Disobeying a traffic control device is considered a moving violation, and, depending on the state's law and the severity of the violation, penalties often include points on a driver's license, a fine or a surcharge. In New York, the penalty is 2 points and a $235 fine.
Under the law, every driver needs to obey the traffic control devices. Exceptions are granted to emergency vehicles or to a traffic or police officer when he is controlling the traffic flow. Traffic control devices include stop lights, yield signs, stop signs, speeding limits and all other traffic signs relating to traffic flow.