Turn signal bill gets green light to Indiana Senate floor

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A bill that would strip a requirement for Hoosier motorists to signal at certain distances before changing lanes or turning got the green light to move ahead in the Indiana Legislature on Tuesday.

Members of the Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee passed Senate Bill 124 on to the chamber floor with a 7-0 vote. The bill would repeal Indiana Code § 9-21-8-25, requiring Indiana drivers to issue their intention to turn at 200 feet, or to change lanes at 300 feet in a 50 mph or higher zone.

The issue stems from instances where drivers aren’t able to signal a turn 200 feet in advance because the road might not be that long, according to SB 124 author Sen. Aaron Freeman, R-Indianapolis.

The lawmaker pointed to a Court of Appeals of Indiana consolidated December 2020 decision regarding the statute at issue.

Freeman proposed an amendment that was adopted Tuesday that would have the measure go into effect Jan. 1, 2023, if eventually made state law. The delayed effective date was a response to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles’ concern about having enough time to revise its driver’s guide and licensing test if the measure becomes law.

The amendment also requires that motorists signal turns and lane changes within “a reasonable time” before completing them.

Members of the committee refrained from voting on the bill when it first heard the measure last week. At that time, Senate Minority Leader Greg Taylor, D-Indianapolis, vocalized concerns about the interpretation of the term “reasonable.”

The proposed bill also requires that Hoosiers who are subject to both an administrative and court-ordered license suspension file a petition for specialized driving privileges in the court that ordered the suspension.

SB 124 will now move to the Senate floor for consideration.

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4 thoughts on “Turn signal bill gets green light to Indiana Senate floor

  1. Hoosier drivers decided some years ago to not signal until they were already in the turn lane (if there is one) or already turning. As for lane changes, drivers have long considered signal use as an option.