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Headlight Flashing (Cops/Radar Ahead) Faces Free Speech Test in Court

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posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 01:15 PM

Taking Liberties: Bright Lights, Big Trouble

Erich Campbell thought he was being helpful. The Florida Highway patrolman thought he was being obnoxious and disrespectful and gave him a $101 fine. "I couldn’t believe it,” said Campbell as he paced next to Veterans Highway in Tampa, Fla. “I was in complete disbelief.” Campbell’s crime? He flashed his headlights to alert oncoming cars after passing that patrolman’s speed trap. “It’s something I do,” he explained. "I don’t think it should be against the law."

In December 2009, the patrolman was set up on the southbound side of Route 589 near the Tampa International Airport. In a recording of the stop, the officer told Campbell he had seen his lights flashing. “It’s illegal,” he said before giving him a ticket that read “improper flashing of high-beams.”

Campbell eventually got the ticket dismissed, but he recently filed a class-action lawsuit against the state over writing similar citations. Why?

Campbell estimates 2,600 other “highbeam-helpers” received summonses between 2005 and 2010. He says most simply chose to pay their fines. “Someone has to stand up,” he says, referring to the tickets as a “huge money-maker” for the state, not to mention a "blatant violation of the right to free speech.” “I have the right to communicate with my fellow drivers,” he said. “That’s my right.” Guaranteed, he said, by the U.S. Constitution.

COPS View of things:

“He is aiding law-breakers,” said Ruskin. “He is warning people who are speeding to slow down. His intent is to impede the police.” It’s a point Campbell says is impossible to prove. “I may simply not like speeders and am telling others to slow down. They can’t prove my intent.”


Now, this is a good one. The guy has a point and a a 2nd point-the cops use this "rule/law" to generate money-although not really brought out in the Fox piece. I first heard about this a month or so ago and there was a better write up to as to why he won the case. I will look for it. But, in the mean time, lets chat.

Why? Because almost everyone who drives had flashed his/hers lights at some point-or will. IMO.

So, here is the FL Law the cop used to cite the man:

The ticket was issued under “Florida Statue 316.2397.” Presumably, the officer was thinking of subsection 7:

(7) Flashing lights are prohibited on vehicles except as a means of indicating a right or left turn, to change lanes, or to indicate that the vehicle is lawfully stopped or disabled upon the highway or except that the lamps authorized in subsections (1), (2), (3), (4), and (9) and s. 316.235(5) are permitted to flash.. The news piece then noted:
Notably, flashing lights does not necessary cover putting on your highbeams as a warning. Indeed, flashing lights could refer to the automatic flashers such as the emergency lights as opposed to the headlights.

So, see why the guy won it. I don't think it was on his arguement but the letter of the law.... or due to the poorly worded law.

Here is some more with direct info from the driver (with video):

I hope he wins and this starts something across the USA.

edit on 10/13/2011 by anon72 because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 01:21 PM
Its taking money from the states pocket, right or wrong it will probably be up held, can't have citizens cheating the state of its due...

IM aslo reminded of the recent post of cops ticketing people honking in support of the protest... I remember when I honked and flashed my lights at the flags and signs people held after 911, who knew i was breaking the law.
edit on 13-10-2011 by benrl because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 01:32 PM
Actually just did this yesterday to alert drivers of a bike cop hiding in an unusual spot.

Seems like it would serve the agenda of the officers, which is to slow down speeders .

That is the agenda right?

posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 01:42 PM
reply to post by sixswornsermon

The cops are there for enforcement not prevention, despite what they say, just look at the drug policy, thats all about being punitive.
edit on 13-10-2011 by benrl because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 01:52 PM
On one hand he is aiding the police by slowing traffic in it self . Do the police not encourage the general public to help make the streets safer ? Even encourage block watch programs to exist due to their lack of officers . Radar traps , can be seen as the cash cow for the police . Multinova radar cameras probably would have solved the police issues if the area has a high volume of speeders .

The ticket goes to the registered owner of the vehicle and not directly to the person operating the vehicle .

posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 01:53 PM
they expect you to snitch on criminals but when you snitch on them they fine you. its just a common courtesy to other drivers to slow down and avoid having your money stolen by the police for going 1 mph over the speed limit.

most speeders arent' racing 90 mph around the suburbs, but are following the flow of traffic.

posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 02:01 PM
Well, just learned something new. I didn't know about flashing lights in warning of police. I was told it was illegal here, but I still do it when someone forgets to dim theirs coming at me at night.

Good for him for not only fighting the ticket, but the law itself!
edit on 13-10-2011 by chiefsmom because: add

posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 02:02 PM
i rarely speed but thats from driving for a good ten years without a drivers license. lol

edit on 13-10-2011 by InshaAllah because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 02:18 PM
1) His right to to do that was great, I do it on the Glenn Hwy in Alaska on a regular basis

2)That cop can choke on a donut!

If a cop was to pull me over, Like I do, always express myself fully in OPINIONS, it will piss them off beyond belief, but I tell you, that when and officer knows that you know you constitutional rights, they will back down and let you go, they are after all the incompetent, low educated, retarded, drug using, weak Americans they can find. Sadly, the theory of Darwinism still exist in are Great country.

I cop/trooper up here can drive by (blind....I mean ignore)somebody drunk, mugging, or assault, to go a another case called by their dispatcher or Chief. I have been in the past let of with Drugs, DUI, because of a shooting, was when I was a teenager. Two months ago I called in about a break in at my neighbor's house, took them over three hours to show up from their three miles post away, I had a couple of drinks, w my girlfriend, loaded my 9mm and investigated.... to my surprise, the cops were being total di#$@s to me for being a good and curious neighbor. lucky for them they Identified themselves, I may have been lucky enough to deplete their A$#'s, One was laughing and got a handshake, But OFFICER PELTIER, I think your ARE a Low Educated State Worker, You need to be for the people, Not out for them, If I catch you on my Property again, I let you now know, you are not welcome, Reply if your on this website, maybe I'll accept your apology
I'm all for depopulation, but we as the people of America need to start with Law Enforcements, and politicians, then the rich have nothing to rely on, then lets light their streets up in rage and take our country Back!

PAECE to MY Brother's and Sisters, btw my Friend that's a State Trooper down the street bought a bag pot from from me, I have his name and sale on VOICE RECORDER from my droid, DL on my and friend computers, waiting for the day I get off something ehhh, Leverage can save your life, remember always to use your Potential, and Constitutional rights, there are reasons out Fathers gave us

posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 02:33 PM
reply to post by watchdog8110


Do the police not encourage the general public to help make the streets safer ? Even encourage block watch programs to exist due to their lack of officers .

Darn good point. Hmmmm. I wonder if he used that line of defense in his arguement to the court?

I am going to put that one in my back pocket.......

posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 03:06 PM
reply to post by watchdog8110

I remember the reaction of some officers when informed about the app that plots speed traps.

They said if it serves to slow the speed of traffic, then it was fine with them.

posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 07:34 PM
It's what we do here in Texas also, or in daylight an OBVIOUS two fingers up like a peace sign in daylight servves the same purpose. I too have heard it is illegal here too but I do it anyway...

The way I see it is if I signal a speeder he slows down, like many other posters above me... Isn't that what the actual reason for posting patrols on the highways? Wait... who am I kidding... It's always about the (not so) mighty Greenback Dollar! ALWAYS!!!

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