Is it an Aveira to go through a red light?

That is a question posed to Rabbi Avigdor Miller Zatzal, and this was his response.


“It is one of the very biggest sins. First of all, you’re endangering your life, and a person that endangers his life should know that Hakadosh Baruch Hu, even though He saved the man’s life He’s going to collect his mitzvos from him. It’ll cost him many years of tefillin, many years of tefilla, many years of krias shma, m’nakin lo m’zchuyosov; they’ll deduct from his mitzvos when he put himself in danger.

In addition however, he put other people in danger; it’s a very severe crime. It’s considered as if he is a shofeich domim (murderer) even though he didn’t kill anybody. When he put himself in a situation where he could kill someone, it’s considered as a shofeich domim potentially and that’s a tremendous sin.

We have to understand that. People who are reckless in driving, are doing something that’s the opposite of the will of Hashem and asidin litein es hadin, no question about that.”

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  1. That is only if cars are there
    At 3:00am the lights should blink like a STOP sign!
    Like other towns in nj
    After 12am until 6am
    That would be so much better

  2. Obviously one who asks such a question is speaking about a instance when there is no danger, so the question is just about whether one may break this law.

  3. Also chillul hashem, angering others …
    Also wrong in moral, concept, even at 3 am a person should have principal, law is law, especially law that’s purpose is safety, even if right now it’s safe but there needs to be guidelines in these matters.

  4. Lights should blink between 12am and 6am here in Lakewood? Maybe I Yerushalayim that works. 12:00 is like in middle of the day in Lakewood. Have you ever seen Supermarkets at 12:00am? Satmar? Kol Shimshon? In Lakewood from 2-5 might work. Friday nights and all Shabbos might work too.
    Once we are on the subject though….What would Rabbi Miller Zt”l have said about texting, talking on the phone and distracted driving?

  5. To comment #1. You would be correct if the lights blinked as you mention, however being that Lakewood doesn’t have that you may NOT go through a Red no matter what time it is and what the traffic conditions are.

  6. Then this avaira would apply to pedestrians crossing on red , jay walking and crossing in the middle traffic where there is no light. Am i correct,?

  7. I might be old and maybe stupid but why even ask this question. Of course it is an AVEIRA. AND DANGEROUS AND CHILUL HASHEM, The red lights are for our protection,

    • I agree. Don’t get this questions. Of course you don’t go through a red light. That’s illegal. Put your phones down and obey the laws. SO many accidents in Lakewood. Pay attention. Get home safe. That’s all of us want.

  8. I think as long as a pedestrian crosses safely (looks both ways and is aware of all the cars around), it’s not putting himself in danger. However, I’ve seen many pedestrians nearly kill themselves, though. Especially kids and teenagers. I once had a green arrow (and it was dark outside), and I nearly ran over 2 foolish children. They definitely didn’t have the right of way.

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