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Traffic Signals Law Free Legal Guide

User Calender 24 Sep 2016
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The Department of Motor Vehicles tells you that you must signal 100 feet before you make a turn on any roadway in California. This is the way it is taught to all drivers. It is not what the courts required of drivers.

Traffic Signals Law Free Legal Guide | Traffic Signs & Driving Test Guideline


Traffic Signals Law Free Legal Guide : - California courts have ruled consistently that motorists only have to use their turn signals if there turning movement affects the flow of traffic. So if you’re are driving and no other motorists are on the road, legally you do not have to use your turn signal in California.However this is something most cops are not aware of and frequently issue citations for violating a law the court says is being misread.
 
 
There was some publicity back in 2011 when La Habra Police Officer Nick Wilson cited a man for making a right-hand turn without using his turn signal. Wilson was coming from the opposite direction of the driver of the vehicle. The driver made a right-hand turn without signaling.
 
 
Since the driver turned away from Officer Wilson, there was no way in which the driver affected the flow of traffic by making the turn without signaling. Despite this Wilson stopped the driver for a violation of vehicle code section 22107. During the traffic stop, narcotics were found, and the driver was arrested. 
 
 
The section in which the citation was given states that a turn signal must be used when any other vehicle may be affected by the movement.  But that does not apply in this case since no other vehicle was affected by the driver's turn.
 
 
Realizing the error in the section used to justify the traffic stop, the prosecutor tried to argue that was a violation of Penal Code vehicle code section 22108, which states any signal of intention to turn right or left shall be given continuously during the last 100 feet traveled by the vehicle before turning.
 
 
The Orange County Superior Court sided with the prosecution on this and upheld the conviction. However, on appeal, the state’s second-highest court made up of a three-judge panel found that the officer was in the wrong. The court ruled that sections 22107 and 22108 must be read together and not independently of one another. By reading the two sections together, it requires the use of a signal only when it affects other motorists.
 
As a result of the decision, the court ordered that narcotics found in the car as a result of the stop should be suppressed which resulted in the case being dismissed against the driver.
 
 
This is a section that I am very familiar with. As a new deputy, I was aware of case law that ruled turn signals were not required at all times back when I was a new boot working midnights in the big city of Buttonwillow.
 
 
One night I received information about narcotics sales in a local park. I went to the area where I was directed that the sale was going to take place. As I pulled into the park which was closed at 10 PM per a county ordinance, I saw a vehicle parked towards the back of the park. As soon as I got to a point the driver was able to tell I was in a marked patrol car, he immediately turned on his vehicle and proceeded out of the park. As I made a U-turn try to get in behind the driver, he drove away at a high rate of speed and abruptly made two turns without signaling. I stopped the vehicle based on two reasons. 
 
 
1. I received information that there was a narcotics transaction set to take place in the park. 
 
 
2. The park was closed for the night per the county ordinance.
 
 
However, in my report, I made mention of the driver failing to signal as he exited the park. That was not my reason for stopping the vehicle, but it added to my suspicion that criminal activity was taking place.
 
 
The public defender’s office filed a motion to suppress stating that the traffic stop was not valid. When we went to the hearing for whatever reason the District Attorney’s Office did not want to argue the stop was based on the park being closed or of the information I had about narcotic sales.  I explained to the prosecutor that there was clear-cut case law that stated turn signals were not required unless there is other traffic. I was several hundred feet behind the suspect when he left the park, and no other vehicles were on the roadway that could have been impeded by his failure to use a turn signal. However, the prosecutor wanted to stick with that argument.
 
 
As a result, the defense asked multiple questions about other vehicles on the roadway.  I explained there no traffic affected by his failure to use a turn signal. The hearing took all of approximately 10 minutes. When I finished testifying, the judge asked me if I had any place to go right away. I told him I did not. He then asked me to have a seat because he wanted me to deliver a message back to my agency. So I sat down and listened to the judge rule and lecture me for several minutes about his frustration with my former agency repeatedly issuing citations for failing to use a turn signal when the law clearly did not require it. 
 
 
It was a humbling experience and more than a little frustrating because I was very aware of the previous court decisions on the issue. So after listening to the judge lecture me for what seemed like forever, but was probably no more than 10 minutes the DA conceded that maybe he should’ve taken a different approach best legal advice tips .

User Calender 24 Sep 2016
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