The law is pretty clear about this. Any sign, signal, marking or device set up by the government that is used to guide traffic is a traffic control device. This includes signs, pavement markings and other devices like flashing red lights or green arrows. When can you disobey a traffic control signal? Never.
If you are caught disobeying a traffic control signal, you could get a ticket for failure to obey a traffic control device. This can be a very serious violation, and you will need an experienced lawyer to help you fight it. Usually, the most common way you can be charged with this is by getting pulled over. The traffic officer sees you disobeying a traffic control device and does this. If you are convicted, it will result in a fine and two points on your license.
In addition, your insurance rates can be higher because this violation. It will show up on your driving record and an insurance company will see it. If you are trying to avoid a big fine and points on your license, it is best to challenge the violation as soon as possible. A good defense against this violation is that you were acting reasonably or unreasonably in an emergency situation. For example, if you were carrying an injured or ill person and the only way to get them to the hospital was to drive past a traffic control signal.
You may also be able to reduce the charge from failure to obey a traffic control device to another offense. A skilled attorney can often work out a plea bargain with your prosecutor to make this a less-serious offense. Check out some articles on our front page. Also, check out Traffic Dave's Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.