2017 Kentucky Revised Statutes
CHAPTER 189 - TRAFFIC REGULATIONS -- VEHICLE EQUIPMENT AND STORAGE
.338 Limitation of colored lights used in traffic-control signals -- Rules for vehicular and pedestrian traffic controlled by traffic-control signals -- Affirmative defense for motorcyclists.
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189.338 Limitation of colored lights used in traffic-control signals -- Rules for
vehicular and pedestrian traffic controlled by traffic-control signals -Affirmative defense for motorcyclists.
Whenever traffic is controlled by traffic-control signals exhibiting different colored lights
or colored lighted arrows, successively one at a time or in combination, only the colors
green, red, and yellow shall be used, except for special pedestrian signals carrying a word
legend or symbolic message, and said lights shall indicate and apply to drivers of vehicles
and pedestrians as follows:
(1) Green indication.
(a) Vehicular traffic facing a circular green signal may proceed straight through or
turn right or left unless a sign at such place prohibits either such turn. But
vehicular traffic, including vehicles turning right or left, shall yield the rightof-way to other vehicles and to pedestrians lawfully within the intersection or
an adjacent crosswalk at the time such signal is exhibited.
(b) Vehicular traffic facing a green arrow signal, shown alone or in combination
with another indication, may cautiously enter the intersection only to make the
movement indicated by such arrow, or such other movement as is permitted
by other indications shown at the same time. Such vehicular traffic shall yield
the right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to
other traffic lawfully using the intersection.
(c) Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian-control signal, pedestrians facing
any green signal, except when the sole green signal is a turn arrow, may
proceed across the roadway within any marked or unmarked crosswalk.
(d) Vehicular traffic that entered an intersection on a circular green or yellow
indication is allowed to complete a left turn during the red indication.
(2) Steady yellow indication.
(a) Vehicular traffic facing a steady yellow signal is thereby warned that the
related green movement is being terminated or that a red indication will be
exhibited immediately thereafter when vehicular traffic shall not enter the
(b) Pedestrians facing a steady yellow signal, unless otherwise directed by a
pedestrian-control signal, are thereby advised that there is insufficient time to
cross the roadway before a red indication is shown, and no pedestrian shall
then start to cross the roadway.
(3) Steady red indication.
(a) Vehicular traffic facing a circular red signal alone shall stop at a clearly
marked stop line but, if none, then before entering the crosswalk on the near
side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection and
shall remain standing until a green indication is shown, except as follows:
The driver of a vehicle which is stopped as required by this paragraph
with the intention of making a right turn, may make such right turn, after
stopping, unless an official sign has been erected prohibiting such
movement, but shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and other
traffic lawfully proceeding through the intersection;
The driver of a vehicle which is stopped as required by this paragraph
whose vehicle is in the left lane of a one-way highway with the intention
of making a left turn onto the left lane of another one-way highway with
the flow of traffic, may make such left turn, after stopping, unless an
official sign has been erected prohibiting such movement, but shall yield
the right-of-way to pedestrians and other traffic lawfully proceeding
through the intersection; and
In instances where there are two (2) right or left turn lanes, an allowable
turn under this paragraph may be made from either lane unless a
regulatory sign specifically prohibits it.
(b) Cities and counties may, by ordinance, and the department of highways may,
by regulation, prohibit any such right or left turn against a steady red signal at
any intersection, which prohibition shall be effective when an official sign
prohibiting such movement is erected at the intersection.
(c) Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian-control signal, pedestrians facing a
steady red signal alone shall not enter the roadway.
In the event an official traffic-control signal is erected and maintained at a place
other than an intersection, the provisions of this section shall be applicable except
as to those provisions which by their nature can have no application. Any stop
required shall be made at a sign or marking on the pavement indicating where the
stop shall be made, but in the absence of any such sign or marking the stop shall be
made at the signal.
Whenever an illuminated flashing red or yellow light is used in a traffic signal or
with a traffic sign it shall require obedience by vehicular traffic as follows:
(a) Flashing red (stop signal) - When a red lens is illuminated with rapid
intermittent flashes, operators of vehicles shall stop at a clearly marked stop
line but, if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the
intersection or, if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway
where the operator has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting
roadway before entering it, and the right to proceed shall be subject to the
rules applicable after making a stop at a stop sign; and
(b) Flashing yellow (caution signal) - When a yellow lens is illuminated with
rapid intermittent flashes, operators of vehicles may proceed through the
intersection or past such signal only with caution.
Any person operating a motorcycle who violates subsection (3) of this section by
entering or crossing an intersection controlled by a traffic control signal against a
steady red light shall have an affirmative defense to that charge if the person
establishes all of the following conditions:
(a) The motorcycle was brought to a complete stop;
(b) The traffic control signal continued to show a steady red light for one hundred
twenty (120) seconds or the traffic control signal at the intersection has
completed two (2) lighting cycles;
The traffic control signal was apparently malfunctioning or, if programmed or
engineered to change to a green light only after detecting the approach of a
motor vehicle, the signal apparently failed to detect the arrival of a
(d) No motor vehicle or person was approaching on the street or highway to be
crossed or entered, or any approaching person or vehicle was so far away from
the intersection that it did not constitute an immediate hazard.
The affirmative defense outlined in subsection (6) of this section shall only apply to
a violation for entering or crossing an intersection controlled by a traffic signal
against a steady red light and shall not provide a defense to any other civil or
In the event a motorcyclist exercises the affirmative defense provisions set forth in
subsection (6) of this section, the Transportation Cabinet or its employees are
specifically immune from any and all civil liability arising from any such claim,
lawsuit, or dispute. Any claim, lawsuit, or dispute against the Transportation
Cabinet as a result of the affirmative defense set forth in subsection (6) of this
section, shall be brought using the provisions outlined in KRS Chapter 44.
Effective: June 24, 2015
History: Amended 2015 Ky. Acts ch. 116, sec. 1, effective June 24, 2015. -- Amended
2006 Ky. Acts ch. 173, sec. 16, effective July 12, 2006. -- Amended 1978 Ky. Acts
ch. 46, sec. 4, effective June 17, 1978; and ch. 156, sec. 1, effective June 17, 1978. -Amended 1974 Ky. Acts ch. 74, Art. IV, sec. 20(1). -- Created 1974 Ky. Acts ch.
201, sec. 1.
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