Originally Posted by Orlando Sentinal
Happend to the host of Motoring TV a few years ago.
Toronto man is upset he was ticketed for flashing his headlights to tip off oncoming drivers of a radar speed trap, especially since police admit the act is not illegal.
Brad Diamond was recently driving in the city's east end when he noticed a speed trap nailing drivers heading in the other direction. After he flashed his high beams to warn oncoming vehicles, a police officer pulled him over.
"I said, 'I wasn't speeding,' and he said, 'You were flicking your lights,'" Diamond, producer of TSN's Motoring 2008, told CTV Toronto.
"I said, 'So? What's the problem?' and he said, 'It's against the law.'"
Diamond was fined $110 for the "prohibited use of high beams contrary to the Highway Traffic Act section 169 (2)," his ticket read.
The section actually reads "No person shall use highbeam headlamps that produce alternating flashes of white light on any vehicle other than a vehicle referred to in subsection 1 (emergency vehicles)."
Diamond went to court to fight the ticket. On his second appearance, the prosecutor withdrew the charge, saying police had no evidence.
Sgt. Brian Bowman isn't sure why the officer laid the charge because the act isn't illegal.
"There is no law against warning about police operating a radar location," he told CTV Toronto.
Bowman said even flashing your lights at other drivers isn't necessarily a bad thing. "If a motorist is warning another motorist to slow down, really, we're on the same team, so I don't find that problematic," he said.
A police superintendent told CTV Toronto no officer should be issuing tickets for this act, but until the service receives a formal complaint, no investigation will be launched.
Diamond, meanwhile, is still upset because he saw other drivers in court charged with the same offence. He said the ordeal cost him both time and money.
"Our officers should be out there in their cruisers serving and protecting, rather than, in this case, harassing and fleecing Torontonians," he said.
nice... though i noticed outside the midwest this friendly driver tact is not practiced as much.
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A friend in law school years ago showed me the statute the police cite in CT for "misuse of lights" when issuing a ticket. The statute is against people putting police or fire-style light bars on their cars. It has nothing to do with flashing lights for a speed trap. If fought, the case will be thrown out.
There was a case exactly like this in Franklin, TN several years ago. I am surprised that it is not common knowledge in the LE community.
^ see the story third down on that link.
I got pulled over and hassled for it by a state trooper. He never mentioned the flashing beams, but he must have been working tandem with another trooper and saw me doing it. I was warning on-coming traffic about the guy in the median when another cruiser rushed up to my rear-left blind spot and shadowed me for about two miles. He finally hit his strobes and pulled me over. I was cited for no front plate.
That's fine, I know that I take my chances by not wearing a plate on the front bumper. Just warning everyone that legal or not, if they see you doing something they don't like, you'd better make sure that all of your other 't's are crossed and your 'i's are dotted because they'll find another way to screw with you.
I got the ticket dismissed but it was kind of a pain.
Truckers with CB radios have been doing this for years with no problem from the smokies. There is verbal and visual communication (speech) and several more forms of it, all protected more or less by the U.S. Constitution's first amendment I expect.
Any cop with more than a half an ounce of brain cells will understand that anything that extends his sphere of influence is helpful to his purpose for being employed unless he really does want to generate revenue.
Several years ago I got a ticket for doing just this. In the NJ driving manual, one of the things it says you should do when about to overtake a car, is flash your lights. When I went to court, that's exactly what I said I was doing. I said that after flashing my lights, I decided not to pass the car in front of me, because there was a car coming in the other direction. The judge dismissed the case.
i always wait to flash my lights until i'm out of the police's field of vision.they seem to watch you to see if you warn others
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I've recently grown tired of the "wigwag" feature some two wheelerss have affixed to their headlights. Mostly harley/cruiser riders...but goddamn it is aggravating if they are behind you.
As an aside, I DO like a few taillights I have seen - looks like swapped-in LED units that, after the brake has been applied for a few seconds, has the outer portion blink even brighter...bike taillights can be difficult, even when you are really looking for them.
This sounds awesome, I need to look into this!As an aside, I DO like a few taillights I have seen - looks like swapped-in LED units that, after the brake has been applied for a few seconds, has the outer portion blink even brighter...bike taillights can be difficult, even when you are really looking for them.
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