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(Yahoo)   Lawsuit to test whether flashing headlights to warn other drivers of a speedtrap is protected under the 1st amendment   (news.yahoo.com) divider line 154
    More: Interesting, 1st amendment, professional services, obstruction of justice, headlights, flashing headlights, miscarriage of justice, National Constitution Center  
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10090 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Jul 2013 at 2:09 PM (39 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-15 01:04:36 PM
braexplosion.com

What flashing headlights might look like.
 
2013-07-15 01:21:03 PM
I have a federally-issued license that allows me to transmit on all frequencies above 275 GHz with no restrictions.  Visible light has a frequency range of 400,000 GHz to 789,000 GHz, so it would appear that I'm covered.

I'll just make sure to flash "CQ DE [my callsign]" in Morse code.
 
2013-07-15 01:22:34 PM

dittybopper: I have a federally-issued license that allows me to transmit on all frequencies above 275 GHz with no restrictions.  Visible light has a frequency range of 400,000 GHz to 789,000 GHz, so it would appear that I'm covered.

I'll just make sure to flash "CQ DE [my callsign]" in Morse code.


Interestingly, I'm also allowed to transmit on some of the frequencies used by police radar.  Maybe I should wire up a mobile beacon...
 
2013-07-15 01:56:25 PM
Huh... wonder if one'll ever try to pull me over for tapping the top of my helmet.
 
2013-07-15 02:08:19 PM

dittybopper: I have a federally-issued license that allows me to transmit on all frequencies above 275 GHz with no restrictions.  Visible light has a frequency range of 400,000 GHz to 789,000 GHz, so it would appear that I'm covered.

I'll just make sure to flash "CQ DE [my callsign]" in Morse code.


If this case goes south in court, please to get in trouble for this and see if that works. No really, if I have the funds at the time I'll pitch in for your legal defense.
 
2013-07-15 02:13:00 PM
TFA makes the law seem pretty settled. Cops can't write you a ticket for that, and you can't win a lawsuit against them if they do. Note that prosecutors dropped the charges, because they knew the cops were wrong.
 
2013-07-15 02:14:00 PM
The whole point is to slow down traffic and thus makes roads safer, right?  Whether it's citations or radar cops or flashing headlights, does it matter how we are safer?
/Revenue.
 
2013-07-15 02:14:10 PM
I'll be doing it regardless.

I figure I should get a medal for helping to keep the roads safe.
 
2013-07-15 02:14:53 PM
It used to be so common to warn folks.

I think I am the only one still doing it. I never see others giving folks the heads up.
 
2013-07-15 02:15:48 PM
There was a deer in the road back there, i was warning oncoming traffic of a potential hazard. Prove there wasnt.
 
2013-07-15 02:16:22 PM
This has long been settled. The right of the police state trumps the rights of the individual in all cases. Which is why it is illegal to photograph or videotape police doing their job. The natural extension is that communicating anything about any police activity to anyone or even the ether is a punishable crime.
 
2013-07-15 02:17:30 PM
Wasn't this covered a long long time ago, I forgot if it ever went to the supreme court but whichever court ruled it was free speech.
 
2013-07-15 02:17:44 PM
Texas law specifically allows warning drivers that police are enforcing the rules of the road.
 
2013-07-15 02:18:01 PM
I only flash on the interstate. On smaller roads I do the "slow the fark down" hand wave out the window.
 
2013-07-15 02:18:20 PM
classconnection.s3.amazonaws.com
 
2013-07-15 02:18:22 PM

timujin: Huh... wonder if one'll ever try to pull me over for tapping the top of my helmet.


Sounds like an excuse to head to Deal's Gap. I've gone through on a weekend and counted 14 cop cars and a police helicopter. Helmet-tapping was rampant.
 
2013-07-15 02:18:24 PM

Lost Thought 00: This has long been settled. The right of the police state trumps the rights of the individual in all cases. Which is why it is illegal to photograph or videotape police doing their job. The natural extension is that communicating anything about any police activity to anyone or even the ether is a punishable crime.


It's legal in some states, and debatable in others.  Of course, in some places your dog might get shot.
 
2013-07-15 02:18:25 PM

kindms: It used to be so common to warn folks.

I think I am the only one still doing it. I never see others giving folks the heads up.


Nope, I still flash my lights, a trick I learned commuting from Little Rock to Redfield.
 
2013-07-15 02:18:48 PM

rkiller1: The whole point is to slow down traffic and thus makes roads safer, right?  Whether it's citations or radar cops or flashing headlights, does it matter how we are safer?
/Revenue.


Exactly.

It seems that some jurisdictions don't care- so long as you slow down, they're fine with it being the result of a headlight flash, radar detector, or whatever else.

Then there's the places in it for the money.

/Bought a Passport 9500ix and I keep my eyes open
//Don't speed recklessly anyway, just don't like surprises
 
2013-07-15 02:19:28 PM
I flash my headlights every 15-20 seconds. Folks simply drive too fast these days. I'm saving lives out there.
 
2013-07-15 02:20:04 PM

FullMetalPanda: Wasn't this covered a long long time ago, I forgot if it ever went to the supreme court but whichever court ruled it was free speech.



The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (highest criminal court) ruled that you can't be ticketed for shooting the finger at police.
 
2013-07-15 02:21:56 PM

kindms: It used to be so common to warn folks.

I think I am the only one still doing it. I never see others giving folks the heads up.


The way I see it, everyone else on the road is a douchebag and deserves to get a ticket. Fark 'em.
 
2013-07-15 02:22:39 PM
I don't even know why this is going before any court. It's happened a few times here in CT alone, and each and every time(that I'm aware of), it was thrown out with prejudice. Lawyer-type  cousin even pointed out recently at a dinner that there is no law here saying you can't, at all. "By the book", it's perfectly legal.

/one cop with a history of it, and a history of reprimand over it in court, was reassigned to desk duty for 2 years after 5 judicial complaints were brought against him in a matter of months back in '08(Litchfield Supreme Court, Connecticut).Dunno if he's still out there, I certainly havn't seen his short, roid-ragey ass in a few years(seriously, guy was like 5'8", and couldn't touch his hips. Must have forgot leg day...)

/riding the motorcycle is more fun, a tap on the helmet is the universal instead of flashing lights, most cagers don't know, though.
 
2013-07-15 02:23:45 PM
So the biggest problem I'm seeing is that cops will still write a ticket even though they're not supposed to. They know that, but they're banking on you not wanting to waste your time/money fighting it in the courts. And odds are, even if/when you win, you'll still have to pay the general court costs and pay with your time fighting it.

It's still a win/win for the officers, all they do is clog the courts up with stupid tickets like these and that doesn't affect them in the slightest.
 
2013-07-15 02:24:56 PM

BlackCat23: /riding the motorcycle is more fun, a tap on the helmet is the universal instead of flashing lights, most cagers don't know, though.


Huh, I always took it as the retarded man's wheelie
 
GBB
2013-07-15 02:25:15 PM
It is in Florida.  You can't be stopped for flashing your headlights.  But, they make a distinction between flashing as a warning, and flashing to impersonate LEO, just so there is no confusion.(?)
 
2013-07-15 02:25:42 PM
I'm pretty sure that in court, the law says that you have the right to do this.  But legal or not, we all know the cops won't like it, and that they can then do things like write you tickets for no seatbelt (you have no way to prove you were wearing it) or changing lanes without a signal, or whatever.

Honestly, back when I started driving people did this all the time, but now, it's rare.
 
2013-07-15 02:26:44 PM
By warning people you're just taking low hanging fruit off of your city's dinner table. Why do hate bloated local government?
 
2013-07-15 02:26:46 PM

mbillips: TFA makes the law seem pretty settled. Cops can't write you a ticket for that, and you can't win a lawsuit against them if they do. Note that prosecutors dropped the charges, because they knew the cops were wrong.


Lost Thought 00: This has long been settled. The right of the police state trumps the rights of the individual in all cases. Which is why it is illegal to photograph or videotape police doing their job. The natural extension is that communicating anything about any police activity to anyone or even the ether is a punishable crime.


Regulations regarding use of lights while on public roads are there for a reason.  Strobing lights is against the rules because it is reserved for official emergency vehicles only.  Same goes with green- and blue-tinted lights.

The ticket as-issued was total BS, because Obstruction specifically only applies to criminal investigations underway.  Speed traps are neither crime-related, nor an "investigation" so yeah,t he prosecutor was right to drop charges.

However, regarding the idiot and his "First Amendment Rights", see above about restrictions on vehicle equipment and the use thereof.  He's going to lose this CA suit, and he's going to look like an idiot in the process.  You have every right to speak in public, but you do not have a right to violate motoring regulations.  It's a civil issue, not a criminal one, and seeing as operating a vehicle is not a right, but a privilege bound by hundreds of rules and regulations (obeying speed limits, signalling, maintaining a properly working vehicle, etc.), he's got no leg to stand on.  The cop was actually within his power to write a ticket for the strobing lights, but not for obstruction.  He failed to write the correct ticket, so the driver gets off.  The cop was a dick, and the driver is an idiot.

You don't have the right to operate your vehicle however you damn-well please on public roads.  Break the rules and you'll either be fined or lose the privilege.

/yes, I speed
//not a hypocrite, because I accept any penalties I might incur for my behavior
///I do try to keep it sane though... ;)
 
2013-07-15 02:27:01 PM

syberpud: Which is why it is illegal to photograph or videotape police doing their job.


It is now legal in ALL states, as per DOJ ruling:  http://images.politico.com/global/2013/03/08/garcia_doj_soi_03-04-13. h tml

The U.S. Justice Department says it is now "settled law" that anyone is allowed to record or photograph police officers in public.  A statement of interest - a legal term for when an agency or organization has a stake in the outcome of a trial, but not direct involvement - filed by the Justice Department this week in the case of,  upholds the right of individuals to photograph police under the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.


Now, whether the assbags in blue(not that all of them are, just the assbags), follow the law is another story all together.
 
2013-07-15 02:28:37 PM

dittybopper: I have a federally-issued license that allows me to transmit on all frequencies above 275 GHz with no restrictions.  Visible light has a frequency range of 400,000 GHz to 789,000 GHz, so it would appear that I'm covered.

I'll just make sure to flash "CQ DE [my callsign]" in Morse code.


I'm thinking that there's an 'except for purposes to commit a crime'-type restriction that both nullifies your transmission authority and would get your license yanked.  Obviously that would apply if your transmissions were facilitating a bank robbery or a kidnapping.

Alerting oncoming motorists to slow down - Not So Obvious.

Short version: Anything the government can license it can forbid.
 
2013-07-15 02:29:30 PM

rkiller1: The whole point is to slow down traffic and thus makes roads safer, right?  Whether it's citations or radar cops or flashing headlights, does it matter how we are safer?
/Revenue.


I 100% agree rkiller1. However, that is assuming it is concerning traffic and not observing passersby looking for a vehicle used in a kidnapping or crime etc. When you pass an officer on the road you have absolutely no idea why he is there. You flash your lights at every oncoming vehicle and the kidnapper/whatever turns around because of it, you yourself are guilt of aiding and abetting. You may possibly get someone killed. Pretty slim chance of that happening as I described, but it is certainly not beyond the realm of possibility. Why take the chance?
 
2013-07-15 02:30:00 PM

scottydoesntknow: BlackCat23: /riding the motorcycle is more fun, a tap on the helmet is the universal instead of flashing lights, most cagers don't know, though.

Huh, I always took it as the retarded man's wheelie


You should see the weird looks I get from people in cars. If I see them just look at me all "derp", I just flash my light, and hope they get it.

Now, the retarded man's wheelie is doing one right in front of the barracks....

/though, honestly, to get in trouble with the cops on a bike around here, you have to be doing something EXCEPTIONALLY stupid. I've seen people stunting past cops, and they just don't care up here. They just figure they'll scrape  you off the side of the road later.
 
2013-07-15 02:30:28 PM
Why would I care to warn you?  50% of you voted for Obama.  I HOPE you get a ticket.

*runs*
 
2013-07-15 02:30:47 PM

Damnaged: dittybopper: I have a federally-issued license that allows me to transmit on all frequencies above 275 GHz with no restrictions.  Visible light has a frequency range of 400,000 GHz to 789,000 GHz, so it would appear that I'm covered.

I'll just make sure to flash "CQ DE [my callsign]" in Morse code.

If this case goes south in court, please to get in trouble for this and see if that works. No really, if I have the funds at the time I'll pitch in for your legal defense.


Actually, in my state, it's legal to flash oncoming drivers to warn them of the police.   The state's highest court has so ruled, so I'm good.
 
2013-07-15 02:32:48 PM

Terrydatroll: When you pass an officer on the road you have absolutely no idea why he is there.


He was bullied in high school?
 
2013-07-15 02:33:18 PM

BlackCat23: syberpud: Which is why it is illegal to photograph or videotape police doing their job.

It is now legal in ALL states, as per DOJ ruling:  http://images.politico.com/global/2013/03/08/garcia_doj_soi_03-04-13. h tml

The U.S. Justice Department says it is now "settled law" that anyone is allowed to record or photograph police officers in public.  A statement of interest - a legal term for when an agency or organization has a stake in the outcome of a trial, but not direct involvement - filed by the Justice Department this week in the case of,  upholds the right of individuals to photograph police under the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.


Now, whether the assbags in blue(not that all of them are, just the assbags), follow the law is another story all together.



fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihd.net


One of the more entertaining websites I've stumbled across recently:   PINAC
 
2013-07-15 02:34:13 PM
....to test wether flashing headlights......
hot92and100.com

(click)

Is flashing your car's headlights.......

1000awesomethings.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-07-15 02:36:44 PM
The answer is to make a regulation that a flash has a certain meaning, such as warning another road user of your presence. Like sounding the audible warning instrument.

Then the offence of inappropriate use of that warning would be committed, because anyone oncoming in good visibility can already see that you're there.

Simple. And it's not free speech because no-one spoke.
 
2013-07-15 02:36:45 PM
I flash them on some roads. For instane, west of albuquerque is a single lane highway that is essentially a state highway, but because it's not labeled as such, the make it a 50mph limit. It really should be a 60, so when I see a cop car behind me, I'll flash oncoming traffic to warn them. Mind you, the cops, state troopers, and sheriffs in the area never pull people for doing 60. I still make sure to warn them in case one of the law is having a shiatty day.
 
2013-07-15 02:36:50 PM

DirtyDeadGhostofEbenezerCooke: dittybopper: I have a federally-issued license that allows me to transmit on all frequencies above 275 GHz with no restrictions.  Visible light has a frequency range of 400,000 GHz to 789,000 GHz, so it would appear that I'm covered.

I'll just make sure to flash "CQ DE [my callsign]" in Morse code.

I'm thinking that there's an 'except for purposes to commit a crime'-type restriction that both nullifies your transmission authority and would get your license yanked.  Obviously that would apply if your transmissions were facilitating a bank robbery or a kidnapping.

Alerting oncoming motorists to slow down - Not So Obvious.

Short version: Anything the government can license it can forbid.


Fair enough, but the frequencies above 275 GHz are unallocated, and thus are available for unlicensed use, so I'd still be covered, and so are you.
 
2013-07-15 02:38:19 PM
s1.cdn.autoevolution.com
 
2013-07-15 02:40:53 PM

syberpud: Lost Thought 00: This has long been settled. The right of the police state trumps the rights of the individual in all cases. Which is why it is illegal to photograph or videotape police doing their job. The natural extension is that communicating anything about any police activity to anyone or even the ether is a punishable crime.

It's legal in some states, and debatable in others.  Of course, in some places your dog might get shot.


In theory, states don't get to have their own separate definitions freedom of speech, because the Supreme Court has long interpreted the 14th Amendment to mean states have to respect the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights. Any violation of those rights is potentially a federal case.
 
2013-07-15 02:42:13 PM

BlackCat23: syberpud: Which is why it is illegal to photograph or videotape police doing their job.

It is now legal in ALL states, as per DOJ ruling:  http://images.politico.com/global/2013/03/08/garcia_doj_soi_03-04-13. h tml

The U.S. Justice Department says it is now "settled law" that anyone is allowed to record or photograph police officers in public.  A statement of interest - a legal term for when an agency or organization has a stake in the outcome of a trial, but not direct involvement - filed by the Justice Department this week in the case of,  upholds the right of individuals to photograph police under the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.


Now, whether the assbags in blue(not that all of them are, just the assbags), follow the law is another story all together.


They can still shoot your dog for doing it though.
 
2013-07-15 02:44:43 PM

Kraftwerk Orange: BlackCat23: syberpud: Which is why it is illegal to photograph or videotape police doing their job.

It is now legal in ALL states, as per DOJ ruling:  http://images.politico.com/global/2013/03/08/garcia_doj_soi_03-04-13. h tml

The U.S. Justice Department says it is now "settled law" that anyone is allowed to record or photograph police officers in public.  A statement of interest - a legal term for when an agency or organization has a stake in the outcome of a trial, but not direct involvement - filed by the Justice Department this week in the case of,  upholds the right of individuals to photograph police under the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.


Now, whether the assbags in blue(not that all of them are, just the assbags), follow the law is another story all together.


[fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihd.net image 160x160]


One of the more entertaining websites I've stumbled across recently:   PINAC


I go out at lot, very late at night(well after midnight, insomnia is a biatch like that), and I take pictures, usually crappy, but out of the few hundred I take, there's going to be some good ones. Anyway, that website has been on my phone for a long time, and while the cops in the area(NW CT)are generally very nice and very professional, I've had to point out a few times that, even at 3am, I am doing nothing wrong, and what they are doing constitutes harassment, and not only are they being recorded by my cellphone(on my motorcycle mount), buy I hit record on the camera as soon as they pull up. After that, I usually have no problems, they just ask me to stay off private property and are on their way.

/the EFF also has a very useful website for such matters, but I'm about to run out and can't dig it from my bookmarks at the moment.
 
2013-07-15 02:51:14 PM

mcreadyblue: BlackCat23: syberpud: Which is why it is illegal to photograph or videotape police doing their job.

It is now legal in ALL states, as per DOJ ruling:  http://images.politico.com/global/2013/03/08/garcia_doj_soi_03-04-13. h tml

The U.S. Justice Department says it is now "settled law" that anyone is allowed to record or photograph police officers in public.  A statement of interest - a legal term for when an agency or organization has a stake in the outcome of a trial, but not direct involvement - filed by the Justice Department this week in the case of,  upholds the right of individuals to photograph police under the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.


Now, whether the assbags in blue(not that all of them are, just the assbags), follow the law is another story all together.

They can still shoot your dog for doing it though.


I own a pitbull, this has always been a huge fear of mine. FORTUNATAELY, my local PD is well trained on agressive dog tactics(due to some incidents a few years back that got them sued to hell and back), and really, every cop that has met my dog has been nothing but kind and good with her, even though she's very hyper(not agressive, just "LOVE ME RIGHT NOW, NOW LET ME LOVE YOU. RIGHT NOW."). I always feared that if I moved, and I had to deal with another police force, they'd kill her because her first thing she does when a new persson is around is run right up to them. Not jump on them, just run up, wiggle at their feet, and wait for the pettings. In a lot of places, that would be a 9mm to her skull :\
 
2013-07-15 02:52:27 PM

rkiller1: The whole point is to slow down traffic and thus makes roads safer, right?  Whether it's citations or radar cops or flashing headlights, does it matter how we are safer?
/Revenue.


Generally, getting a ticket (or the threat of getting a ticket) is going to slow you down more than simply avoiding a speed trap would.

That said, I'd rather they focused more on tailgaters and less on speeders, particularly the asshats tailgating me in the right lane on a 3 lane highway when I'm already doing 5 over.
 
2013-07-15 02:53:40 PM
createdbyrcw.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-07-15 02:53:47 PM
How about you just stop speeding?
 
2013-07-15 02:53:56 PM

timujin: Huh... wonder if one'll ever try to pull me over for tapping the top of my helmet.


Call off the jam!
 
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