Traffic Q&A: No mixed signals: Turn on that blinker

Staff writerMarch 10, 2014 

Question: “If you’re in a right-turn-only or left-turn-only lane, do you still have to signal your turn?

“I’ve been told yes by some people and no by others. One police officer told me, to be on the safe side, go ahead and signal, but even he wasn’t sure if you could get a ticket for it or not.” — Larry, Federal Way

Answer: We asked Paul Landry, a Tacoma attorney who specializes in criminal defense and personal injury cases, for his take on this one.

He says you do need to signal.

“RCW 46.61.305 establishes the general criteria for turns,” Landry said. “It requires a driver to signal continuously within 100 feet of making a turn.

“There aren’t any Washington statutes or Tacoma Municipal Code provisions which relieve a driver of that obligation when using a dedicated turn lane,” Landry said. “The traffic infraction penalty schedule makes it a $42 ticket to turn without signaling.”

Rob Carson: 253-597-8693

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