Although stop signs and red lights are fairly clear about what they are telling people, a frequent traffic citation is for running red lights or stop signs. In some cases, citations are written because a person does not come to a complete stop, which is frequently referred to as a rolling stop or, in the Golden State, the "California roll".
When it comes to red lights, people may end up with a citation because they went through an intersection when the light was red or because they were still in an intersection when the light turned red. People are frequently issued citations for being in an intersection as a result of photographs taken by traffic cameras. Drivers may also be cited if they stopped at a stop sign but ignored right of way laws.
There are some situations where it is legal to proceed through an intersection when a traffic light is red. The most common is when someone turns right, but ti can only be done when it is safe and there must not be a sign prohibiting it. Some states also allow left turn on red if a person is turning from a one-lane road to another one-lane road.
Although it is tempting to think that traffic violations aren't a big deal, the reality is that people can end up losing their license if they have enough repeat infractions on their record. Additionally, many traffic infractions come with large fines. A person who is not guilty of running a red light due to mitigating circumstances may be able to have the case dismissed. An attorney could explain the rights and options for disputing a traffic violation.