Failure To Signal Lane Change

Published by 44 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 Rosenblum Law today.   

Call the traffic defense attorneys at Rosenblum Law, 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 H. Rosenblum Esq.

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  • Mark
    April 1, 2019

    I pulled onto a highway at night in front of a car which immediately begin tailing me. I changed lanes 5 times using my indicators and noticed the car continuing to tail me. I sped up to get some distance as my kids were in the car and I was scared by this point. Then the lights came on and the NY state trooper pulled me over. I explained that I didn’t know who was following me, and was scared for my kids. He said i didn’t signal once while he was following me and issued me a 1163D and 1180B. On the ticket he wrote “I didn’t know who was behind me I was trying to get away” which is not what I said….
    Is this worth going to trial in Westchester NY?

    • Ronen Cohen
      May 10, 2019

      Hello Mark,
      I suggest contacting us to discuss your case. The 1163D incurs a maximum 2 point penalty with a maximum fine of $243 and the 1180B, pending on how much you were going over the speed limit, may incur a 3 point penalty with a $243 fine at its minimum. These will most likely negatively impact your insurance rates.

  • Michael
    March 7, 2019

    I received a ticked on the BQE for failure to signal before lane change. I was cut off by another driver so I defensively changed lanes. I don’t recall if I signaled, it was very sudden. The police officer informed me that he observed me for awhile and while doing so observed that I was signaling properly. He said he believed I did that because I must have seen him. What are my changes of getting rid of this or at lease reduced to a non moving violation?

    • Ronen Cohen
      March 18, 2019

      Hello Michael and thank you for your question. Unfortunately, this ticket will be under the jurisdiction of the traffic violations bureau – a court system that does not allow for plea bargaining of any kind. You may, however, contest this infraction at a trial, and cross-examine the officer whom issued the ticket against you.

  • LA LA
    January 9, 2019

    I received a ticket on the thruway near Dunkirk for not using my blinker before changing to the left lane. I went to the left lane because there was a light flashing on the right side of the road ( not a car but just a light-) the shoulder near the start of the grass I now feel that this light was some sort of trap. I’m not sure if I used the blinker or not but I do know that there was not a car on the road around me for a good 5-10 minutes so I may not have used it just because no one would have seen it anyway. It was pitch black nighttime. I pleaded not guilty because I’m unsure and I don’t want my insurance to go up. My driving record is very good (the trooper actually told me that when giving me the citation). Do I have a chance of overturning this? I’m from out of state so cannot go to court physically. Also, how much would this cost me to hire you? Any information would be helpful.

    • Ronen Cohen
      January 14, 2019

      There is a possibility of obtaining a reduction / dismissal on such a charge. Please confirm that this was the only ticket you received at the traffic stop. Furthermore, we would like to confirm that you were not given a ‘roadside reduction’ for an alternate violation.

  • Sai
    August 28, 2018

    Is that 1163d have points?

    • Ronen Cohen
      August 30, 2018

      VTL 1163(d) is a 2 point ticket.

  • Jonathan Imeltchouk
    August 8, 2018

    Hello. is there a difference in receiving a ticket from a state trooper or local NYPD officer? how likely a state trooper to appear in court in comparison to a city Police Officer? I received FLD SIGNAL LANE CHG ticket 1163D, on Marine Parkway Bridge and was schedule for a hearing at Staten Island DMV.
    The officer claimed that I was also speeding, but issued me only this ticket. I have a receipt that my ligh was indeed broke and replaced…Can I fight it?

    • Ronen Cohen
      August 16, 2018

      A broken light would not excuse you from this ticket – as it is your responsibility to conduct proper maintenance of your vehicle prior to driving.

  • 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.

  • Mike
    July 13, 2017

    I turned right from the middle lane because a taxi was picking up a passenger in the right lane near the corner. I received a ticket. The officer described the offense as “Improper Turn” and cited vtl 1163a. Isn’t the statute for an improper turn vtl 1160a? Would the infraction of vtl 1163a be a failure to signal or an “unsafe” turn? Do I have a chance at winning in court?

    • RLF Attorneys
      July 14, 2017

      Although the officer may have listed the wrong description for the charged violation, I suggest focusing your arguments on whether the officer is able to prove that you have committed any infraction.

  • Juan C
    July 7, 2017

    Hi, I got a ticket for “Lane change: failure to signal(v 1163D) on the triboro bridge, NY. I did a lane change from the second lane to third lane(I was behind the officer. there are 4 lanes). I did another lane change like 100 meters after to the far left lane. Right after that, officer stopped me and said i didnt use my blinker. I USED my blinker on both lane changes. My car has a 1 tap, 3 blink turn signal feature. I use the 3 blinks with caution as a time indicator to change lane. I didn’t argue with the officer about him being wrong.

    • RLF Attorneys
      July 14, 2017

      In order to contest a ticket in this jurisdiction, you must bring this matter to trial. It is the officers burden of proof to illustrate that you have violated the law in question.

  • Billy P.
    June 9, 2017

    I received an 1163D “Fail To Signal” ticket. I was in a “LEFT TURN ONLY” lane. I did not signal because I did not leave the lane I was in. The lane only goes one place and that’s the way I went. If the lane you’re in is only for turning, why would you have to signal at all???

    • RLF Attorneys
      June 14, 2017

      Billy – reasons for a required turn signal from a ‘left turn only lane’ include a) assuring drivers that you are in fact turning, and b) advising drivers that approach behind you that you are in a turning lane. While I understand your argument, this is not a defense for failing to signal.

  • Jimmy malatasig
    May 8, 2017

    Hi my ticket is a 1163d. I am a liberty car driver. The ticket was at kings county. I was on dekal st wanting online to turn right on to Flatbush Av. I had my signal Than a car cut me of and I break therefore taking out my turn signal.

    • RLF Attorneys
      May 11, 2017

      Jimmy – if you are interested in contesting this ticket, you must plead not guilty and set the matter for trial.

  • K. Bailey
    May 3, 2017

    I was given a 1163 failure to signal lane change, the officer stated I changed lanes without signaling. I stated I did not change lanes, I was driving in the same lane the entire time. I never changed a lane.

    • RLF Attorneys
      May 11, 2017

      In order to provide accurate advice, we must know which court has jurisdiction over your ticket.

  • Eduardo Duran
    March 16, 2017

    I received a ticket for Fail to Signal on 3/16/17 at 3:20 am.. in Queens County.
    ( Jamaica, NY). Right after a big snow storm at the time the violation was occurring it was still dark, I had braked because a big chunk of ice or snow short in front of me an I swerved into thet middle lane from the left yo avoid hitting the chunk of which could of damage my car or have an accident. The Officer pull me over almost a block away. .. there were no other vehicles pretty much around at that time I was trying to explain to the officer but all he wanted was my driver’s license.

    • RLF Attorneys
      March 21, 2017

      While we understand the situation surrounding your ticket, these types of ‘reasons’ for obtaining traffic violations do not generally succeed. As these violations generally tend to be strict liability offeneses, your best course of action would be to cross examine the police officer at a trial in order to prove they are not able to meet their burden of proof. If you would like to discuss further, you may reach us at 888-883-5529.

  • Fernando Ortiz
    February 16, 2017

    My son received two tickets: one for failure to signal & disobey sign. What is the best course of action. My son is 27 years old and otherwise has a clean record and was driving my car. He says that he told the officer that he did not fail to signal turn. Both summonses were issued when he exited the cross Island parkway at the union turnpike exit.

    • RLF Attorneys
      February 20, 2017

      I suggest your son fight this ticket to avoid the points and insurance implications of these violations.

  • Serigne
    February 6, 2017


    I was given a ticket yesterday for unsafe lane change. The officer said I didn’t use my turn signal. I am worried this ticket will put points in my driving record. I’ve always had a perfect driving record. Should I fight this in court? Thanks.

    • RLF Attorneys
      February 9, 2017

      While I suggest you contest this ticket, in order to provide specific advice I need to know what court will be hearing the case.

  • Jennifer R
    January 9, 2017

    I was alone on the road and when I saw a sign ahead saying “left lane must turn” I moved into my right lane & was pulled over within 1 minute for “lane change, failure to signal”. In Kings Point, Great Neck, NY….is there anything I can do?

    • RLF Attorneys
      January 13, 2017

      Jennifer – you may contest this violation by pleading not guilty and attending the trial date.

  • Calixto pinckney
    January 7, 2017

    I received a 1163A and i told the Officer i did use my signal but he said i didn’t and i know i did. What are my options?

    • RLF Attorneys
      January 13, 2017

      Calixto – while procedures vary based on the location of the court, in order to contest this ticket you must first mail in a ‘not guilty’ plea to the court.

  • Manuel
    January 4, 2017

    I was stop by an officer who told me I didn’t stop at the stop sign, (which I couldn’t see because a school bus was in front of me blocking my view, I assumed it was a yield sign) the officer took me document and gave me 2 tickets one for the stop sign and another fail to signal which he never even mentioned to me.

    • RLF Attorneys
      January 13, 2017

      Manuel – where did this violation occur? There are two distinct court systems in NY, each handling cases very differently. If you would like to discuss potential strategies in contesting your ticket, you may reach us for a free consultation at 888-883-5529.

  • Michael
    November 18, 2016

    I received a ticket for insufficient turn signal – less than 100′ (1163b). However it turned out the bulb was out and I replaced the bulb the next morning. However, I was told this was not a correctable ticket or a “fit-it-ticket”. The officer never checked at the scene that the bulb was indeed working or not working and I never put my hazards on to show him. (I was unaware also the blinker bulb was out). I have a receipt from the repair shop saying the bulb was replaced the same day. Can I fight this?

    • RLF Attorneys
      November 22, 2016

      While you can fight this violation, this is not a ‘fix it ticket’ as you correctly stated. The procedural rules for contesting this violation differ based on the jurisdiction of the court. If you would like to discuss further, you may contact us for a free consultation

  • Nya Hinton
    October 25, 2016

    I received a ticket for Fail to Signal on 8/29 in Queens County.( Jamaica, NY). At the time said violation was occurring, I had braked because a vehicle stopped short in front of me an I swerved into the left lane to avoid hitting the back of the car in front of me. I was then followed for a block and a half with blinding bright lights in my rearview mirror before being pulled over and issued a Fail to Signal ticket. I also did not have my license and registration on me at the time, I forgot my wallet at home. I was then issued another ticket , Operating Vehicle with no License/ Registration.

    • RLF Attorneys
      October 31, 2016

      I suggest you contest this ticket as it carries substantial fines and penalties. Your case will be held before the Traffic Violations Bureau, which does not allow for plea bargaining or negotiation of your charges. If you have additional questions, you may contact us for a free consultation at 888-883-5529.

  • Jessy
    August 1, 2016

    My husband received a ticket recently for an Inproper Turn 1163A in the Bronx, but he has a Fl CDL, my question is when he pays the fine will he still receive points on his out of state license?

    • Adam Rosenblum
      August 1, 2016

      Jessy – while we can not advise on other state’s point system, the violation itself will transfer for insurance purposes.

  • Grace
    June 13, 2016

    I received a ticket a few months ago for failing to use my turn signal and I wound up misplacing the ticket and completely forgot about the whole thing. I wound up missing my court date. What is going to happen? New York State.

    • Adam Rosenblum
      June 20, 2016

      Did you receive the ticket in Upstate NY or one of the 5 boroughs? Typically a $40 bond can be posted so the matter can be rescheduled but it is imperative to answer the ticket as soon as possible to avoid a default conviction. Please feel free to contact one of our attorneys at the number below so we can discuss the specifics of your case in more detail.

      Rosenblum Law