There are so many rules of the road, so many signs, traffic signals, lines painted on the street, it can get confusing. But what about basic stuff? You know, like, the old red arrow on the traffic signal?

Slater and Marjo were discussing an issue with local intersection in Pittsfield, MA where there was a new traffic light installed accompanied by a "yield" sign. So, you've got to stop for the red light and THEN yield?

Now, we all pretty much know the rule for a solid red light. It means stop. However, unless signage is posted saying the contrary, turning right on red is permitted.

A red traffic light against a blue and cloudy sky

A steady red circle means “stop.” Do not go until the light turns green. You can make a right turn on a red light only after you come to a complete stop and yield to pedestrians or other vehicles in your path. You may not turn on red if a NO TURN ON RED sign is posted.


Traffic light at night


You would think that a red arrow SPECIFICALLY means you cannot turn right while red, but, in actuality, you can.

A steady red arrow means the same as a steady red, circular signal. However, it only applies to vehicles going in the direction of the arrow. The same rules for “turning on red” apply in Massachusetts.

So, for all the times I thought I was breaking the law by turning right on a solid red arrow, I guess I wasn't!

In other states, however, this same rule DOES NOT apply.

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