What is the fine for failing to use your turn signal?
One of the most common problems when it comes to defensive driving online is the failure to signal for a turn. Second only to speeding as a moving violation that leads to traffic school, the failure to signal can land a driver a hefty fine ($167 to $300) and add points to a person’s driving record.
According to the Texas Transportation Code (545.104 SIGNALING TURNS; USE OF TURN SIGNAL), “An operator intending to turn a vehicle right or left shall signal continuously for not less than the last 100 feet of movement of the vehicle before the turn.” This rule applies to a driver intending to turn, change lanes, or start from a stopped position.
Turn Indicators are “Universal” for Drivers
Not commonly known, the conventions used to articulate a turn (for example, extending the left arm horizontal to the ground to indicate a left turn) are defined in the nearly universally accepted “Vienna Convention on Road Traffic Treaty”. First introduced in 1968, and finally adopted in May of 1977, this treaty was developed and agreed to by the major industrialized countries of the UN to ensure a common platform for driving throughout most of the globe.
Signaling without Signals
Although no longer commonly used, hand signals offer drivers with faulty indicators, bicyclists, or even defensive motorcycle riders another option for making their intentions clear. Please refer to Wikipedia’s Hand Signals article for more information.
Options for Drivers Ticketed for Failure to Signal
If your failure to signal was caused by an unknown equipment failure, you may be able to go to court and have the fine reduced to an equipment failure violation penalty. Costing $137 to $155, equipment failure violations require the driver to show proof of the repair after receiving the citation but prior to the driver’s scheduled court date. The most common form of proof for repairing an equipment failure violation is a receipt.
Another, often more convenient option, is to attend an online defensive driving course. Also known as traffic school, these courses offer drivers a way to dismiss tickets from their record. Be sure to use a state-approved course provider (or one that is affiliated with one) such as Defensive Driving Online For Dummies. Keep your driving record clean.