Everyone has a pet peeve. My Boy Scout Troop Leader’s was people griping about his cooking. A paramedic friend of mine hated when someone would call for an emergency ambulance then asks that no lights or sirens be used. I know a lady who when she sees children acting out in public wants to go to the parents and give them what for. My personal pet peeve is people who don’t use those new fandangled electronic devices called turn signals.

You would think that with all the thumb use on these modern games and phones, this generation would naturally use them without thinking. I know they still count points off o the driver’s test if signals are not used. But recently I was talking with some of the younger CO’s and was castigating one for not using a turn signal when our shift went to breakfast and I was behind her.

One of the other CO’s stated, well she didn’t have to use it, she was in a turn only lane. I could not believe what I was hearing so thinking she was joking, I said, “Yeah right.” She was dead serious though and again said if you are in a right turn or left turn only lane, then everybody knows they are turning.

Ah, no that is not the case. If a driver wants to make a change of direction, lane change or turn, a signal indicating the driver’s intention must be given. The young lady was adamant and was told otherwise. Another CO told her that she was wrong and JJ is not the one to argue with about the law.

So I retrieved a copy of Anderson’s Ohio Revised Code and turned to ORC 4511.39 and had her read the first paragraph.

4511.39 Turn and stop signals.

(A) No person shall turn a vehicle or trackless trolley or move right or left upon a highway unless and until such person has exercised due care to ascertain that the movement can be made with reasonable safety nor without giving an appropriate signal in the manner hereinafter provided.

When required, a signal of intention to turn or move right or left shall be given continuously during not less than the last one hundred feet traveled by the vehicle or trackless trolley before turning, except that in the case of a person operating a bicycle, the signal shall be made not less than one time but is not required to be continuous. A bicycle operator is not required to make a signal if the bicycle is in a designated turn lane, and a signal shall not be given when the operator’s hands are needed for the safe operation of the bicycle.

No person shall stop or suddenly decrease the speed of a vehicle or trackless trolley without first giving an appropriate signal in the manner provided herein to the driver of any vehicle or trackless trolley immediately to the rear when there is opportunity to give a signal.

Any stop or turn signal required by this section shall be given either by means of the hand and arm, or by signal lights that clearly indicate to both approaching and following traffic intention to turn or move right or left, except that any motor vehicle in use on a highway shall be equipped with, and the required signal shall be given by, signal lights when the distance from the center of the top of the steering post to the left outside limit of the body, cab, or load of such motor vehicle exceeds twenty-four inches, or when the distance from the center of the top of the steering post to the rear limit of the body or load thereof exceeds fourteen feet, whether a single vehicle or a combination of vehicles.

The signal lights required by this section shall not be flashed on one side only on a disabled vehicle or trackless trolley, flashed as a courtesy or “do pass” signal to operators of other vehicles or trackless trolleys approaching from the rear, nor be flashed on one side only of a parked vehicle or trackless trolley except as may be necessary for compliance with this section.

(B) Except as otherwise provided in this division, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

Effective Date: 01-01-2004; 09-21-2006

Now read the last sentence in paragraph 2. Any bicyclist in a designated turn lane does not have to signal if the use of both hands is necessary for the safe operation of the bicycle. Perhaps this is what my friend mistook for a car not needing to signal.

In short, all vehicles on a roadway are required to give either a hand or lighted light signal indicating a change of direction is coming.

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