In Iowa, Can You Run A Red Light If No One Else Is There?
We have all been in this situation. You're sitting at a red light in Iowa waiting for the light to turn green, and no one else is around because it's a slow time of the day or a not busy area.
If you're the only person at the intersection and no one else is around, can you run the red light in Iowa? As tempting as it may be, think about the possibility of a police officer waiting for temptation to get you in trouble.
Fine For Running A Red Light In Iowa
When taking driver's education, you learn pretty quickly that running a red traffic light is a big no-no. For those that need a definition of a red traffic light, the state of Iowa gives us one in section 321.257 of the Iowa motor vehicle laws:
"A “steady circular red” light means vehicular traffic shall stop. Vehicular traffic shall remain standing until a signal to proceed is shown, or vehicular traffic, unless prohibited by a sign, may cautiously enter the intersection to make a right turn from the right lane of traffic or another lane designated for right turns, or a left turn from a one-way street to a one-way street from the left lane of traffic or another lane designated for left turns. Turns made under this paragraph shall be made in a manner that does not interfere with other vehicular or pedestrian traffic lawfully using the intersection. Pedestrian traffic facing a steady circular red light shall not enter the roadway unless the pedestrian can safely cross the roadway without interfering with any vehicular traffic."
We're all on the same page about what a red traffic light is, right? Perfect.
In the State of Iowa's section of fines you can receive for committing a traffic violation, running a red light could land you a hefty fine of $135.
But can you treat a red stop light as a stop sign if no one else is around?
If No One Is Around To Catch You Running A Red Light, Should You?
The reason I'm even writing this article is because I've been seeing this a lot lately in broad daylight. Sure, I understand creeping through an empty intersection in the early hours of the morning, but at 3 p.m. on a Wednesday on Locust Street? Bro, c'mon.
Whether it's a 4:30 a.m. on your way to work or in the middle of the day at the longest stoplight with no traffic around at Emerald Dr. and W Locust St. in Davenport, you can't treat the red traffic light as a stop sign.
As tempting as it is, the light will eventually turn to green and you'll be able to proceed legally. Sure, if you tempt fate and no one is around to watch you break the law including a police officer, you'll get off scotch-free.
Just remember, police officers are good at hiding.
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