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Flashing your lights to warn other drivers is legal, judge rules


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Good Ruling...I have always thought speed traps were not legal in the first place. Win for the little guy!

 

Federal Judge Henry E. Autrey ruled Monday that flashing headlights to warn other motorists of a speed trap is a form of communication and is protected by the First Amendment right to free speech.

Michael Elli was driving in the City of Ellisville, Missouri when he spotted a radar trap and flashed his lights to warn oncoming traffic. Another town cop — positioned to see drivers flashing lights – pulled Ellie over and ticketed him.

The Ellisville police issued a $1,000 citation to Elli for flashing his lights. Elli pleaded not guilty and vowed to contest the ticket in court. The city dropped the charge.

But it didn’t end there. Elli decided to sue Ellisville with the help of a lawyer from the American Civil Liberties Union. A copy of the suit filed is here. The suit claims Elli’s right to free speech was compromised when the city issued the ticket.

“The chilling effect of Ellisville’s policy and custom of having its police officers pull over, detain, and cite individuals who are perceived as having communicated to oncoming traffic by flashing their headlamps and then prosecuting and imposing fines upon those individuals remains, regardless” Judge Autrey wrote in his decision. The judge also ordered the town to stop issuing tickets of this kind.

“When someone is communicating in a public street, he is expressing himself in a way that’s protected by the First Amendment,” the ACLU’s Tony Rothert told the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog. “Unless there is a strong reason why the government should be allowed to censor that speech, the police shouldn’t be stopping or prosecuting people because of the content of their speech.”

 

http://www.crimelibrary.com/blog/2014/02/05/flashing-your-lights-to-warn-other-drivers-is-legal-judge-rules/index.html

 

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Good Ruling...I have always thought speed traps were not legal in the first place. Win for the little guy!

 

Federal Judge Henry E. Autrey ruled Monday that flashing headlights to warn other motorists of a speed trap is a form of communication and is protected by the First Amendment right to free speech.

Michael Elli was driving in the City of Ellisville, Missouri when he spotted a radar trap and flashed his lights to warn oncoming traffic. Another town cop — positioned to see drivers flashing lights – pulled Ellie over and ticketed him.

The Ellisville police issued a $1,000 citation to Elli for flashing his lights. Elli pleaded not guilty and vowed to contest the ticket in court. The city dropped the charge.

But it didn’t end there. Elli decided to sue Ellisville with the help of a lawyer from the American Civil Liberties Union. A copy of the suit filed is here. The suit claims Elli’s right to free speech was compromised when the city issued the ticket.

“The chilling effect of Ellisville’s policy and custom of having its police officers pull over, detain, and cite individuals who are perceived as having communicated to oncoming traffic by flashing their headlamps and then prosecuting and imposing fines upon those individuals remains, regardless” Judge Autrey wrote in his decision. The judge also ordered the town to stop issuing tickets of this kind.

“When someone is communicating in a public street, he is expressing himself in a way that’s protected by the First Amendment,” the ACLU’s Tony Rothert told the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog. “Unless there is a strong reason why the government should be allowed to censor that speech, the police shouldn’t be stopping or prosecuting people because of the content of their speech.”

 

http://www.crimelibrary.com/blog/2014/02/05/flashing-your-lights-to-warn-other-drivers-is-legal-judge-rules/index.html

 

 

Well, there ya go. That bad ole ACLU conservative tea partiers love to hate ---- up to their old tricks again.

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Well, there ya go. That bad ole ACLU conservative tea partiers love to hate ---- up to their old tricks again.

 

Not a big fan of Larry Flint but he has a RIGHT in this country to publish crap.

 

Not a big fan of the ACLU but now and again they get one right.

 

Plenty of left/right abuses by both "sides" on our rights..... '

 

I might not agree with you on everything but I will stand up for your right to read/publish/say anything

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i love people that do this. on a kind of related note, a local radio station actually got in trouble here for announcing

the locations of speed traps and DUI checkpoints on air and were forced to stop. i wonder if this ruling will allow them to

continue that little helpful programming.

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i love people that do this. on a kind of related note, a local radio station actually got in trouble here for announcing

the locations of speed traps and DUI checkpoints on air and were forced to stop. i wonder if this ruling will allow them to

continue that little helpful programming.

 

This is where we run into public and private free speech (I think)

 

The gubberment issues the license to the radio stations then has the ability to regulate them.....(Kind of like guns) not that I agree but that is the case.

 

A private citizen has the right to stand in the street and say what he wants....the station not so much.

 

Personally I think the gubberment has the authority to grant the lic. to keep the airwaves un-cluttered so that one isn't stomping on the other....much like we grant property lines.....but the prohibition of making laws to stop free speech is pretty clear to me.

 

But then somehow we got the right to an abortion and the freedom FROM religion out of the same text so there you go. Camel got it's nose in the tent and here we are.

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i love people that do this. on a kind of related note, a local radio station actually got in trouble here for announcing

the locations of speed traps and DUI checkpoints on air and were forced to stop. i wonder if this ruling will allow them to

continue that little helpful programming.

the radio here announces the date of dui checks but not the location,

its always in the same place tho...

 

I dont know if "speed traps" are as big an issue, we have aircraft clocking speeders

 

calif at one time did not allow chp to sit and wait, they wanted them to be driving around and visible

 

those daze are long gone...

 

chp has head on radar now that reaches out 2 miles ahead...

 

hes almost got the ticket filled out before you see him...

 

 

Well, there ya go. That bad ole ACLU conservative tea partiers love to hate ---- up to their old tricks again.

when have they ever done anything to protect an unborn childs right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness ?

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This is where we run into public and private free speech (I think)

 

The gubberment issues the license to the radio stations then has the ability to regulate them.....(Kind of like guns) not that I agree but that is the case.

 

A private citizen has the right to stand in the street and say what he wants....the station not so much.

 

Personally I think the gubberment has the authority to grant the lic. to keep the airwaves un-cluttered so that one isn't stomping on the other....much like we grant property lines.....but the prohibition of making laws to stop free speech is pretty clear to me.

 

But then somehow we got the right to an abortion and the freedom FROM religion out of the same text so there you go. Camel got it's nose in the tent and here we are.

 

 

They actually publish them in the newspaper here, but some dumbasses don't read. If I see a trap, I definitely send out a warning.

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when have they ever done anything to protect an unborn childs right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness ?

 

I'm not so sure any court in the US would recognize and unborn child as having "standing." That makes for an interesting question though.

 

(btw - are you somehow under the impression I am pro-abortion?)

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Why would anyone flash their lights at oncoming traffic anyway? Trying to warn a lawbreaker?

 

If the oncoming people are breaking the law, they should be stopped and ticketed.

 

If they aren't breaking any laws they are safe.

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I'm not so sure any court in the US would recognize and unborn child as having "standing." That makes for an interesting question though.

yes I have brought this up before and you nailed it

 

if a failed abortion attempt lived, it would have standing, the SCOTUS would have to address the issue

 

"does the unborn child have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"

 

it does seem tho... if the father wanted to fight it, couldnt he sue on behalf of his unborn child ? or charge the mother and Dr with attempted murder...

 

to get an injunction and stop the abortion ?

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yes I have brought this up before and you nailed it

 

if a failed abortion attempt lived, it would have standing, the SCOTUS would have to address the issue

 

"does the unborn child have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"

 

it does seem tho... if the father wanted to fight it, couldnt he sue on behalf of his unborn child ?

 

to get an injunction and stop the abortion ?

obviously the fetus does have some rights to personhood under the law. scott peterson's conviction for double-murder proves that much.

i guess you can only legally kill a unborn kid if you have a PHD hanging on your wall.

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but anyway...back on topic......i think there's a bit of a difference in a police officer cruising around doing his supposed job of "protect and serve"

who happens to see someone breaking a traffic law then there is in the entrapment "lie in wait" scenario of checkpoints and speed traps just to fill

his damn quota of arrests or tickets. one is doing his job. the other just plain harassment for dubious reasons.

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but anyway...back on topic......i think there's a bit of a difference in a police officer cruising around doing his supposed job of "protect and serve"

who happens to see someone breaking a traffic law then there is in the entrapment "lie in wait" scenario of checkpoints and speed traps just to fill

his damn quota of arrests or tickets. one is doing his job. the other just plain harassment for dubious reasons.

thats all the chp's do here, 2 lane open roads, they will sit just out of sight, on a downgrade right after a passing lane where we hit 90+.

 

then they get someone, write em for 75+, last one cost me $300 w traffic school (65+ in a 55)

 

then the cop just moves up to the next hiding spot. no warnings unless you are out of state,

they usually slide...

 

they dont allow radar detectors, the roads are also patrolled by aircraft

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