Turn Signals Required at Road Intersections

The In Basket: Loel Wilson says, “I have a question about the use of turn signals.
“If you are in a left-, or right-turn-only lane, is it required to use your turn signals?
“Also if you are approaching an intersection that is a ‘T’ where you have to turn left or right, are turn signals required?
“I was recently stopped by an officer after a ‘T’ intersection for not using my turn signals when turning left,” he said. “I wonder if this is an infraction or if the officer was bored and wanted something to do.”


The In Basket: Loel Wilson says, “I have a question about the use of turn signals.

“If you are in a left-, or right-turn-only lane, is it required to use your turn signals?

“Also if you are approaching an intersection that is a ‘T’ where you have to turn left or right, are turn signals required?

“I was recently stopped by an officer after a ‘T’ intersection for not using my turn signals when turning left,” he said. “I wonder if this is an infraction or if the officer was bored and wanted something to do.”

The out basket: Any turn requires a signal, even one in a left-turn lane controlled by a traffic signal where there’s nothing else you can legally do. It’s also required even at a “T” intersection where one turn or the other are the only options.

I don’t know what Loel drives, but I have read a lot of police reports about drug arrests that began with some seemingly innocuous traffic offense. It is followed by the discovery that the driver had no valid license, which authorizes a search of the car, where drugs were found.

Several years back, I read one report in which a driver was stopped because he or she signaled his right turn for less than the legally required 100 feet. There were drugs in the car.

Maybe Loel’s car looked like someone else’s or otherwise aroused the officer’s suspicion. Or maybe his unsignaled turn created some problem he didn’t mention and maybe was unaware of. He didn’t say if he was ticketed or if he was just warned.

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