Michigan bill would clarify turn signal use

October 19, 2017

Keith Goble


A Michigan state lawmaker wants to clear up any confusion about requirements for the use of turn signals on roadways throughout the state.

Rep. Abdullah Hammoud, D-Dearborn, has introduced a bill to amend Michigan vehicle code to specify that turn signals are required not only when turning but also when changing lanes.

The Michigan Court of Appeals has clarified that current law requires the use of a signal when changing lanes, although it is not specifically stated.

The bill would codify the court’s decision into state law. HB5119 would also require the use of a turn signal when moving a vehicle from the shoulder into an adjacent lane.

Hammoud said the bill is intended to provide clarity and encourage safe driving in an effort to prevent traffic incidents.

“Revising current state law with these specifics would provide greater understanding of the proper use of turn signals,” Hammoud said in a news release.

HB5119 is in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Left lane use
A separate bill also in the committee covers left lane use on the state’s multilane highways.

Michigan law already requires drivers on roadways with at least two lanes of traffic in one direction to stay to the far right unless traffic flow is “substantially continuous.” Left lane use also is permitted to overtake and pass another vehicle.

On highways with at least three lanes of traffic, a motorist is free to use any available lane. However, large trucks are limited to the far right lanes.

A House bill, HB4062, would require motorists on highways with at least two lanes of traffic in one direction to move to the right if they know, or “reasonably should know,” a faster-moving vehicle is trying to pass.

Exceptions would be provided for situations that include preparing to turn left, when construction vehicles are working on the roadway, or when directed by law enforcement to exit a lane.

Supporters, including OOIDA and the National Motorists Association, say that blocking the left lane, whether intentional or not, results in reduced road safety and efficiency.

The bills can be considered in committee this fall, or after the first of the year. Michigan has a two-year legislative session that runs through 2018.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Michigan, click here.

Lucas Oil

Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.