Sunday, July 21, 2013

$1,000 Fine for Flashing Headlights to Warn Motorists of Cops - Lawsuit Follows

Amanda Warren
Activist Post

Did you know that you could be fined for flashing your headlights to warn other people of speed traps? Police who are hiding in wait, do not appreciate headlight whistleblowers.

This leads to the question - Is flashing your lights a part of free speech?






The question is meaningful to Michael Elli of Missouri who did what most of us have done on the road - flashed his headlights to warn oncoming drivers of a cop waiting around the corner to catch motorists in a speed trap. In Ellisville, MO, he had no idea he was doing something "illegal."


He was surprised to receive a ticket for obstruction of justice - with it, a $1,000 fine. He fought it, calling his warning flash protected free speech. Although prosecutors dropped charges, Elli along with the ACLU filed a class action lawsuit against Ellisville for even handing out those types of tickets to begin with.

Legal director of the town's ACLU chapter, Tony Rothert, aptly pointed out:
Those who use their First Amendment rights to warn others to drive cautiously should not be punished for their message. After all, the purpose of traffic laws is to promote safety, not generate revenue.
Florida, Ohio, Tennessee, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Utah have actually ruled that flashing lights is okay under the First Amendment. Arizona and Alaska strictly forbid the practice under any circumstance apparently because of safety. Who knew?

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe they should let the US Supreme Court rule if it's constitutional or not. Oh wait, they don't do that anymore, do they?

Anonymous said...

Police all time looking for easy money, but they don't look Wall Street criminal...
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Anonymous said...

Is it also illegal to flash your lights when there is no cop down the road in an attempt to help the police control speeders?

Flashing your lights to get people to slow down dis a good thing, isn't it? Common sense would say anything you can do to improve public safety is a benefit to society.

The cops should encourage the public to flash their lights more often, even if there's no police waiting down the road. If the police are REALLY concerned about speeders, that is.

Anonymous said...

It has been a long time since the supreme court judged laws based on their constitutionality as opposed to their own interpretation of the laws.

Anonymous said...

There is a very simple solution to the problem, follow the speed limit. They are there for a reason. Driving is a privilege not a right.

Anonymous said...

This is so ridiculous. Next we won't be able to use our glove compartment. Do these people realize how illogical they are? Preventing someone from buying a certain size soda...don't you realize how crazy you are?
How many times I have driven behind a driver that wanted to control my car. The constant flashing of brake lights because some person presumed in their mind that my car should be located where THEY wanted it on the road.
This is the most distracting behavior and the only way it stops is when I flash my lights at them everytime they flash their brake lights. I fear that the only other solution to this idiotic behavior is to take down the license number and report them to police as a distracting mennace on the road.

Anonymous said...

That's America behind Illuminati curtain!

Anonymous said...

Heaven forbid anything that gets in the way of meeting their quota of speeding tickets. The cops should get off their fat, lazy asses and catch some real criminals for a change!

Anonymous said...

To the poster who commented that driving is a privilege not a right, I would ask who established this fact.....The government?
Apparently you are an officer of the law of work in the court system.
Most civilian people don't share your view,
Though driving safely the proper thing to do.
We have all been preoccupied and exceeded the posted speed limit.

Gary orGibby said...

Thank you one of the 'anonymous' comments above for tucking your tail between your legs like the whipped dog and fascist boot-licker that you are. I hope nobody in your life is counting on you to show a shred of courage because they are going to be sadly disappointed.

Anonymous said...

Just more plundering and robbery by the corporate thug criminals hiding behind a gun, badge and uniform. Then you have the black robbed devils and the foreign agents we call attorneys disguised behind respectability and the color of law to continue the fleecing in their dens of corruption most call courts. By this time they have most likely robbed you of what little frauds you may have including your property and if they can't squeeze enough out of you they will get it by locking you up. Hell, the prison and jail systems are mega dollars for the corporations and it's just all business as usual.

Anonymous said...

Here in Wisconsin someone was arrested for flashing and warning drivers that a cop was located ahead waiting for speeders---the case went to court and the man was found innocent

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous July 22, 2013 at 1:46 AM

The driver ahead of you wouldn't be pressing their brakes because you are tailgating, would they? If you are closer than 6 car lengths at 60 mph, YOU are the problem.

Anonymous said...

This falls into the same category of the government prosecuting whistleblowers, people who film inhumane and cruel practices on factory farms and people who film police brutality. The fascist police state does not want any evidence or proof of their despicable misconduct and sadism. People have been exercising their free speech right to flash their lights since lights were attached to cars.

Anonymous said...

Driving may indeed be a privilege if you do it commercially. Under the constitution the government can only regulate commerce. If you look in the older law dictionaries such as Bouvier's, or even Black's, you will find that an operator is someone for hire; an operator transporting property or a chauffer transporting people, for hire.

You have a right to liberty; why do you need the privilege to drive? As a man or a woman, not a 'juristic person', you have a basic right to survive which cannot be taxed/ regulated. A study of this problem will demonstrate that you cannot get a fair trial on this issue in any court that is trying to enslave and rob you. Any such court is in itself guilty of the crimes of racketeering and extortion. These are the real crimes and the U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that criminals cannot represent government.

That's right; you no longer have a government protecting you. You have organized crime pretending to be your government and they are robbing you. They refuse to obey their oaths of office and they are waging war against you under color of law. This is treason. The penalty for treason is death. When will the sheeple wake up and do what is necessary? Start by educating yourself and your neighbors and do it ever so quickly.

Anonymous said...

Uh, without personal testimony to the fact, how is one to KNOW that the flashing is to "warn" people of a tax officer being present? If one says nothing to the question, "why did you flash the lights" then the officer of tax collection has NO GROUNDS to assume a thing. If you are pulled over STFU and say nothing ever, ever, ever, ever.

Go to court, ask the officer, "how did you know what I was flashing my lights?" "I assumed..." Case dismissed.

Anonymous said...

The pig thugs can not prove it, I have had headlight switches bad that made lights flash.I have flash lights to pull friends over & other reasons to flash lights This is why every body hates these police thugs,they are nothing but thieves, that get away with robbing everyone.The scum bags are to lazy to go after real crime.

Anonymous said...

Driving is not a privilege, but it is a right.

""Personal liberty largely consists of the Right of locomotion -- to go where and when one pleases -- only so far restrained as the Rights of others may make it necessary for the welfare of all other citizens. The Right of the Citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, by horsedrawn carriage, wagon, or automobile, is not a mere privilege which may be permitted or prohibited at will, but the common Right which he has under his Right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Under this Constitutional guarantee one may, therefore, under normal conditions, travel at his inclination along the public highways or in public places, and while conducting himself in an orderly and decent manner, neither interfering with nor disturbing another's Rights, he will be protected, not only in his person, but in his safe conduct." [emphasis added] II Am.Jur. (1st) Constitutional Law, Sect.329, p.1135."

"Personal liberty -- consists of the power of locomotion, of changing situations, of removing one's person to whatever place one's inclination may direct, without imprisonment or restraint unless by due process of law." 1 Blackstone's Commentary 134; Hare, Constitution__.777; Bovier's Law Dictionary, 1914 ed., Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed.

I can go on, but anyone stating its a privilege, is either an agent of lies, or ignorant of Law.

For more, and many other things pertaining to the right of travel, licenses, etc, go here. http://www.theforbiddenknowledge.com/hardtruth/driver_licensing.htm

Anonymous said...

The job of the police is to go after crime.
The job of the citizen is to prevent it.
Flashing lights help prevent a "criminal" offense.
So the cops have to fight real crime...
( like older folk going slow - they should be jailed. ;-) )

Anonymous said...

I would NEVER flash my headlights to warn speeders of a speed trap, but i would flash my headlights at an approaching speeder to admonish them about their irresponsible attitude toward obeying the speed limit. It is my civic duty. God help us all.

Whuzzerbanger said...

I have often hit my emergency flashers to alert others of dangers on the road--animals crossing ahead of or behind me, black ice, accidents or groups of bicyclists or joggers, fallen rocks, kids on toboggans--both ahead of or behind me. If I were ever pulled over for flashing my warning lights, I'd just say, huh? You didn't see those baby whuzzerbangers, officer? There musta been a whole flotilla of the little buggers!

james ha said...

to the anonymous dumbass @1:46....
the only reason i was flashing my brake lights at you is because your dumbass was tail-gating.
learn how to drive moron.

Anonymous said...

I do the speed limit religiously I don't tale gate If you want to break the law and go around me or over me or under me fine just don't push me it's not going to work NEVER. As to flashing your lights its the right thing to do, everyone should get at leased one warning.

Anonymous said...

As much as an oxymoron as it might sound, sometimes doing the "speed limit religiously" is a safety hazard in itself. On an interstate or other large hwy, going the speed limit in the outside lane just holds up the safe passage of vehicles and backs up traffic to dangerously close levels. The outside lane is a "passing" lane and NOT a "travel" lane. Good safe driving on a hwy requires frequent looking in ones mirrors and being courteous and selfless enough to see a faster car approaching and moving over to allow it to move on through. of course, tailgating is annoying and dangerous but equally annoying and dangerous is someone "owning" the road and refusing to move over because they are doing the limit. The hwy speed limits were put in place moreso to conserve gas consumption. If manufacturers were really about safety, all cars would be capped at say 60 mph, so it is illogical to stick to a speed limit when you know in reality that doing this will back up traffic and cause the "wacky races" scenario of traffic weaving. Go to England and drive on their "motorways", it is simply a form of established driving etiquette to move over even if you are doing 80...the closest we have to that here are truckers who adhere to a similar code. In response to the privilege issue, it is absolutely a right to drive and the poster referring to blacks law is spot on. You are almost always a traveler and NOT a driver but this opens pandora's box into the whole legal entity / strawman / birth certificate bondage to the system argument. fascinating stuff. anyhow, drive safe, courteous and flash away if it encourages safer driving and boo hoo to the police who are missing out on reaching their quotas .. in many instances they are on traffic duty to simply bring in extra money for the city /town. I don't advocate aggressive driving in any form (or passive aggressive sticklers to the outside lane) but I also don't agree with using public roads as a form of blatant revenue production.

Anonymous said...

"There is a very simple solution to the problem, follow the speed limit. They are there for a reason. Driving is a privilege not a right"

more simple is to sneak up on cop and tie bumper to tree... great laughs

and for what i pay to be on the road per year, you can damn well bet its my right and not a privilage, people that buy into that should move back to nazi germany,,,, your government is supposed to be owned by you and countrymen jack ass not the other way around

if it was a privilage, then cars would be free, there would be no gas tax , excise tax, import tax ect ect....

id love to see the entire country fall on face when no one want to use their privilage to drive the next day poof byebye america or any other developed nation

also to people who believe in the other persons statement, why do cars LIST 120MPH-180MPH when 90% of the country is far below that.......

why not make every car stop at 55/65, or hell why do we even need to go that fast lets make all vehicles 5-15 mphs highways, bi way, city roads

Anonymous said...

GaryorGibb

probably from the "its the law" crowd or from the "suicide by cop" crowd who actually believe their tax dollars were saved from having to house the now dead criminal. as if they're that important. god those people are dumb.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

There is a very simple solution to the problem, follow the speed limit. They are there for a reason. Driving is a privilege not a right.
July 21, 2013 at 9:02 PM
======================================
I WHOLEHEARTED agree with the part about following the speed limit they are there for a reason. In MOST cases, they are spot-on for safe travel...however,
"Driving" may be a privilege, but "Free Travel" is a RIGHT.

Anonymous said...

Arizona is the armpit of the entire world. They lock up more prisoners than any other place on earth. They lock up so many, they must ship them out to other states.

Anonymous said...

Back in 1986 I got pulled over here in Texas for flashing when I saw a speed trap. It was in a populated, busy area. I got no ticket, and not even a warning but the cop (a very young guy) was PISSED. Man, he was all red and yelling at me. I told him if that were illegal that the ability to use the headlight flasher would not be installed on cars. He told me to never do it again and stormed back to his car...

Anonymous said...

Truckers adhere to a "code" ? What code? The douchebag code?

Anonymous said...

What really causes anger is some idiot who wants to pootle along, that's OK,but also wants an open road in front of them, i.e. nothing must overtake them. If you do dare try and overtake, they accelerate up until there's a bend or oncoming traffic then they feel it OK to slow right back down again. Result, the guy behind will overtake dodgily, and then some of the pootlers have the temerity to flash, once you're past. If anyone flashes like that,they get an equivalent flash of the brake lights, sharp enough to make them brake too i.e. drive slowly if you must, fine, but don't then object to being overtaken.

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