Is your turn signal still on?

By Jeffrey Fazio
DriveTime Columnist

Once upon a time, a few months ago, I was driving home from work via Route 183. Just north of Bernville, I took the slight veer to the right that is required to stay on 183. About a mile or so later my cell phone rings.

"Hello," I said.

The cheery voice on the other end responds, "Hey Mister, are you ever going to make that right?"

At that point I finally turned off my turn signal as we both started laughing.

The caller was my girlfriend and she happened to be behind me as I signaled to veer off Route 183. Since that is not a "real" right-hand turn, the thinga-ma-jiggie that turns your signals off automatically did not hear its call to duty. Consequently, it failed to show up for work, leaving me high and dry with my turn signal blaring its two-step dance to the world around me.

How often have you been traveling behind someone with their turn signals on for miles and miles, wishing you could just call them and tell them to turn the darn thing off? Well, my girlfriend had that chance and she took great pleasure in making that call.

There are so many times that I wish I could do the same ó especially on 183 right after Bernville. What can sometimes feel like a long commute, feels even longer when you get stuck behind someone with their blinker endlessly blinking like a visual broken record.

Over the recent holidays, the memory of that phone call came to the forefront of our conversation as we were traveling from my parents to hers. Our Christmas trek took us over the river, and through the woods and into Oley on Route 73.

As we navigated the "Oley Bypass" we took the "exit" for Route 662 which happens to be a similar veer-to-the-right that is not quite an actual turn, just like the Route 183 turnoff near Bernville. There is one really big difference between these two turnoffs.

That difference comes in the form of a fairly large yellow and black PennDOT road sign that reads "ARE YOUR TURN SIGNALS ON?" This sign is posted on Route 662 a couple of hundred feet beyond the turn-off from Route 73. The sign is ideally placed for delivering its appreciated reminder.

Not only did it make me smile when I saw it, but it also made me double-check my signals. Itís really such a simple and effective sign that is truly well placed.

So where else do we need these signs around the county? I suspect that there are plenty more "veeroffs" that arenít quite "turnoffs" that could use one of these gentle reminders to check our blinkers.