Cop Talk: Drivers must signal turns 100 feet in advanceSignal to turn. A signal of intention to turn right or left shall be given continuously during not less than the last 100 feet traveled by the vehicle before turning.
By: Sergeant Larry Dailey, Alexandria Police Department, Alexandria Echo Press
Question: What do laws say about when vehicles have to signal their turns?
Answer: That is a great question.
Minnesota state statute addresses this issue and it is clear what a driver’s responsibilities are.
169.19 TURNING, STARTING,
Subdivision 1. Turning at intersection. The driver of a vehicle intending to turn at an intersection shall do so as follows:
(a) Both the approach for a right turn and a right turn shall be made as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.
(b) Approach for a left turn on other than one-way roadways shall be made in that portion of the right half of the roadway nearest the centerline thereof, and after entering the intersection the left turn shall be made so as to leave the intersection to the right of the centerline of the roadway being entered. Whenever practicable the left turn shall be made in that portion of the intersection to the left of the center of the intersection.
(c) Approach for a left turn from a two-way roadway into a one-way roadway shall be made in that portion of the right half of the roadway nearest the centerline thereof and by passing to the right of such centerline where it enters the intersection.
(d) A left turn from a one-way roadway into a two-way roadway shall be made from the left-hand lane and by passing to the right of the centerline of the roadway being entered upon leaving the intersection.
(e) Where both streets or roadways are one way, both the approach for a left turn and a left turn shall be made as close as practicable to the left-hand curb or edge of the roadway.
(f) Local authorities in their respective jurisdictions may cause markers, buttons, or signs to be placed within or adjacent to intersections and thereby require and direct that a different course from that specified in this section be traveled by vehicles turning at an intersection, and when markers, buttons, or signs are so placed no driver of a vehicle shall turn a vehicle at an intersection other than as directed and required by such markers, buttons, or signs.
(g) Whenever it is necessary for the driver of a motor vehicle to cross a bicycle lane adjacent to the driver’s lane of travel to make a turn, the driver shall drive the motor vehicle into the bicycle lane prior to making the turn, and shall make the turn, yielding the right-of-way to any vehicles approaching so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard.
Subd. 4. Change of course. No person shall turn a vehicle at an intersection unless the vehicle is in proper position upon the roadway as required in this section, or turn a vehicle to enter a private road or driveway or otherwise turn a vehicle from a direct course or move right or left upon a highway unless and until the movement can be made with reasonable safety after giving an appropriate signal in the manner hereinafter provided.
Subd. 5. Signal to turn. A signal of intention to turn right or left shall be given continuously during not less than the last 100 feet traveled by the vehicle before turning.
So, what does all this mean? This means that when a driver is going to make a left or right turn, whether onto another street or changing lanes, that action needs to be taken carefully and only when safe to do so. Additionally, the driver needs to signal his/her intention continuously for at least 100 feet before making that turn. Also, when turning onto another street, the driver is to turn into the closest lane possible, rather than crossing one lane to get into another.
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