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


The red arrow at an intersection, which instructs drivers to stop and wait for the green light before turning right, is a familiar sight to drivers in Kentucky. But as of 2024, Kentucky has enacted a new traffic law permitting vehicles to turn right on red at specified intersections—as long as they abide by a few strict rules. This article provides drivers with some safe driving suggestions, an explanation of the update’s features, advantages, and disadvantages.

What is the Right Turn on Red Rule?

As long as it’s safe to do so, cars are allowed to turn right at a red light after stopping completely, according to the right turn on red (RTOR) rule. By limiting idle time at crossings, the law aims to enhance traffic flow and lower fuel consumption and emissions.

The RTOR rule does not, however, apply at every crossing. Only at intersections designated by a specific traffic sign with a right-pointing arrow and the words “Right Turn on Red Allowed” may a driver turn right on red. Additionally, in a crossing or crossroads, drivers are required to yield to any pedestrians or incoming vehicles, including motorcyclists, cyclists, and other users of micromobility. At all other intersections, it is totally forbidden to turn right on red, even in the absence of any visible cars or pedestrians.

Why did Kentucky Adopt the Right Turn on Red Rule?

One of the rare states, Kentucky forbade RTOR at any intersection due to worries about the safety of pedestrians. This strategy, meanwhile, also meant more idling and more traffic jams, especially after rush hours. Per a Kentucky Transportation Cabinet research, enabling RTOR at specific junctions could result in annual driver savings of up to 5.7 million hours and 2.8 million gallons of gasoline.

Following a pilot program in 2023 that examined the viability and effects of RTOR at 50 junctions around the state, the new rule was put into effect in 2024. The findings demonstrated that RTOR really decreased the average delay for right-turning cars by 36% while having no effect on the frequency of crashes or injuries. These results led the state to decide to extend the law to over 1,000 crossings where the requirements for RTOR—low pedestrian volume, sufficient sight distance, and conspicuous signage—were satisfied.

How to Safely Follow the Right Turn on Red Rule?

Not only must people be informed of the new regulation, but they must also drive responsibly. The following are some useful advice for drivers:

Become familiar with the RTOR signage. Keep a watchful eye out for intersections and recognize those with the appropriate signage. You can’t assume that every junction allows you to turn right on red.

Never stop short of the red light, especially in the absence of any oncoming traffic. Attempting a fast turn or running the stop sign puts pedestrian safety and fines at risk.

Give way to all other vehicles and pedestrians at the crosswalk or intersection. Before moving forward, look both ways and make sure there are no blind spots. Recall that you have the right-of-way and that you might not anticipate seeing someone turn right on a red light.

Use your turn signal and abide by the posted speed limit. Avoid making sudden turns or accelerations since these could result in accidents or disorientation. Make sure you use your turn signal well in advance to indicate that you intend to turn right.

Show patience and courtesy. When other drivers are yielding to pedestrians or waiting for the green light, do not honk, tailgate, or put pressure on them. Wait for your turn and show respect for their choice.


A new traffic law in Kentucky called the “right turn on red” rule attempts to decrease emissions and enhance traffic flow. But it also presents certain difficulties and obligations for drivers, who have to prioritize pedestrian safety and abide by the RTOR-specific rules and signage. Drivers may take advantage of the new rule and traverse it safely by using these guidelines.

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