INDIANAPOLIS — A new turn signal law went into effect at the start of the new year that chops out a specific measured distance in which a turn signal is required to be used before a turn.
Previously, Indiana law required vehicles to signal 200 feet before a turn or lane change, or 300 feet if you’re traveling more than 50 miles per hour.
Lawmakers argued those specific distances were constantly broken, with some city blocks shorter than 200 feet from intersection to intersection. Police also argued the specific distances made the law hard to enforce.
“Was it 170 feet? Was it 230 feet?” Lawrence Police Chief Gary Woodruff previously asked. “That’s asking an awful lot of an officer in a dynamic environment in a fluid environment.”
House Enrolled Act 1167, sponsored by Rep. Jim Pressel, axes the specified distance replacing it instead with a mandate that motorists merely signal before safely making any lane turns or changes. No specific distance is given for what constitutes a safe turn or lane change, opting instead for signaling at a “reasonable” time before committing the turn or lane change.
Previously, some Hoosiers criticized the change saying it could just lead to more drivers neglecting to use a turn signal.
“Let’s enforce it, let’s make people do it, not make it easier to not do it,” said Geoff Ehrendreich of Mooresville.
House Enrolled Act 1167 was approved in a 69-2 vote by the House and later a 44-0 vote in the Senate. Unlike most laws which go into effect on July 1, House Enrolled Act 1167 was authorized to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023. Records show Holcomb signed the act into law on March 14, 2022.