Flashing Lights to Warn of Speed Trap Is Legal, Judge Rules
Communicating via headlights is protected free speech, Florida court determines.
Ryan Kitner, 25, sued the Seminole County Sheriff's Office for violating his right to free speech and misconstruing a state law, stemming from an Aug. 10, 2011, incident in which an officer ticketed Kitner for flashing his lights at oncoming motorists to warn of a nearby speed trap. The complaint regarding misconstruing a state law referred to the rationale given by the officer for the ticket: Kitner alleged that the officer was misapplying a ban on flashing aftermarket emergency lights.
The judge in the case agreed with Kitner's argument, and yesterday went further by saying that communicating via the use of headlights is protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution.
Kitner's attorney, J. Marcus Jones, has filed a similar suit against the Florida Highway Patrol, for which a hearing is scheduled next month.
[Source: Orlando Sentinel via Autoblog.]
PROVE that I was warning other drivers of the speed trap by flashing my lights. You can't.
Conspiricy to commit or giving caution?
Apparently it is the support of crime by enabling others to get away with speeding where they can and warn others where they just shouldn't try.
Red Skelton and the pledge of Allegience. Seper-Fi !
Yeah, it's like that here too. Some even go as far as to threaten with other tickets besides obstruction, they also use distracted driver, distracting/endangering other drivers (flashing your high beams could blind oncoming vehicles), reckless and/or mis-use of equipment (flashing lights when there isn't an emergency), reckless driving (they can get you with this one if you are flashing your lights amongst traffic, which is stupid, if you are warning other drivers that means that there will be other vehicles around).
If caught doing that here, you could literally walk away with four or five tickets.
Someone - No, around here that is called obstruction of justice, you are hindering the officers efforts to catch speeders. Around here, officers love to go to court (they get paid to sit in the AC and talk to people vs. out on patrol "dealing with the public").
insert random - I think you have your courts confused.
Criminal court has to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Traffic court just has to find it "more likely than not". All they have to prove is whether you did it or not, period. They don't have to prove intent, just whether or not it happened. Run a red light - they don't have to prove you were driving to give you a ticket, if the car is registered in your name you get the ticket. They just have to show the red light camera snapping a picture/taking live video of, your car. If an officer witnessed the event but couldn't stop you due to heavy traffic, or they were already on another stop, (insert whatever reason the officer wants to give), then you still get the ticket in the mail. Argue all you want, the traffic court only has to prove one thing, Did THAT car disobey THAT traffic control device. You get the ticket and You have to pay it. That is my point below, you don't have any defense other than - Did you do what the officer said you did. If the answer is yes, you did it, you get the ticket. If the answer is no, I didn't, and YOU CAN PROVE IT, then the charges will more than likely be dropped.
The rest of the testimony is down to your word versus the officer's. And a judge will take the officers word over a defendants EVERY TIME.
EXPLORE NEW CARS
MORE ON MSN AUTOS
ABOUT EXHAUST NOTES
Cars are cool, and here at MSN Autos we love everything about them, but we also know they're more than simply speed and style: a car is an essential tool, a much-needed accessory to help you get through your day-to-day life. What you drive is also one of the most important investments you can make, so we'll help you navigate your way through the car buying and ownership experiences. We strive to be your daily destination for news, notes, tips and tricks from across the automotive world. So whether it's through original content from our world-class journalists or the latest buzz from the far corners of the Web, Exhaust Notes helps you make sense of your automotive world.
Have a story idea? Tip us off at firstname.lastname@example.org.