Drivers who fail to signal when merging or turning are breaking the law. Failure to signal is a non-criminal moving violation. While someone found guilty of this violation likely will not face a jail sentence, they can still face serious penalties.
If you were issued a ticket for failure to signal, do not pay the ticket immediately. Paying the fine is an admission of guilt. You can incur points on your driving record, in addition to increased insurance as a result. Speak with a West Palm Beach failure to signal lawyer to learn how they can help protect your driving record as well as your insurance premiums. An experienced traffic attorney can help you contest your charge.
Failure to Signal Violations
Most traffic violations in Florida are non-criminal moving violations. Such actions are against the law, but do not rise to the level of a criminal offense. For example, failing to use a turn signal to indicate merging on a highway is a non-moving traffic violation. It may be critical for someone to contact a West Palm Beach failure to signal lawyer if they are facing these traffic charges.
What is the Role of the Driver?
A driver who commits such a moving violation will not face a criminal charge. This is opposed to drivers who violate criminal laws behind the wheel, such as those who drive while impaired or over the legal limit (DUI) or those who commit vehicular homicide.
All drivers are required to use their vehicle’s signal lights, or a hand signal, in the following situations:
- Turning a vehicle from a direct course or move right or left upon a highway
- Drivers must use their turning signal continuously for at least 100 feet prior to turning left or right on any road
- Before stopping or suddenly decreasing the speed of their vehicle (brake lights)
Drivers cannot misuse their turn or brake signals to indicate that their vehicle is disabled or to indicate that other drivers can pass them. Those who fail to signal, or improperly use their signal, or whose brake lights are not working could be ticketed for a civil traffic infraction.
Penalties for Failing to Signal
Even though failing to signal a lane change or a similar move is a civil infraction, that does not mean the associated penalties are light. On the contrary, those with this violation face fines and points on their driving record as follows:
- Up to $500 fine
- Mandatory court costs
- Three points on their driving record
- Up to 12 hours of driver education programming
Penalties increase for subsequent infractions. This means that every time a driver fails to properly signal, or commits any other traffic infraction in the future, they risk increased fines and points on their record. A West Palm Beach traffic attorney can help those ticketed for failure to signal avoid such stiff penalties and try to get the Traffic citation dismissed.
Do Cyclists Need to Signal?
Under Florida law, bicycles are considered vehicles. This means that the failure to signal laws apply to cyclists who travel on Florida roads. One notable exception is that cyclists do not have to continuously use hand signals for at least 100 feet when indicating a left or right turn, though they do have to signal. Cyclists who break this law face the same penalties as motorists if they are on a public roadway.
If you were pulled over and ticketed for forgetting to use your turn signal, call a West Palm Beach failure to signal lawyer. An experienced attorney can help contest the ticket on your behalf and handle the entire process for you without you having to attend Court. Reach out today to speak with a team member and get started.