TEXAS (KAMR/KCIT) – According to the Texas Transportation Code, even if you’re in a turn-only lane, you could be at risk of a fine or a strike against your license if you don’t use your blinker first.
The Lone Star State is no stranger to somewhat quirky traffic laws, including having one thing you can drop out a car window, and requiring vehicles to have windshield wipers but not requiring a windshield. However, Texas’ laws regarding turn signals are some of the most straightforward in its code.
Some drivers may find it inconvenient or counterintuitive to use their turn signal when driving through a turn-only or exit-only lane. However, the Texas Transportation Code states:
- A driver needs to use a turn signal every time they intend to turn, change lanes, or start from a parked position;
- A driver intending to turn a vehicle needs to signal continuously “for not less than the last 100 feet of movement” before the turn; and
- A driver may not use signals on only one side of a parked or disabled vehicle or use the signals as a courtesy or “do pass” signal to another driver approaching from the rear.
While some states may waive requirements to use turn signals if there aren’t other vehicles in the area, the Texas code notes no such exception.
According to the code, the general penalty for a person who is convicted of a moving violation like failing to use a turn signal includes a fine of up to $200. However, due to court processing costs, some counties and municipalities have a record of costs related to turn signal violations reaching up to $210.
The Texas Department of Public Safety has also noted that drivers with too many moving traffic offenses within a year could have their license suspended. Aside from only being cited for failing to use a turn signal, drivers might also face more expensive fines or more severe penalties if they cause an accident, hurt or kill another person, or are otherwise found to be driving recklessly.
Altogether, when driving in the Lone Star State, it’s always a better strategy to use a turn signal.