Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Federal Judge Rules: It's OK for Drivers to Warn Fellow Motorists of Speed Traps

Let there be light, a federal judge ruled. 
A trial judge in St. Louis this week held that drivers have a First Amendment right to flash their headlights to warn oncoming vehicles about speed traps ahead. 
The case involved a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri on behalf of a driver who was pulled over and ticketed in the City of Ellisville for flashing his lights after passing a radar trap.
The driver, Michael Elli, was accused of “[f]lashing lights on certain vehicles . . . warning of RADAR ahead,” according to court papers. He faced a fine up to $1,000 as well as points on his license. 
After Mr. Elli pleaded not guilty to the moving violation, the city dropped the charge. But he filed suit anyway, accusing the city of violating his constitutional rights. 
The city’s police department told the court that it had already stopped going after headlight-flashing drivers, but U.S. District Judge Henry Autrey didn’t think that was a good enough assurance. On Monday, he ordered the city to stop punishing drivers for flickering their high beams.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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