We’ve all been told to use the appropriate signal when making a turn or changing lanes. Signaling always seemed to be absolute. However maybe from apathy, laziness, or a desire to throw a middle finger to the law, we refused to make that signal at one point in our lives. Specifically, you might have been cited for violating California Vehicle Code Section 22107. Nonetheless, just because you didn’t sign doesn’t mean you’re guilty. Section 22107 states,
“No person shall turn a vehicle from a direct course or move right or left upon a roadway until such movement can be made with reasonable safety and then only after the giving of an appropriate signal in the manner provided in this chapter in the event any other vehicle may be affected by the movement. “
A prerequisite to this code is there must be a vehicle that can be affected by your driving. What does “in the event any other vehicle may be affected” mean? According to the California Court of Appeal, a driver does not have to signal when the only other vehicle on the road is 55 feet away heading in the opposite direction and the driver is turning away from the approaching vehicle.
You might be wondering why the court of appeal spent time on an infraction which at most subjects you to a fine and a point on your driving record. It’s not because the defendants were ineligible for traffic school. They were busted for having meth inside their SUV. Since the court held section 22107 was not violated, evidence of the contraband was suppressed. Overall, signaling for a turn depends on the circumstances, most notably the vicinity of other vehicles. (Vehicles also include bicycles.) Of course, you can always be safe by letting others know where you’re going or not having meth in your ride. However in the event you are pulled over, remembering traffic conditions wouldn’t hurt.
If you’re seeking legal advice, feel free to contact me here at the Law Offices of Mark A. Gallagher: (800) 797-8406 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
 See People v. Carmona, G043846.