Red Light Violation — Issued by an Officer

It is not illegal to deliberately drive through a yellow light.  VC21452(a) says that a yellow light means only that the traffic facing the light is “warned” that a red light will soon follow.  As long as your vehicle’s front part has entered the intersection, or passed the limit line before the light has turned red, you have not broken the law.  The officer who cited you, in most cases, would not have been  in the proper position to have  a good view of exactly when you crossed into the intersection.

What is a VC 21453(a) Ticket?

A traffic ticket for California Vehicle Code § 21453 alleges that the driver of a vehicle failed to stop at a red light as required by law.  There are three main types of red light violations according to the California Vehicle Code.

  1. CVC 21453(a) alleges the person failed to stop at the limit line while facing a circular red traffic light and proceded to take a right or go straight through.
  2. CVC 21453(c) alleges the person failed to stop at a red arrow for a left turn lane.
  3. CVC 21453(d) alleges a pedestrian failed to stop at a pedestrian control signal indicating that he or she stop.


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