Commonwealth v. Slattery, 2016 PA Super 99

Posted in Admission of Evidence,PA Superior Court Cases,Pretrial Motions,Search & Seizure,Suppression Motions on May 13, 2016

Slattery was convicted of driving with a suspended license and failing to signal. The arresting trooper pulled him over because he did not use a turn signal for at least 100 prior to changing lanes.

Turns out you don’t have to do that.

75 Pa.C.S. §3343, dealing with signaling, does not have a requirement of at least 100 feet for changing lanes. Subsection (b) of that statute places the 100 feet requirement only on turns made at less than 35 miles per hour. The statute does not specify how long a signal must be activated before changing lanes.

Slattery had used a signal prior to changing lanes. The trooper’s mistake about how long the signal needed to be activated prior to that action was erroneous; there was no probable cause to stop the vehicle, and the judgments of sentence were reversed.

Judge Olson’s opinion can be found here.