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Use Your Turn Signal, says Supreme Court

The state Supreme Court says: yes, you must use your signal when turning or changing lanes.

RCW 46.61.305 states that “no person shall turn a vehicle or move right or left upon a roadway unless and until such movement can be made with reasonable safety nor without giving an appropriate signal in the manner hereinafter provided . . . a signal of intention to turn or move right or left when required shall be given continuously during not less than the last one hundred feet traveled by the vehicle before turning.

The court ruled unanimously that the phrase “when required” in state law dictates that drivers must use their signal continuously at least 100 feet ahead of making a turn or changing lanes.

“This ruling will have an impact on both driving infractions, as well as, personal injury cases where liability is an issue,” said Peter Abbarno, partner with Althauser Rayan Abbarno, a full service law firm in Centralia and Olympia. “This decision interprets the statutory language and should have some impact on cases of liability and probable cause.”

The ruling reverses the Court of Appeals that found a signal is required only when public safety is affected.  The decision came in the case of a Kennewick drunk driver who claimed a State Trooper had no cause to pull him over when he didn’t signal a turn.

Contact Althauser Rayan Abbarno

Althauser Rayan Abbarno, LLP has been representing individuals and businesses in our community since 1946. For a consultation in Centralia or Olympia call (360) 736-1301 or visit CentraliaLaw.com