I received a violation notice from the rental car agency for a red light violation. Here's the video.

Here's* a still image too, that shows my brake lights before the turn.

Can I contest this? It clearly shows that there was no traffic, I breaked came to a stop and turned right. I'm not aware of specific laws in Delaware but I thought that it was legal to make a right on red like most other states.

The fine is $110.

Update: It appears that it was illegal for Wilmington to be ticketing people who made a right on red this way and I'm getting a refund.

* Link is dead

  • 5
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is not about travel.
    – user4188
    Aug 26, 2016 at 20:55
  • 2
    What is the citation for? Not stopping on the turn? It's quite clear from the video that you certainly didn't stop.
    – Berwyn
    Aug 26, 2016 at 21:08
  • 9
    Braking ≠ stopping. Your brake lights just showed that you slowed down. Also, to the extent that you stopped at all, you were well over the big white line before you did, so even if the stop is sufficient, it wasn't before the line. I would just pay up. See e.g. delawareonline.com/story/news/traffic/burke/2014/09/12/… for some local discussion.
    – Alan Munn
    Aug 26, 2016 at 21:10
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    google.com/maps/@39.7524312,-75.5563006,3a,75y,341.4h,77.87t/… - google streetmap image showing the sign "stop here on red" with a camera image on it
    – Berwyn
    Aug 26, 2016 at 21:20
  • 5
    The question may be useful to remind people who are not used to right-turn-on-red that it does require a complete stop, not just slowing. Travelers, especially from outside the US, may not be aware of that. Aug 26, 2016 at 21:32

1 Answer 1


Right Turn on Red is allowed in all 50 states and all provinces and territories of Canada. The cities of New York and Montreal, however, specifically disallow it unless there is an explicit sign allowing it. In all other places it is allowed unless there is a sign disallowing it.

The rules for "Right Turn on Red" are the following:

  • The car must come to a complete stop.
  • The stop must be behind the broad white line or any sign explicitly saying "Stop Here on Red".

A complete stop means the wheels must stop moving. Braking and slowing down even to 1 mph isn't the same as stopping. Although there is no fixed amount of time you must be stopped for, many people use 3 seconds as a rule of thumb to be sure.

The stop must happen, no matter how much or how little traffic there is, before you can proceed with the right turn.

In your case, your video clearly shows that you didn't come to a complete stop, and you were well past the white line when you slowed to your slowest. Stopping past the line is much more likely to get you a ticket from a Red Light Camera than from an actual police officer.

Here's some local discussion of Red Light cameras in Delaware:

And here's a Google streetmap image showing that there is an explicit "Stop Here on Red" sign at the intersection:

  • It is important for travelers to remember that enforcement varies from place to place. A slowing without completely stopping might not be noticed in one location, but would get a ticket in other locations. Aug 27, 2016 at 14:37
  • @PatriciaShanahan Given that there are no places in which rolling stops are legal, it seems unwise to make any suggestions that one might get away with it. Whereas with speeding there are definitely enforcement patterns that vary from state to state or city to city, I think this kind of ticket is much more likely to have a relatively consistent enforcement. And with red light cameras even more so.
    – Alan Munn
    Aug 27, 2016 at 14:55
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    I think it would be better if everyone came to a complete stop before any right turn on red, anywhere. That both conforms to the law, and is safer than rolling into the intersection. The problem I'm seeing is that the OP seemed to think that braking was enough, without actually stopping. It may be that in the OP's home area there are no red light cameras and the police are lax about rolling stops. Then the OP drove in an area with red light cameras... Aug 28, 2016 at 1:42

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