Failure To Signal Lane Change

Published by 34 Comments

Automotive Christmas lightsA report was published last year by the Society of Automotive Engineers that confirmed failing to use turn signals causes approximately two million car accident every year in the United States. The study showed that anywhere between one and two million car accidents could be prevented in the United States if drivers would use their turn signals properly.

Richard Ponziana, who authored the report and is president of RLP Engineering said, “the turn signal is one of the very original automotive crash prevention devices and this simple driver-to-driver communication device remains extremely effective..the turn signal can no longer be considered ‘optional’ and all drivers have an ongoing duty to use it, just as they have a duty to stop at a stop sign or at a red light.”

What Is New York’s Failure To Signal Lane Change Violation?

Seeing how not properly using a turn signal can lead to accidents on the road, New York police officers have been vigilantly looking for drivers failing to use their turn signal. Article 28 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law has about eighteen different laws for turning and using signals in different situations. Specifically, V&T laws. 1163(a) covers improper or unsafe turns without signal. With the amount of improper or missed signals on the road, a few key driving tips to remember to avoid traffic infractions and more importantly traffic accidents remember:

  • Right or left turns and lane changes require a signal at least 100 feet before the turn is made
  • Check your mirrors and blind spots before making a turn
  • Avoid any driver distractions such as cell phones, loud radio, eating or putting on makeup
  • Keeping a safe distance from other vehicles that may brake immediately

What Are The Fines And Penalties For Failing To Signal A Lane Change In New York?

An 1163(a) violation will result in a $150 fine, $93 surcharge and 2 points for a first offense. If a driver has a second offense within 18 months the fine jumps to $300, $93 surcharge and another 2 points. A third offense within 18 months will result in a $450 fine, $93 surcharge and another 2 points. It should be noted that for an 1163(a) violation a judge has the authority to send a driver to a jail from 15 to 90 days.

Failing to signal a lane change can result in serious fines and penalties. It’s important that you call an experienced traffic attorney to see what options are available to you. You are not required to plead guilty on any ticket and there are ways to fight your charge. In some jurisdictions like New York City, failure to use a turn signal or unsafe lane change can lead to being charged with Reckless Driving which is a crime and carries 5 points, a fine, and potentially jail time.

What If I Was Charged With Failing To Use A Turn Signal?

Failing to use a turn signal, whether or not that results in a car accident is considered serious. If a car accident occurs, it may be considered a negligent act and will allow the injured party to recover. If you were injured due to someone else failing to use a turn signal or if you have been charged with not using a turn signal, you should contact The Rosenblum Law Firm today.   

Call the traffic defense attorneys at The Rosenblum Law Firm, we are standing by and are ready to give you a free consultation over the phone at 1-888-883-5529.

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This post was written by Adam Rosenblum

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  • Paul
    February 28, 2018

    Hi, do tickets that fall under section 1163 translate to demerit points in Ontario, Canada? I would wand to fight the ticket regardless, as a clean driving record in NY is important for me, but I want to know if this is something that will affect my Canadian driving record.

    Thank you,

    • Ronen Cohen
      March 2, 2018

      Paul – We are not licensed in ON, and thus can not provide specific legal advice on this issue. From our own experience, we generally have found that this violation will not transfer.

  • Myres
    January 18, 2018

    Hi ,
    I am NJ Driver license holder , I have got the ticket in Staten Island from NY state for the Failure to Signal the Lane Change.
    This is my first offence , Could you please let me know how this will affect my insurance and Driver license records in NJ .
    I told that I got confused with lane due to traffic so do not remember that if I gave signal or not and on next lane change I remember that I gave signal change, he said you can refer guilty or not guilty . Could you please let me know how much damage this will make considering this is my first offence.

    • RLF Attorneys
      January 26, 2018

      This two point ticket will include fines and fees of approximately $138. NJ will assess 2 points onto your driving record. Insurance companies increase rates based on the assessed risk of the driver. As this is your first offense, and is a minor violation, you rates may not substantially increase. We generally advise drivers to contest these tickets to protect their driving record.

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