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

Nebraska drivers, buckle up for a change! As of January 1st, 2024, a new law modifies the existing right turn on red rule in the state. This update aims to improve traffic flow and potentially enhance pedestrian safety at intersections. Let’s delve into the specifics of this new rule and explore how it impacts your daily commute, whether you’re navigating the bustling streets of Omaha or cruising through the scenic byways of Lincoln.

What is the Right Turn on Red Rule?

The right turn on red rule allows drivers, after coming to a complete stop at a red light, to cautiously proceed with a right turn if the coast is clear. There are, however, certain conditions that must be met before making a right turn on red:

  • There must be a solid red light (not a flashing red).
  • There’s no oncoming traffic in the opposite lane.
  • The path for turning right is entirely clear of pedestrians and cyclists.
  • The driver yields the right of way to any pedestrians already in the crosswalk.

Changes to the Right Turn on Red Rule in Nebraska (2024)

The new Nebraska law introduces a single key modification to the existing right turn on red rule:

  • Complete Stop Requirement: Previously, drivers in Nebraska only needed to come to a “substantial stop” before making a right turn on red. The 2024 update mandates a complete stop at the red light before proceeding with the turn.

Why the Change?

The primary reason behind this modification is to enhance overall traffic safety. A complete stop allows drivers more time to assess the intersection thoroughly, ensuring there’s no oncoming traffic or pedestrians crossing before making the right turn. This potentially reduces the risk of accidents caused by drivers misjudging the situation at a red light.

Impact on Drivers

The new law might require a slight adjustment to driving habits for some Nebraska residents. Here’s how it might affect you:

  • Increased Stopping Time: Coming to a complete stop at every red light, even before turning right, might add a few seconds to your commute. However, prioritizing safety should always be the top concern.
  • Enhanced Safety Awareness: The complete stop encourages drivers to be more attentive at intersections, potentially leading to fewer accidents.
  • Reduced Confusion: Previously, the “substantial stop” rule could be interpreted differently by drivers, leading to confusion. The new “complete stop” mandate offers a clear and unambiguous guideline.

Nebraska Cities and the New Rule

The right turn on red rule applies throughout Nebraska, impacting drivers in all cities, big and small. Here’s a look at how the new law might affect drivers in some key Nebraska locations:

  • Omaha: With its heavy traffic volume, the complete stop rule could initially lead to slightly longer wait times at intersections. However, the potential safety benefits outweigh this minor inconvenience.
  • Lincoln: Drivers in Lincoln, accustomed to the previous “substantial stop” rule, will need to adjust their habits and come to a complete stop before turning right on red.
  • Grand Island: Similar to Omaha and Lincoln, Grand Island drivers will benefit from the increased clarity and safety provided by the complete stop requirement.
  • Smaller Towns and Rural Areas: The new rule applies even in smaller towns and rural areas in Nebraska. Drivers in these areas should ensure they come to a complete stop before making a right turn on red.

Important Reminders for Drivers

Here are some crucial points to remember regarding the right turn on red rule in Nebraska:

  • Always Come to a Complete Stop: This is the most significant change in the 2024 update. Don’t roll through the red light.
  • Yield to Pedestrians: Even if you have a green arrow for turning right, pedestrians in the crosswalk have the right of way.
  • Use Your Turn Signal: Always indicate your intention to turn right by using your turn signal well in advance.
  • Proceed with Caution: Even after a complete stop and confirming a clear path, proceed cautiously when making a right turn on red.

Beyond the Right Turn on Red Rule

While the new right turn on red rule is a significant change, Nebraska drivers should also remember these general safe driving practices:

  • Avoid Distracted Driving: Put down your phone and avoid distractions while driving.
  • Maintain a Safe Following Distance: Leave ample space between your vehicle and the one in front to allow for reaction time in case of sudden stops.
  • Obey Speed Limits: Speeding is a major contributor to accidents. Always drive within the posted speed limits.
  • Be Weather Aware: Adjust your driving according to weather conditions. Slow down during rain, snow, or fog.

Nebraska Right Turn on Red: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Understanding the nuances of a new traffic rule can be confusing. Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the right turn on red rule in Nebraska (as of 2024):

  • Q: Does the complete stop apply even if there’s no oncoming traffic and the intersection is clear?
    • A: Yes. The new law mandates a complete stop at every red light before making a right turn on red, regardless of how clear the intersection appears.
  • Q: What if I’m turning right onto a one-way street? Do I still need to come to a complete stop?
    • A: Yes. The complete stop requirement applies to all right turns on red, even if you’re turning onto a one-way street.
  • Q: What happens if I get caught not coming to a complete stop before turning right on red?
    • A: Violating the complete stop requirement could lead to a traffic ticket. Penalties may vary depending on the specific location and severity of the violation.
  • Q: Does the new rule apply to right turns on red with a yield sign?
    • A: No. If there’s a yield sign instead of a red light, you must come to a complete stop, yield to any oncoming traffic or pedestrians in the crosswalk, and then proceed with caution when it’s safe.
  • Q: Are there any exceptions to the complete stop requirement?
    • A: Currently, there are no exceptions to the complete stop requirement for right turns on red in Nebraska.
  • Q: Who should I contact if I have further questions about the right turn on red rule?
    • A: You can contact your local law enforcement agency or the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for further clarification on the right turn on red rule.

Right Turn on Red and Pedestrian Safety

The new right turn on red rule has sparked discussions about its impact on pedestrian safety. Here’s a breakdown of the potential benefits and considerations:

  • Potential Benefits for Pedestrians:
    • Increased Time to Cross: A complete stop by drivers gives pedestrians more time to safely cross the intersection before a right turn is made.
    • Enhanced Driver Awareness: The requirement to stop fully might encourage drivers to be more attentive to pedestrians in the crosswalk.
  • Considerations for Pedestrians:
    • Continued Vigilance: Pedestrians should always exercise caution while crossing at intersections, regardless of the traffic light.
    • Maintain Eye Contact: Make eye contact with drivers to ensure they see you before crossing.
    • Use Designated Crosswalks: Always use marked crosswalks for increased visibility.

Looking Ahead: The Future of Traffic Safety in Nebraska

The right turn on red rule modification is just one step towards a safer traffic environment in Nebraska. Here are some potential future advancements:

  • Public Education Campaigns: Continued public education campaigns can raise awareness about the new rule and promote safe driving practices.
  • Improved Infrastructure: Investments in pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, like improved crosswalks and signage, can further enhance safety.
  • Advanced Traffic Signal Technology: Implementing advanced traffic signal technology that considers pedestrian presence at intersections could optimize traffic flow and safety.


The new right turn on red rule in Nebraska represents a commitment to improving traffic safety for both drivers and pedestrians. By understanding the new regulation and practicing safe driving habits, Nebraska residents can contribute to a more secure and efficient transportation system on the state’s roads. Remember, a few extra seconds spent coming to a complete stop could potentially prevent accidents and ensure everyone reaches their destination safely.

Avatar photo
MBS Staff
Articles: 7044

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *