Florida is facing a class-action lawsuit from drivers who have been ticketed for attempting to warn other motorists of hidden speed traps. According to WTSP 10 News, Eric Campbell was recently cited for just that, despite the fact that there is no law against using one's headlights to communicate with other drivers. The officer who ticketed Campbell used Florida State Statute 316.2397, even though the courts ruled that the police were wrongfully applying the law to crack down on vehicle-to-vehicle communication in 2005. Now Campbell wants his $100 ticket refunded and $15,000 in damages.

Since 2005, over 10,429 drivers have been cited for flashing their high beams, and if Campbell wins his case, Florida could be facing over $1 million in ticket refunds. But that's nothing compared to the $156.4 million the state could have to pay out if each driver is awarded $15,000 each. Hit the jump to take a look at news report on the lawsuit.



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  • 1355 Comments
      NightFlight
      • 3 Years Ago
      I always, ALWAYS flash my highbeams to warn oncoming traffic of an upcoming speed trap. I had no idea that you could get a ticket for that, that's ridiculous. So do they ticket motorists and truckets communicating the same thing on CB radios??? Come on now....
      kericr
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm a Floridian, and I've said this before, but it bears repeating here: in Florida, the single biggest thing the police could do to make our roads safer is to simply enforce the existing laws currently on the books. Florida LEAs however, make it a point to enforce exactly two laws: Speeding and Red Light running, since those are the biggest revenue draws. I hope this goes to trial, I hope FHP loses, and I hope the judge awards maximum punitive damages to the plaintiffs, because the mentality isn't going to change.
        Jason
        • 3 Years Ago
        @kericr
        Floridian here too, and what I wish the cops would enforce is the not using a turn signal when changing lanes, and for changing lanes in the middle of an intersection. Both of these happen constantly creating way more danger and near accidents than speeding.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      James Scott
      • 3 Years Ago
      Solution to Florida's ticket problem. For every ticket that gets thrown out moving forward (these ones in the lawsuit get included too) gets deducted from the officers pay that wrote the ticket. This will help insure that every ticket written is lawful and legitimate or else there will be consequences that will get the officers attention as much as a lawful one will for the motorist.
      Kiiks
      • 3 Years Ago
      If the whole premise behind speed traps (and indeed speed limits) is in the interest of public safety, (speed kills, remember?) then communicative motorists that encourage their fellow drivers to slow down are, in fact, attempting to achieve the same goal right? Either way, this case could set a major legal precedent.
      Jonathan Arena
      • 3 Years Ago
      When is someone going to campaign to have our speeding laws changed so the police can choose to generate revenue from a violation that actually correlates with driving safety- like being on your cell while driving.
      Vien Huynh
      • 3 Years Ago
      So freedom of speech is violated eh? I would support the motorists in this case. Dam it FL
      Fonin
      • 3 Years Ago
      the interstate system in Georgia and Florida are both littered with speed traps. Most people travelling within Florida are not actually residents, they are tourists or partial-year-residents. By ticketing out-of-towners, you're less likely to get them to come back and fight the tkt. try driving down 95 or 75 in GA with a FL plate, you are asking to get pulled over if you are not 100% obeying every law, regardless of what goes on around you. The state police know you are just passing through. These states use speed traps and speed limit changes to generate revenue from the non-locals.
        WillieD
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Fonin
        I never have problems with speed traps in GA, but then again I am from GA.
      lanz096
      • 3 Years Ago
      Police have been doing that for years, in many states. Maybe it's time citizens started looking up their own state's law. Police bank on us not knowing the laws, so they can take full advantage of our pocket books, and fill their quotas.
      Autoblogist
      • 3 Years Ago
      I hope he wins, pure police state nonsense.
      Michael Gentsch
      • 3 Years Ago
      Let's face it, speeding tickets and most other moving violations are not about public safety, they are about fundraising. If someone tells you that isn't true, ask them why then do the number of tickets issued always increase during bad economic times when other sources of government revenue decrease?
      hi bev
      • 3 Years Ago
      I live in Florida and I do at times flash my lights to warn people. I also have seen police cruisers not using directional signals and speeding down streets when they don't have their lights on so I doubt they are going to a specific area on police business. I have also seen police cruisers cut people off and tail gate drivers. I'm sure these things are done in every state but since this is about Florida and I have seen these things myself I thought I would mention it
        hi bev
        • 3 Years Ago
        @hi bev
        A friend of mine who is a state trooper in another state was visiting recently and he flashed his lights to let a car know that police were near radaring. I asked him about it and he said this = Police would rather others warn cars to slow down because at least that way they slow down and that is what we want in the first place.
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