RP cop reminds us how failure to use turn signals violates law
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By Jud Snyder  June 29, 2013 12:00 am

A few weeks ago a motorist was pulled over by a Rohnert Park Public Safety officer and cited for failure to use his turn signal when switching lanes. Further investigation revealed he had drugs in his car and he was arrested. 

The incident called for further details on the state Vehicle Code Law concerning the use of automobile turn signals. 

The code itself, VC Section 22107, says: “No person shall turn a vehicle from a direct course or move right or left upon a roadway until such movement can be made with reasonable safety and then only after giving of an appropriate signal in the manner provided in this chapter in the event any other vehicle may be affected by the movement.”

The VC law has been in effect since 1959. But as many motorists have noted, it’s probably the most flaunted rule as more than a few motorists have remarked. 

To seek clarity on VC 22107, a chat with Sgt. Aaron Johnson of the Dept. of Public Safety revealed details. The key element seems to be if your driving “affects other vehicles” you’d better use turn signals or you could be slapped with a citation.

“For example, you don’t need to use turn signals if you’re in a left turn lane at Commerce Boulevard and RP Expressway because other traffic is halted by the way the lanes are figured,” said Johnson. But if you’re on Golf Course Drive and Hillview Avenue, and need to make a left turn, you must use them because you’re affecting through traffic that has the right of way, he indicated.

“We encourage all drivers to use their turn signals,” Johnson added. “It’s a courtesy and a good habit to get into. Not to use them and you’re affecting other traffic, is a moving violation and will appear on your driving record. The result is a fine or sessions at a traffic school to remove them from your record. He also mentioned right hand turns. “If you’re affecting traffic from other directions, or even someone behind you, use your turn signal and look for pedestrians in front of you. 

“When you’re stopped for a moving violation, officers will check the license plate, drivers license, car registration and insurance compliance. It’s routine procedure and our computers have the needed background information. Our department gets state grant funds to concentrate on drunk drivers, failure to use turn signals, speeding violations and others on a regular basis,” he said. “Naturally, one hundred percent of compliance with the state Vehicle Code is an impossibility, but we do the best we can. Once you get into the habit of using your turn signals you’re in the ninety-eight percent of good drivers and no longer in the two percent who cause us to issue citations.”

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