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Flashing Headlights to Warn Other Drivers: A First Amendment Right

Do you flash headlights to warn other drivers

  • I do - and I know it's wrong to do it

    Votes: 3 10.3%
  • I do - I have a right to do it

    Votes: 11 37.9%
  • I don't - screw other drivers

    Votes: 3 10.3%
  • Sometimes I do

    Votes: 7 24.1%
  • Usually I don't - but I have once or twice

    Votes: 1 3.4%
  • other - please explain

    Votes: 4 13.8%

  • Total voters
    29

Dragonfly

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MaggieD

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Fisher

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I used to do that sometimes, but no anymore. All the headlights on my car are automatic and I have discovered if I try to do anything manually in relation to them, I set off a chain reaction that requires a blue ribbon committee of the best engineers in the world to get them back into the proper functioning state again.
 

Paschendale

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How exactly can police claim that taking action to discourage others from breaking the law is obstructing justice? The only thing its obstructing is ticket revenue.
 

Jerry

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It's my understanding that it's against the law in Illinois to do it. I do it all the time. Bad Maggie!!!!!
OMG you have no respect for the law blah blah blah etc etc oh noes!!
 

CanadaJohn

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It's my understanding that it's against the law in Illinois to do it. I do it all the time. Bad Maggie!!!!!
It's illegal here as well, but since I consider speed trap officers to be the scum of the earth, I do whatever I can to warn others to avoid them. They always congregate at the bottom of steep declines, behind trees, on sunny days, and on stretches of road where the speed limit is inappropriately low, like six lane roads with a short stretch that's 30mph and should be 50mph.

Radar traps are nothing but a tax grab for the municipality in which they are posted. They have nothing at all to do with safety. It is similar to parking enforcement officers who frequently ticket not related to any traffic flow or safety concern, but because they can and they need to meet a quota set by spending mad city politicians.

Imagine how I'd feel if I actually got any speeding or parking tickets - I can't remember the last time I suffered such a fate.
 

Helix

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Ontologuy

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If no speeding crime has been committed, then there's no justice to obstruct.

There must first be a crime, then if obstruction of bringing the perp to justice occurs, then there is, obviously, obstruction of justice.

Then again ..

.. If someone speeds and there's no cop there to see it, is it still a crime?

Likewise, if someone trespasses into America and there's no border agent there to see it, did the criminal trespass still occur?

The problem here is that flashing one's lights to warn people who might have been speeding is tantamount to aiding and abetting a law violator, in essense, "hiding" them from police.

But people do so because of the natural comraderie that develops between most drivers when it comes to the police, police who can take their money away from them. The thought of having one's money taken from them frightens people into protective relationships.

And it's difficult for police to tell who was speeding and slowed down in response to flashing lights and who wasn't speeding in the first place, so without an actual criminal to point to the police can't prove aiding and abetting, even though it was clear that the flashing lights was "likely" an aiding and abetting attempt.

Not sure what the solution is here .. but if the police are frustrated too long on the matter they'll develop improved high-tech methods involving GPS, heat signatures, etc. and the light-flashers will be rendered irrelevant and all perps will get nabbed.

Of course, people could just slow down .. but who wants to be late to work, or to that hot date?

And besides, there are so many traffic jams anymore that when one breaks free from them it just feels so damn good to hit that accelerator and speed up! Someone should do something about the traffic jams!

Regardless, illegal aliens should still be deported, and those Benedict Arnold Americans who aided and abetted them brought to justice, no excuses. Just so it's clear the analogy breaks down compeletely here.

We must choose the laws we will support and those we will violate with respect to what's best for our fellow American citizens.

;)
 

Aunt Spiker

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Nope - I don't flash for cops. If i do that - it's to let someone know their lights aren't on.
 

HonestJoe

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Are you doing something wrong or illegal when flashing lights to warn other drivers of a speed trap?
Legality would obviously depend on the jurisdiction. I'm pretty sure it would be in the UK, though I'd be amazed if anyone was actually charged.

I do think it's wrong though.

Look at it this way. Imagine you're in a flat overlooking a row of garages. You see a couple of guys breaking in to the garages in turn and stealing from them. You then see a couple of cops about to come around the corner. Do you shout a warning to the theives?

If you think it's a matter of principal, do you flash your lights at drivers who are clearly speeding where there isn't a speed trap?
 

Dragonfly

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Legality would obviously depend on the jurisdiction. I'm pretty sure it would be in the UK, though I'd be amazed if anyone was actually charged.

I do think it's wrong though.

Look at it this way. Imagine you're in a flat overlooking a row of garages. You see a couple of guys breaking in to the garages in turn and stealing from them. You then see a couple of cops about to come around the corner. Do you shout a warning to the theives?
Really? That's your "apples to apples" comparison?

oi.....:roll:
 

Dragonfly

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First one that came to mind? What do you think it wrong with it?
Breaking and entering, along with theft does not equate to speeding.

J-walking might equate to speeding.

Or parking violations might equate to speeding.

Setting off fireworks in a state where that's illegal might equate to speeding.

And yes - I'd gladly warn somebody in the act of parking in a no-parking zone that they're in danger of a ticket/fine/towing.


That's closer to an apples to apples comparison.
 

radcen

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Flashing Headlights to Warn Other Drivers: A First Amendment Right | Lansing Legal Examiner | Lansing Michigan Personal Injury Lawyer

Are you doing something wrong or illegal when flashing lights to warn other drivers of a speed trap?

Do you flash lights to warn others?
So... if I warn anybody to be good and not break the law... even my own kids... I'm then breaking the law?

If I'm merely walking down the street, see a car park and the driver walk away, and I remind them feed the meter, I'm breaking the law? (I have read of instances where people have gotten in trouble for feeding somebody else's meter.)

What is this big fascination in our society where we want everybody to get in trouble for something?
 

molten_dragon

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I've never done it, but I didn't realize that was something people even did. I wonder if it's an older generation thing?
 

jamesrage

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Flashing Headlights to Warn Other Drivers: A First Amendment Right | Lansing Legal Examiner | Lansing Michigan Personal Injury Lawyer


Are you doing something wrong or illegal when flashing lights to warn other drivers of a speed trap?



Do you flash lights to warn others?
I don't do that.But at the same time if you want to warn drivers by flashing you headlights then you have a right to do that. If law enforcement wants to argue that we do not have any expectations of privacy once we leave our homes them neither do police officers.PLus you have your first amendment right to speech, which is the verbal or non-verbal articulation of words and in the case of flashing headlights its says cops are ahead.
 

radcen

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I've never done it, but I didn't realize that was something people even did. I wonder if it's an older generation thing?
To a certain degree I think it is more of an older generation thing. I've noticed that it's commonly known in people older than me, knowledge is hit-and-miss with people my age, and seems to be little known in people younger than me.
 

joko104

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There is no manner to presume with certainty ADVISING of police ahead is to warn speeders. Maybe is to assist other people finding the police on while on the road in case someone person needs to talk to the police about something - saw an accident, to report reckless driving, medical emergency... merely advising where police are doesn't in any manner automatically mean it is to warn people committing a crime.

I don't do it as a general rule, but will if I think it's a speed trap (sudden reduction in speed limit for not apparent reason) or if the sentiment just hits me - and I tend to do it for a performance car I see coming or bikers. Very few people do it anymore and I think it is fear they might be doing it to an unmarked car and will get stopped.
 

joko104

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If no speeding crime has been committed, then there's no justice to obstruct.

There must first be a crime, then if obstruction of bringing the perp to justice occurs, then there is, obviously, obstruction of justice.

Then again ..

.. If someone speeds and there's no cop there to see it, is it still a crime?

Likewise, if someone trespasses into America and there's no border agent there to see it, did the criminal trespass still occur?

The problem here is that flashing one's lights to warn people who might have been speeding is tantamount to aiding and abetting a law violator, in essense, "hiding" them from police.

But people do so because of the natural comraderie that develops between most drivers when it comes to the police, police who can take their money away from them. The thought of having one's money taken from them frightens people into protective relationships.

And it's difficult for police to tell who was speeding and slowed down in response to flashing lights and who wasn't speeding in the first place, so without an actual criminal to point to the police can't prove aiding and abetting, even though it was clear that the flashing lights was "likely" an aiding and abetting attempt.

Not sure what the solution is here .. but if the police are frustrated too long on the matter they'll develop improved high-tech methods involving GPS, heat signatures, etc. and the light-flashers will be rendered irrelevant and all perps will get nabbed.

Of course, people could just slow down .. but who wants to be late to work, or to that hot date?

And besides, there are so many traffic jams anymore that when one breaks free from them it just feels so damn good to hit that accelerator and speed up! Someone should do something about the traffic jams!

Regardless, illegal aliens should still be deported, and those Benedict Arnold Americans who aided and abetted them brought to justice, no excuses. Just so it's clear the analogy breaks down compeletely here.

We must choose the laws we will support and those we will violate with respect to what's best for our fellow American citizens.

;)
How the hell did you see this as a topic about immigration?!
 

joko104

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It's my understanding that it's against the law in Illinois to do it. I do it all the time. Bad Maggie!!!!!
Speeding certainly is the crisis in criminal activity in Illinois for sure. :doh
 

joko104

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The most low rent thing I heard of was one officer who would cruise 2 lane state highways at night and putting on his high beams. When a car coming the other way flashed their lights at him, he'd then spin around and write them a ticket for driving with their high beams on when to close to oncoming traffic. What an asshole!
 
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