Planting season is well underway in the Commonwealth and many are already cutting hay. We always ask the public to be mindful of the increased traffic of agricultural equipment on the roadways during planting and harvest season. It’s important for both farmers and nonfarmers to be aware of how to give proper signals when you don’t have electronic signaling devices on the equipment being driven. Many of us might be racing against the weather to get the chore done, but we still need to let others on the road know when we are turning, slowing down, or stopping.
State law mandates drivers to give the proper signals, and does allow hand signals to be used. Let’s remember how to give the signals as well as watch for them when others are using the roads.
Signals required by law shall be given by means of the hand and arm or by some mechanical or electrical device approved by the State, in the manner specified in this section. Whenever the signal is given by means of the hand and arm, the driver shall indicate his intention to start, stop, turn, or partly turn by extending the hand and arm beyond the left side of the vehicle in the manner following:
- For left turn or to pull to the left, the arm shall be extended in a horizontal position straight from and level with the shoulder;
- For right turn or to pull to the right, the arm shall be extended upward;
- For slowing down or stopping, the arm shall be extended downward.
- Wherever the lawful speed is more than 35 miles per hour, such signals shall be given continuously for a distance of at least 100 feet, and in all other cases at least 50 feet, before slowing down, stopping, turning, or partly turning.
You can read the full section of Virginia State Motor Vehicle code on the signals here § 46.2-849. How signals given.