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What Happens If You Don't 'Use Yah Blinkah'?

By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on May 13, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

When driving the cah, use yah blinkah. It's the lawr.

If you're not familiar with Boston and its famed New England accent, that sentence might look a little funky. However, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MDOT) figured that Boston area drivers would know exactly what it meant.

Starting last Friday, electronic highways signs around Boston began reading "Use Yah Blinkah." Since then, images of the electronic signs have gone viral.

Changing Lanes?

As seen in the CBS Boston video below, electronic signs pose the question "Changing Lanes?" before flashing to the "Use Yah Blinkah" screen. Though the sign was intended to catch drivers' attention with its humor, it was posted in response to a very serious problem on Massachusetts highways. According to the MDOT, in 2013 almost 5,000 citations were issued for failure to signal violations.

But Do You Really Have to Use Your Turn Signal?

Under Massachussetts General Law Chapter 90, Section 14B, "Every person operating a motor vehicle, before stopping said vehicle or making any turning movement which would affect the operation of any other vehicle, shall give a plainly visible signal by activating the brake lights or directional lights or signal as provided on said vehicle."

Violation of this section is punished "by a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars for each offense." And while $25 won't exactly break the bank, failure to use your signal will provide a reason for police officers to stop you and check for signs of DUI or another more serious violation. Other states have similar provisions.

And if that's not enough to convince to hit the blinkah, check out this wicked smaht 2012 study that found up to 2 million accidents a year were caused by failing to use a turn signal.

In short: Don't be a chowdahead. Use ya blinkah!

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