How to Make a Legal Turn in Colorado

25 February 2015

For those few people who have read my blogs, you may have noticed my desire to share knowledge of proper driving skills to anyone who will listen. Well, this blog will take it a step further. For anyone who doesn’t know it, signaling to change lanes, make a turn, or enter traffic from a stop is required in Colorado. Meaning it is a law which, if broken, will lead to a fine and points being removed from your license. Read on…and remember to signal.

Quoted directly from COLORADO REVISED STATUTES- italics are mine, as are notes in parentheses:

* This document reflects changes current through all laws passed at the
Second Regular Session of the Sixty-Ninth General Assembly
of the State of Colorado (2014)
and changes approved by the electorate at the November 2014 election *

C.R.S. 42-4-903 (2014)

42-4-903. Turning movements and required signals

(1) No person shall turn a vehicle at an intersection unless the vehicle is in proper position upon the roadway as required in section 42-4-901, or turn a vehicle to enter a private road or driveway, or otherwise turn a vehicle from a direct course or move right or left upon a roadway unless and until such movement can be made with reasonable safety and then only after giving an appropriate signal in the manner provided in sections 42-4-608 and 42-4-609 (refers to signals given by hand and arm or mechanical means).

(2) A signal of intention to turn right or left shall be given continuously during not less than the last one hundred feet traveled by the vehicle before turning in urban or metropolitan areas and shall be given continuously for at least two hundred feet on all four-lane highways and other highways where the prima facie or posted speed limit is more than forty miles per hour. Such signals shall be given regardless of existing weather conditions.

(3) No person shall stop or suddenly decrease the speed of a vehicle without first giving an appropriate signal in the manner provided in sections 42-4-608 and 42-4-609 to the driver of any vehicle immediately to the rear when there is opportunity to give such signal.

(4) The signals provided for in section 42-4-608 (2) shall be used to indicate an intention to turn, change lanes, or start from a parked position and shall not be flashed on one side only on a parked or disabled vehicle or flashed as a courtesy or “do pass” signal to operators of other vehicles approaching from the rear.

(5) Any person who violates any provision of this section commits a class A traffic infraction.

HISTORY: Source: L. 94: Entire title amended with relocations, p. 2357, § 1, effective January 1, 1995.

Editor’s note: This section is similar to former § 42-4-803 as it existed prior to 1994, and the former § 42-4-903 was relocated to § 42-4-1003.

The violation of this section does not, of itself, impose liability for injuries caused by an automobile, but the person seeking to recover for such injuries must show, not only a violation, but that such was the proximate cause of the damage sustained. Barsch v. Hammond, 110 Colo. 441, 135 P.2d 519 (1943).

Evidence showing violation. Alden v. Watson, 106 Colo. 103, 102 P.2d 479 (1940).

Section relating to parking outside business inapplicable under certain circumstances when signals given. Where the condition of the traffic was such that the truck driver had the right to slow down, and even to stop, prior to making the left-hand turn, provided he gave the statutory signals, § 42-4-803, relating to parking outside of a business or residence, does not apply. Hinkle v. Union Transf. Co., 229 F.2d 403 (10th Cir. 1955).

C.R.S. 42-4-903




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