asked to decide whether the phrase "when required"
in RCW 46.61.305(2) compels drivers to use their signal every
time they turn or change lanes on a roadway. We hold that it
does. The plain language of RCW 46.61.305 requires drivers to
ensure turns and lane changes are done safely and
with an appropriate turn signal. RCW 46.61.305(1). The phrase
"when required" relates to the manner in which the
required signal is made-continuously during not less than the
last 100 feet traveled. RCW 46.61.305(1)-(2). Because David
Brown did not signal continuously while his vehicle turned
left through an intersection, he violated RCW 46.61.305.
Accordingly, we reverse the Court of Appeals and remand the
case for further proceedings.
evening of March 22, 2015, Brown was driving his truck in
Kennewick, Washington. Clerk's Papers (CP) at 11,
State patrol officers observed Brown turn right onto a
four-lane street. While turning, the left side tires of
Brown's truck briefly crossed the white dashed divider
line before moving back into the correct lane. Eventually,
Brown activated his left turn signal and moved his truck left
while the signal blinked multiple times before shutting off.
Brown again signaled his intent to change lanes, moving into
the designated left turn lane while the turn signal blinked
twice and then ceased. CP at 12; see also Ex. 1 (law
enforcement dashboard camera recording). Brown approached and
stopped at a red light; he did not reactivate his left turn
signal at the light or while executing the left turn. State
patrol officers had been driving behind Brown through the
lane changes and turn, and the officers initiated a traffic
stop. After his breath test showed 0.26 breath alcohol
content, Brown was arrested for driving under the influence.
district court, Brown moved to suppress evidence gathered
during the traffic stop. Among other things, the State argued
that Brown violated RCW 46.61.305 for failing to continuously
signal his intent to turn left. The court concluded that a
driver is not required to reactivate a turn signal when
entering a turn-only lane and, thus, the state patrol
officers had no cause to stop Brown. Without the breath
alcohol concentration evidence, Brown's case was
dismissed. The district court denied reconsideration.
State appealed, and the superior court upheld the district
court's decision that Brown's wide right turn and
lane changes were proper but reversed the conclusion that he
did not need to continuously signal his intent to turn left
under RCW 46.61.305. Brown appealed only this holding. Br. of
Appellant at 3-4 (Wash.Ct.App. No. 35304-4-III (2018))
(assigning error to superior court holding on RCW 46.61.305).
The Court of Appeals reversed the superior court and
concluded that .305 requires a signal only when public safety
is affected. Because Brown was in a turn-only lane that did
not jeopardize public safety, no signal was required.
State v. Brown, 7 Wn.App. 2d 121, 123, 135-36, 432
P.3d 1241 (2019). Chief Judge Lawrence-Berrey dissented,
reasoning that a signal must be continuous under the plain
language of RCW 46.61.305. Id. at 140-42. The State
moved for discretionary review here, which we granted.
State v. Brown, 193 Wn.2d 1025(2019).
determine whether Brown's failure to continuously signal
his intent to turn violated RCW 46.61.305, we must first
interpret the phrase "when required" in RCW
meaning of a statute is a question of law we review de novo.
Lake v. Woodcreek Homeowners Ass'n, 169 Wn.2d
516, 526, 243 P.3d 1283 (2010) (citing Rozner v. City of
Bellevue, 116 Wn.2d 342, 347, 804 P.2d 24 (1991)).
"Our fundamental purpose in construing statutes is to
ascertain and carry out the intent of the legislature. We
determine the intent of the legislature primarily from the
statutory language. In the absence of ambiguity, we will give
effect to the plain meaning of the statutory language."
In re Marriage of Schneider, 173 Wn.2d 353, 363, 268
P.3d 215 (2011) (citations omitted). In determining whether a
statute conveys a plain meaning, "that meaning is
discerned from all that the Legislature has said in the
statute and related statutes which disclose legislative
intent about the provision in question." Dep't
of Ecology v. Campbell & Gwinn, LLC, 146 Wn.2d 1,
11, 43 P.3d 4 (2002).
undefined term is "given its plain and ordinary meaning
unless a contrary legislative intent is indicated."
Ravenscroft v. Wash. Water Power Co., 136 Wn.2d 911,
920-21, 969 P.2d 75 (1998). If the statute is susceptible to
more than one reasonable interpretation, it is ambiguous and
the court "may resort to statutory construction,
legislative history, and relevant case law for assistance in
discerning legislative intent." Christensen v.
Ellsworth, 162 Wn.2d 365, 373, 173 P.3d 228 (2007).
RCW 46.61.305 states:
When signals required-Improper use
prohibited. (1) No person shall turn a vehicle or
move right or left upon a roadway unless and until such
movement can be made with reasonable safety nor without
giving an appropriate signal in the manner hereinafter
(2) A signal of intention to turn or move right or left
when required shall be given continuously during not
less than the last one hundred feet traveled by the vehicle
(Emphasis added.) "When required" is not defined in
section .305 or Title 46. Brown contends the phrase implies
there are instances when signaling is not required. Suppl.
Br. of Resp't at 6-7; Br. of Appellant at 7 (Wash.Ct.App.
No. 35304-4-III (2018)). Thus, he argues, interpreting RCW
46.61.305 as always requiring a signal renders the phrase
meaningless. The Court of Appeals largely agreed, noting that
we must construe statutes to give effect to all the language
used. Brown,7 Wn.App. 2d at 135 (citing
Cannabis Action Coal. v. City of Kent, 180 Wn.App.
455, 477, 322 P.3d 1246 (2014)). Because the words "when
required" were used, lawmakers contemplated
circumstances when turn signals are not required.
Id. at 136. To that end, the Court of Appeals read
.305(1) as concerned primarily with public safety.
Id. Consequently, the court reasoned that a signal
under .305(2) is required only when public safety is
implicated by ...