Is it Illegal to Warn Other Drivers About Speed Traps?

September 12th, 2011
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Drivers across the country have been warning fellow drivers about driving situations for decades by flashing there lights at the on coming traffic. Depending on the location of the driver, flashing your lights from low beams to high beams can indicate to on coming traffic there is a danger or situation approaching. This indicator may warn drivers of crossing animals, an accident, road construction or more commonly, police officers. The flashing of the lights can be seen as a common courtesy for drivers to help fellow drivers avoid dangerous or law breaking situations.

The use of high beams is circumstantial but has not been seen as illegal to most drivers, until law officials in states such as Florida began to ticket drivers for flashing lights at oncoming traffic to warm them against roadblocks or speed traps. The Florida Highway Patrol has ticketed over 10,429 drivers for flashing of vehicle headlights, under the Florida Statue 316.2397. The statue reads, “does not prohibit the flashing of headlights as a means of communication, nor does it in any way reference flashing headlights or the use of high beams.”

Eric Campbell has filed a class action suit, a driver who was ticketed by the FHP for wrongfully using his high beams to warn on-coming traffic of a speed trap. The statue clearly states there is no wrongful activity in flashing high beams as a means of communication. In an effort to bring justice to those who have been wrongfully ticketed, Campbell is seeking a refund of the $100 ticket and the lawsuit seeks damage in excess of $15,000.

If the suit is successful the state of Florida could be paying out over $157,000,000 in damages, including the price of ticket refunds, all money which will be drawn out of the pockets of the tax payers of the state.

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