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Flashing Headlights to Warn Other Drivers of Cops is Free Speech

Truck drivers often signal each other to warn about road hazards. For example, truckers would double-flash their headlights when they just passed a police speed trap to warn other drivers in the oncoming lanes.

That's what trucker Chris Hill of Southern Oregon did to warn others of a sheriff deputy behind him. Problem was, another deputy noticed his signal and radioed in to have Hill pulled over and issued a $260 ticket for misusing his headlights.

But was it legal? Hill decided to argue his case in court as a free speech issue ... and won!

According to a Jackson County judge, as reported by SF Gate, ticketing a driver for warning others of a police nearby is illegal because flashing headlights is free speech. "The citation was clearly given to punish the Defendant for that expression. The government certainly can and should enforce the traffic laws for the safety of all drivers on the road. However, the government cannot enforce the traffic laws, or any other laws, to punish drivers for their expressive conduct."

(Photo: bikeriderlondon/Shutterstock)


The problem here is there's no consequences to the officer that does this. So they will continue to do it. You have to go to court to contest the ticket which will be thrown out...but you had to take time off from work to do it. Will you flash your lights the next time? Probably not.
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This has always been a common courtesy among ALL drivers in every part of Michigan I've lived in. We use it not only as a heads up for speed traps but also deer sightings, cars off the road ahead due to ice, and any other accidents that may be a hazard.
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A courtesy? [Deleted - we appreciate your strong sentiments, but no curses, please - admin]
Speeders not only endanger the lives of themselves, but they endanger the lives of OTHER PEOPLE. WE ALL share the road. [deleted]
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