How wrong or sinful is it if I pass through red stop signs and lights?

:blushing::tsktsk:I have a bad habit of rolling through stop signs and even at times red lights. At what point is it sinful or isn’t it?

I spoke to a priest about similar situation a few years ago. The sinfulness of your actions depend a lot on the circumstances in which you are committing them. Are you running through a stop sign/red light in the middle of rush hour, creating danger for others and the possibility of injuring/killing someone? Or is it at 3 am and you are the only car on the road? Just stop, it is really not that difficult to spend 3 seconds making sure you aren’t going to kill yourself or someone else, regardless of traffic conditions. I think you know what you are doing is wrong, otherwise you wouldn’t be asking. In all likelihood your Guardian Angel is trying to warn you to stop before something terrible happens. Be safe out there.

You have to be told that running red lights and stop signs is reckless and shows a complete disregard for the safety of other people? Sinful or not sinful - it’s selfish, dangerous, and you need to have your license revoked until you can take the safety of your fellow human beings into proper consideration.

As Christians we have a duty to observe the requirements of the law as well as the requirements of our faith - I think that’s the simplest way to look at it. 'Render unto Caesar" comes to mind. :slight_smile:

There may be times when the two are in opposition, but this isn’t one of them!

Well, I certainly hope that when you run your red lights and stop signs you don’t run into a car full of people and end someone’s life. You should inform your conscience about this right away.

Just ask the simple question. Would it be OK if everyone did it?

It could be expensive, if you happen not to notice that sheriff’s deputy hiding in his car behind the trees over yonder :bigyikes:


Please be more careful. A friend of my daughters was killed by a guy running a red light.

She had turned 16 just a few days before.

In my original thread I put down rolling through a stop sign. We in California are not known to stop promptly at the sign. We kinda coast through it. We call it a California stop or the rolling stop. I don’t claim to run through lights in the middle of heavy traffic or in light traffic, as in the evenings, sometimes the red lights don’t catch as I roll onto them. The light sensors at times don’t work.:blush::shrug:

I’ve only ever heard of a California Rolling Stop in conjunction with making a right turn on a red light.

Is that what you’re talking about? Slowing up to about ~2-5 mph as opposed to coming to a complete stop when making a right turn on a red? Or, only slowing to ~2-5mph going through a stop sign when no one’s at the other stops?

Primarily, if it’s safe and there’s no other traffic around I don’t think it’s sinful. However, if you eventually have kids they’ll be observing your habits and whatever bad habits you have they will see as normal. It’s a bad habit to get into because you can tend to miss pedestrians or bicycles about to cross the street. Where I live if a bicycle is approaching a stop sign at the same time as a car, it seems like they run the stop sign 6 out of 10 times. They’ll run stop lights 1 out of 10 times. I’d hate to hit one even if they’re at fault. More likely to happen if I develop the habit of rolling stops…

. Running a red due to the light sensors/weight sensor not picking you up is different. Happens all the time to me on a motorcycle- I have to wait through a cycle of light changes, if the light still doesn’t change I can cross exercising ‘due regard’, it’s a legal acknowledgement that sometimes the light doesn’t cycle.


If it’s done in such a way that you’re actually endangering yourself, or there is reasonable risk of doing so and/or others (high speed, busy intersections, etc), then this can be potentially mortal.

If no one’s there and there’s certainly no danger of running the red light or stop sign, then this is still sinful as a violation of a legitimate law. However given that there’s no real danger, it’s probably venial.

That said, if you have a bad habit of running red lights or stop signs, you’re a terrible driver and don’t deserve your licence. To be perfectly frank, I don’t think you belong on the road at all.

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