Even if you are in a lane that only allows turns, the Texas Transportation Code requires that you use your blinker before making a turn. Otherwise, you risk receiving a citation or having points added to your license.
Texas, sometimes known as the Lone Star State, has several peculiar traffic laws, such as allowing one thing to be dropped out of a car window and mandating that vehicles have windshield wipers but not requiring that vehicles have windshields. Yet, the laws regulating turn signals in Texas are among the state’s codes that are the easiest to understand.
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.
The Texas Vehicle Code does not mention any such exemption, in contrast to the laws of other states, which may relax obligations to use turn signals if there are no other cars in the vicinity.
A fine of up to $200 may be imposed on a person found guilty of committing a moving infraction, such as failing to utilize a turn signal per the code’s general provisions for punishment. On the other hand, due to the fees associated with the processing of court cases, the charges associated with turn signal breaches can reach up to $210 in some counties and municipalities.
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The Texas Department of Public Safety has also mentioned that a driver’s license could be suspended if they have accumulated many moving traffic violations within a year. If a driver causes an accident, seriously injures or kills another person, or is found to have been driving recklessly in any other way, in addition to receiving a citation for failing to use a turn signal, the driver may also be subject to fines that are significantly higher or penalties that are considerably harsher.
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