1163 of the NYS VTL sets forth that no person shall turn a vehicle “from a direct course or move right or left upon a roadway” without giving an appropriate signal.
Signals are required to be in operation continuously during at least the last hundred feet traveled by the vehicle prior to turning.
We don’t really see any instances of charges where the officer claims a signal was used but was not used for the full hundred feet. When a motorist is charged with this section, in our experience it’s always about a failure to signal altogether.
The primary elements of a failure to signal case include the officer positioning himself in a location where he can clearly see the signal lamp(s) in question and the officer confirming that any failure to signal was not an equipment/mechanical failure. In other words, the officer needs to test the signal in question and confirm it was an affirmative failure to signal on the part of the driver and not just a broken signal lamp or other mechanical error.
It is not unusual to see a failure to signal ticket issued as a “companion” ticket to other charges such as speeding or unsafe lane change or following too close.
A conviction for failure to signal carries two (2) points in NYS.