If you’re in a turning only lane, do you need to put on your blinker? This stupid question has been the subject of many discussions between my boyfriend and me. I’m of the thought that you should use your turn signal, because why not? It takes very little time and effort to use a signal, and it certainly won’t hurt to use it. My boyfriend thinks it’s redundant. But he does it… now.

The debate was settled not long ago in Wappingers Falls. We were headed north on Route 9, and we were at a red light in a left turn only lane. As we made the left and pulled into the plaza, we were followed by a police car, lights and sirens on. Uh-oh. What the heck did we do wrong?

The police officer politely explained that we did not have our left turn signal on. My boyfriend mentioned that he didn’t think it was necessary since we were in a turning only lane. The police officer told him he was mistaken. And I, of course, screamed “Aha! I knew it! I was right all along! Officer, we’ve been having this argument forever. I told him so! Ha! I was right!”

It was at this point that the police officer, no doubt feeling sorry for my boyfriend, decided no tickets would be handed out. She just reminded my boyfriend to remember to signal every time he turns. And he does exactly that. But he still thinks it’s redundant.

What do you do? Do you use your signal even if you’re in a turning only lane? I checked the Intersections and Turns section of the New York State DMV website, and they didn’t specifically address turn only lanes, but if a police officer tells me it’s the law, that’s good enough for me. Especially if it means I was right.

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