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

Driving in Hawaii offers stunning scenery, but it’s crucial to navigate the roads safely and follow the traffic rules. Understanding the right turn on red rule is an essential aspect of safe and efficient driving in the state. This article provides a comprehensive guide for drivers in Hawaii regarding right turns on red lights, including the legality, safety procedures, potential penalties for violations, and valuable tips for making safe turns.

Right Turn on Red: A Common Traffic Maneuver

The right turn on red (RTOR) rule allows drivers to turn right at a red light after coming to a complete stop and ensuring it’s safe to do so. This maneuver can improve traffic flow, especially at intersections with low traffic volume. However, it’s important to understand the specific regulations and safety precautions associated with RTOR in each state.

Recent Updates or Clarifications (if any)

As of March 5, 2024, there haven’t been any reported updates or clarifications regarding the right turn on red rule in Hawaii. It’s always recommended to check official government websites for the latest traffic laws.

Legality: When You Can Make a Right Turn on Red

In Hawaii, you are generally permitted to make a right turn on a red light unless there’s a posted sign specifically prohibiting it. These signs typically display a red circle with a white hand extended indicating “No Turn on Red.”

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Safety Procedures: Before You Turn

Even when allowed, a right turn on red must be executed with safety as the top priority. Here are the crucial steps to follow:

  • Coming to a Complete Stop: This is a non-negotiable requirement. Don’t attempt a right turn on red if you only slow down or roll through the intersection.
  • Yielding the Right of Way: Before turning, ensure there are no pedestrians crossing the street in the direction you’re turning. Additionally, yield to oncoming traffic that has the right of way, including those turning left or going straight with a green light.
  • Checking for Pedestrians and Oncoming Traffic: Don’t rely solely on your mirrors. Use your turn signal and visually check all directions for pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles before initiating your turn.

Additional Considerations

  • Posted Signs Prohibiting Right Turn on Red: Always be attentive to posted signs at intersections. If you see a “No Turn on Red” sign, strictly adhere to it.
  • School Zones and Crosswalks: Right turns on red are generally prohibited in school zones and near crosswalks, especially during designated school hours.
  • Right of Way for Emergency Vehicles: Always yield the right of way to emergency vehicles with flashing lights and sirens, regardless of the traffic signal.

Penalties for Violations of Right Turn on Red Rule

Violating the right turn on red rule in Hawaii can result in fines and potential points on your driver’s license. The specific penalty amount may vary depending on the severity of the violation and your driving history.

  • Types of Violations: Common violations include failing to come to a complete stop, failing to yield the right of way, or turning on red where prohibited by a sign.
  • Fines and Penalties: Fines for right turn on red violations can range from $200 to $300. In addition to fines, points may be assessed on your driving record, which could lead to increased insurance premiums or even license suspension in case.
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Tips for Safe Right Turns on Red in Hawaii

  • Be Proactive and Aware: Safe driving requires constant vigilance and awareness of your surroundings. Be proactive in scanning for pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles as you approach an intersection and prepare for a potential right turn on red.
  • Double-Check for Pedestrians and Cyclists: Pedestrians and cyclists can be less visible and might enter your blind spots. Always double-check before initiating a turn, even if you previously scanned the area.
  • Make Smooth and Predictable Maneuvers: When turning right on red, make your movements smooth and predictable to other drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. Avoid sudden or jerky motions that could create confusion.
  • Avoid Distractions While Turning: Stay focused on the task of turning safely. Avoid distractions like cellphones, eating/drinking, or adjusting the radio. Give turning your full attention, especially in busy or complex intersections.


Understanding and adhering to Hawaii’s right turn on red laws contributes to safer roads for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists alike. By following the safety procedures and exercising caution, you can successfully execute this common traffic maneuver while minimizing risk.

It’s also a good idea to stay updated on any changes to traffic laws in Hawaii. Visit your state’s Department of Transportation website or other official sources for the most current information.

Additional Notes:

  • Intersections with Red Arrows: Right turns on red arrows are not permitted in Hawaii or most other states.
  • Left Turn on Red: Left turns on red are only allowed from a one-way street into another one-way street. Even then, drivers must follow the same safety procedures as with RTOR.
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