Red Lights and Stop Signs

Houston Traffic Ticket Lawyer

Red Light & Stop Sign Laws 

Home | FAQs About Traffic Tickets | About The New Texas Points System | Traffic Courts | Attorney Profile | Directions to Office | Traffic Ticket Resources | Contact Us

Texas Transportation Code - Chapter 544

 
 
Below you will find Chapter 544 of the Texas Transportation Code in its entirety.  Many moving violations including Red Lights and Stop Signs are found in Chapter 544. 
 
Example: For Running a Stop Sign see Section 544.010, "Stop Signs and Yield Signs."
For Running a Red Light see Section 544.007(d), "Traffic Control Signals in General."

544.001.  ADOPTION OF SIGN MANUAL FOR STATE
HIGHWAYS. 

The Texas Transportation Commission shall adopt a
manual and specifications for a uniform system of traffic-control devices consistent with this chapter that correlates with and to the extent possible conforms to the system approved by the American
Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.                   


544.002.  PLACING AND MAINTAINING TRAFFIC-CONTROL DEVICE. 

(a)  To implement this subtitle, the Texas Department of Transportation may place and maintain a traffic-control device on a state highway as provided by the manual and specifications adopted under Section 544.001.  The Texas Department of Transportation may provide for the placement and maintenance of the device under Section 221.002.
(b)  To implement this subtitle or a local traffic ordinance, a local authority may place and maintain a traffic-control device on a highway under the authority's jurisdiction.  The traffic-control device must conform to the manual and specifications adopted under Section 544.001.
(c)  A local authority may not place or maintain a
traffic-control device on a highway under the jurisdiction of the Texas Department of Transportation without that department's
permission.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.                   


544.003.  AUTHORITY TO DESIGNATE THROUGH HIGHWAY AND STOP AND YIELD INTERSECTIONS. 

(a)  The Texas Transportation Commission may:
(1)  designate a state or county highway as a through highway and place a stop or yield sign at a specified entrance;  or
(2)  designate an intersection on a state or county
highway as a stop intersection or a yield intersection and place a sign at one or more entrances to the intersection.
(b)  A local authority may:                                                   
(1)  designate a highway under its jurisdiction as a
through highway and place a stop or yield sign at a specified entrance;  or
(2)  designate an intersection on a highway under its
jurisdiction as a stop intersection or a yield intersection and place a sign at one or more entrances to the intersection.
(c)  The stop or yield sign indicating the preferential
right-of-way must:  
(1)  conform to the manual and specifications adopted under Section 544.001;  and
(2)  be located:                                                             
(A)  as near as practicable to the nearest line of
the crosswalk;  or     
(B)  in the absence of a crosswalk, at the nearest
line of the roadway.   

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.                   


544.004.  COMPLIANCE WITH TRAFFIC-CONTROL
DEVICE. 

(a)  The operator of a vehicle or streetcar shall comply with an applicable official traffic-control device placed as provided by this subtitle unless the person is:
(1)  otherwise directed by a traffic or police officer; 
or                
(2)  operating an authorized emergency vehicle and is subject to exceptions under this subtitle.
(b)  A provision of this subtitle requiring an official
traffic-control device may not be enforced against an alleged violator if at the time and place of the alleged violation the device is not in proper position and sufficiently legible to an ordinarily observant person.  A provision of this subtitle that does not require an official traffic-control device is effective regardless of whether a device is in place.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.                   


544.005.  INTERFERENCE WITH TRAFFIC-CONTROL DEVICE OR RAILROAD SIGN OR SIGNAL. 

A person may not, without lawful authority, alter, injure, knock down, or remove or attempt to
alter, injure, knock down, or remove:
(1)  an official traffic-control device or railroad
sign or signal;        
(2)  an inscription, shield, or insignia on an official
traffic-control device or railroad sign or signal;  or
(3)  another part of an official traffic-control device
or railroad sign or signal.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.                   


544.006.  DISPLAY OF UNAUTHORIZED SIGNS, SIGNALS, OR MARKINGS. 

(a)  A person may not place, maintain, or display on or in view of a highway an unauthorized sign, signal, marking, or device that:
(1)  imitates or resembles an official traffic-control
device or railroad sign or signal;
(2)  attempts to direct the movement of traffic;  or                         
(3)  hides from view or hinders the effectiveness of an official traffic-control device or railroad sign or signal.
(b)  A person may not place or maintain on a highway, and a public authority may not permit on a highway, a traffic sign or signal bearing commercial advertising.
(c)  A person may not place or maintain a flashing light or flashing electric sign within 1,000 feet of an intersection except under a permit issued by the Texas Transportation Commission.
(d)  This section does not prohibit a person from placing on private property adjacent to a highway a sign that gives useful directional information and that cannot be mistaken for an official sign.
(e)  A sign, signal, light, or marking prohibited under this section is a public nuisance.  The authority with jurisdiction over the highway may remove that sign, signal, light, or marking without notice.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.                   


544.007.  TRAFFIC-CONTROL SIGNALS IN GENERAL. 

(a)  A traffic-control signal displaying different colored lights or colored lighted arrows successively or in combination may display only green, yellow, or red and applies to operators of vehicles as provided by this section.
(b)  An operator of a vehicle facing a circular green signal may proceed straight or turn right or left unless a sign prohibits the turn.  The operator shall yield the right-of-way to other vehicles and to pedestrians lawfully in the intersection or an adjacent crosswalk when the signal is exhibited.
(c)  An operator of a vehicle facing a green arrow signal, displayed alone or with another signal, may cautiously enter the intersection to move in the direction permitted by the arrow or other indication shown simultaneously.  The operator shall yield
the right-of-way to a pedestrian lawfully in an adjacent crosswalk and other traffic lawfully using the intersection.
(d)  An operator of a vehicle facing only a steady red signal shall stop at a clearly marked stop line.  In the absence of a stop line, the operator shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection.  A vehicle that is not turning shall remain standing until an indication to proceed is shown.  After stopping, standing until the intersection may be entered safely, and yielding right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully in an adjacent crosswalk and other traffic lawfully using the intersection, the
operator may:
(1)  turn right;  or                                                         
(2)  turn left, if the intersecting streets are both
one-way streets and a left turn is permissible.
(e)  An operator of a vehicle facing a steady yellow signal is warned by that signal that:
(1)  movement authorized by a green signal is being
terminated;  or        
(2)  a red signal is to be given.                                            
(f)  The Texas Transportation Commission, a municipal authority, or the commissioners court of a county may prohibit within the entity's jurisdiction a turn by an operator of a vehicle facing a steady red signal by posting notice at the intersection that the turn is prohibited.
(g)  This section applies to an official traffic-control
signal placed and maintained at a place other than an intersection, except for a provision that by its nature cannot apply.  A required stop shall be made at a sign or marking on the pavement indicating where the stop shall be made.  In the absence of such a sign or
marking, the stop shall be made at the signal.
(h)  The obligations imposed by this section apply to an operator of a streetcar in the same manner they apply to the operator of a vehicle.
(i)  An operator of a vehicle facing a traffic-control signal that does not display an indication in any of the signal heads shall stop as provided by Section 544.010 as if the intersection had a stop sign.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.  Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1325, 19.04, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.


544.008.  FLASHING SIGNALS. 

(a)  The operator of a vehicle facing a flashing red signal shall stop at a clearly marked stop line.  In the absence of a stop line, the operator shall stop
before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection.  In the absence of a crosswalk, the operator shall stop at the place nearest the intersecting roadway where the operator has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway.  The right to proceed is subject to the rules applicable after stopping at a stop sign.
(b)  The operator of a vehicle facing a flashing yellow
signal may proceed through an intersection or past the signal only with caution.
(c)  This section does not apply at a railroad crossing.                      

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.                   


544.009.  LANE-DIRECTION-CONTROL SIGNALS. 

If a lane-direction-control signal is placed over an individual lane of a highway, a vehicle may travel in a lane over which a green signal is shown but may not enter or travel in a lane over which a red signal is shown.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.                   


544.010.  STOP SIGNS AND YIELD SIGNS. 

(a)  Unless directed to proceed by a police officer or traffic-control signal, the operator of a vehicle or streetcar approaching an intersection with a stop sign shall stop as provided by Subsection (c).
(b)  If safety requires, the operator of a vehicle
approaching a yield sign shall stop as provided by Subsection (c).
(c)  An operator required to stop by this section shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection.  In the absence of a crosswalk, the operator shall stop at a clearly marked stop line.  In the absence of a stop line, the operator shall stop at the place nearest the intersecting roadway where the operator has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.                   


544.011.  LANE USE SIGNS. 

If, on a highway having more than one lane with vehicles traveling in the same direction, the
Texas Department of Transportation or a local authority places a sign that directs slower traffic to travel in a lane other than the farthest left lane, the sign must read "left lane for passing only."

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 628, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.  Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, 17.08, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Houston Ticket Lawyer Attorney

 Attorney Kameron Searle, 908 Town & Country Blvd., Suite 120, Houston, Texas 77024 
713-880-4529

Houston Traffic Ticket Lawyer