and stop sign, drivers must come to a complete stop, regardless of the light color, until the lights are deactivated and the bus resumes motion.
  • Double Red Lights: Some intersections may have double red lights facing right-turning traffic. These lights explicitly prohibit right turns on red, even when a single red light is displayed.
  • Unfamiliar Intersections: When approaching an unfamiliar intersection, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and wait for a green light before turning right, especially if visibility is limited.

Common Misconceptions about Right Turns on Red in Mississippi

Here are some common misconceptions drivers might have about the right turn on red rule in Mississippi:

  • Yielding Only to Oncoming Traffic: Drivers must also yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing the street with a green light or in a marked crosswalk.
  • Right of Way When Entering Intersection First: Even if you come to a complete stop and enter the intersection before the light turns green, you must still yield the right-of-way to any vehicles already in the intersection, regardless of their turn direction.
  • Right Turn on Red During Yellow Light: The right turn on red rule applies only after the light has fully transitioned to red. Turning right on a yellow light is considered a violation.

Additional Tips for Safe Right Turns on Red

  • Turn Signal Usage (continued): intention to turn right. This helps alert other drivers and pedestrians of your maneuver.
  • Motorcycle Awareness: Be extra cautious of motorcycles, which can be easily obscured in your blind spots.
  • Defensive Driving: Practice defensive driving principles. Assume other drivers may not be following the rules and be prepared to react accordingly.
  • Right on Red After Stop Sign: Remember, the right turn on red rule only applies at red lights, not at stop signs. At a stop sign, you must come to a complete stop and yield the right-of-way to all traffic before proceeding.

Penalties for Violating the Right Turn on Red Rule in Mississippi

Failing to adhere to the right turn on red rule in Mississippi can result in a traffic citation. The specific penalty can vary depending on the severity of the violation and the driver’s record. Generally, a first offense may result in a fine ranging from $100 to $200. However, subsequent offenses or those causing accidents can lead to higher fines, points on your license, and even license suspension.


Understanding the intricacies of the Mississippi right turn on red rule empowers you to navigate intersections safely and efficiently. By following the legal guidelines, practicing good judgment, and remaining vigilant, you can contribute to a safer driving environment for yourself and others on Mississippi’s roads.

Remember, even when a right turn on red is legal, prioritize safety above all else. Yield the right-of-way generously, double-check your surroundings, and never hesitate to wait for a green light if you feel unsure or visibility is compromised.

Additional Resources:

Disclaimer: This blog article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Always refer to official Mississippi traffic laws for the most up-to-date information.

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MBS Staff
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