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

Navigating the roadways safely and efficiently requires a comprehensive understanding of traffic rules and regulations. One crucial aspect for drivers in Vermont is knowing the intricacies of the right turn on red rule. This article delves into the latest updates (as of March 7, 2024) surrounding this rule, providing a clear and concise explanation for motorists.

Right Turn on Red Rule Explained

The right turn on red rule allows drivers to make a right turn at a red light after coming to a complete stop, ensuring it’s safe to proceed. However, specific guidelines govern this maneuver.

National Legislation and Vermont Law

The right turn on red rule is generally permitted across the United States, with individual states having the authority to establish their own regulations. Vermont adheres to the national guidelines with minimal variations.

Conditions Permitting a Right Turn on Red

A right turn on red is legal in Vermont only if the following conditions are met:

  • The light facing the driver is a steady red signal.
  • The driver comes to a complete stop at the marked stop line (or before if there’s no line).
  • The driver yields the right of way to any pedestrians crossing the street in the direction of the intended turn.
  • The driver yields the right of way to all oncoming traffic, including vehicles turning left and those proceeding straight through the intersection.
  • The path is entirely clear of oncoming vehicles and pedestrians before proceeding with the turn.
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Required Actions Before Making a Right Turn on Red

Before making a right turn on red in Vermont, drivers must:

  • Activate their turn signal well in advance to indicate their intention to turn.
  • Come to a complete stop and ensure all traffic has come to a standstill.
  • Carefully assess the intersection for any pedestrians or oncoming vehicles.

Prohibited Actions During a Right Turn on Red

Several actions are strictly prohibited when making a right turn on red:

  • Failing to come to a complete stop before proceeding.
  • Disregarding pedestrians or oncoming traffic with the right of way.
  • Making the turn if the path is not entirely clear.
  • Proceeding without activating the turn signal.

Safety Precautions When Making a Right Turn on Red

Even when permitted by law, a right turn on red should be executed with utmost caution. Here are some essential safety tips:

  • Complete Stop: Ensure a complete stop before proceeding. Rolling stops are illegal and dangerous.
  • Yielding: Always yield the right of way to pedestrians crossing the street and oncoming traffic that has the green light or is already in the intersection.
  • Maintaining Vigilance: Remain vigilant throughout the turn. Double-check for any vehicles or pedestrians that might have entered the intersection unexpectedly.

Penalties for Violating the Right Turn on Red Rule

Failing to comply with the right turn on red rule in Vermont can result in penalties, including:

  • Fines: The specific fine amount can vary depending on the severity of the violation. In general, expect fines ranging from $75 to several hundred dollars.
  • Points: Violations may also lead to points being added to the driver’s license. Accumulating a certain number of points can result in license suspension.
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Additional Considerations

  • Right Turn on Red Signs: Some intersections in Vermont might have specific signage prohibiting right turns on red. Always obey these signs, even if they seem to contradict the general rule.
  • Right-of-Way Laws: Remember, the right turn on red rule only applies when it’s safe to proceed and you have the right of way. Never prioritize making the turn over the safety of yourself and others.
  • Vermont Driver’s Handbook Reference: For a more comprehensive understanding of traffic laws in Vermont, including the right turn on red rule, refer to the latest edition of the Vermont Driver’s Handbook, available online or through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).


The ability to make a right turn on red can offer convenience for drivers in Vermont. However, it’s paramount to exercise caution and understand the nuances of the rule to ensure the safety of all road users. By adhering to the guidelines, respecting right-of-way, and prioritizing defensive driving, Vermont motorists can help create a safer and more efficient traffic flow.

Additional Resources

Here are some resources for drivers in Vermont to continue learning about road safety and regulations:

  • Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Website: ( The official DMV website contains updated information on traffic rules, including the latest version of the driver’s handbook and links to other crucial resources.
  • Vermont State Legislature Website: ( Provides access to state laws and the specific statutes regarding the right turn on red rule if you’d like to delve even deeper into legal aspects.
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Important Reminders

  • Traffic laws and regulations can be subject to change. Always stay informed of the latest updates to ensure you are driving safely and legally.
  • Be a courteous driver. Even when legally allowed, prioritize the safety of yourself, pedestrians, and other drivers over the expediency of a right turn on red.

Disclaimer: This article provides general information on the Vermont right turn on red rule. It does not constitute legal advice, and it’s always recommended to refer to official government sources for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

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