Washington State’s Supreme Court held that drivers must use their turn signals every time they turn or change lanes.
The decision comes after an incident that occurred on March 22, 2015. Defendant, David Brown, entered into a left turn lane at a stop light. However, when he went to turn, he did not reactivate his turn signal. Brown argued that he was not required to reactivate his turn signal because he was in a turn-only lane. The District Court and Appellate Court agreed, and ruled in favor of Brown. Still, the Supreme Court reversed.
Ultimately, the Supreme Court found that the language in the RCW 46.61.305, which requires a driver to activate his or her turn signal “when required,” was ambiguous and required a court interpretation. The Court determined that the meaning “when required” meant that “signals are required when a turn or lane change is execute on a roadway.”