Count this one as a big victory for motorists. A Florida man has won his First Amendment case against the Seminole County Sheriff's Office, who wrongfully ticketed him for flashing his lights to warn other drivers of a speed trap. According to the Orlando Sentinel, a Circuit Court judge not only said that the deputy who ticketed Ryan Kintner had misapplied a state law banning aftermarket flashing emergency lights, but also ruled that flashing your lights to communicate with other drivers qualifies as constitutionally protected speech.

But this victory for Kintner is just a stepping stone towards a larger case. According to the report, his attorney has filed a class action lawsuit that charges the Florida Highway Patrol with willfully violating a 2005 court order prohibiting the police from ticketing motorists for flashing their brights. The report says that case has a hearing scheduled for next month, so this is certainly not the last we'll hear on the issue.


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  • 97 Comments
      Johnny
      • 2 Years Ago
      When I was in high school, my town had the bright idea to install photo radar across the city via mobile units. It wouldn't have been so bad if the units used any sort of margin, instead of issuing tickets to anyone over the limit by one mph, which was well within the margin of error back then. A group of us made up large signs that said "Slow Down: Photo Radar Ahead" and stood a half mile down the road alerting motorists, a tactic that was not received well by local police. When the officer that brought me home informed my parents what I'd been doing, my dad smiled and said "Good!" Not the reaction the officer had been hoping for. Police don't like scrutiny of any sort, as past events have shown. In my experience, speed traps are of this sort are more about generating income than protecting lives and property. Alerting other motorists is fair game as far as I'm concerned, and I'll continue to do so whenever possible.
        Kai F. Lahmann
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Johnny
        I wonder, how a ticked can stand, if it's within the margin of error (which is btw. still a *lot* more than 1 mph).
      k_m94
      • 2 Years Ago
      I find it funny how the police want us to speed so bad that they tried making it a crime to friendly warn other drivers to slow down in advance, through a quick flash of the headlights. They find that the best easy money comes by adopting the douchey, arguably unsafe, "stealth" mode of attack, encouraging you to either blindly fall into their trap or slam the brakes dangerously at the last second. And 90% of their prey comes from cars just going the regular speed of traffic, which happens to be 10 mph faster than the limit sign in clear, safe conditions.
      leo
      • 2 Years Ago
      hell yeah bittttttttttttttccccccccccccccccchhhhhhhhesssssssssssssssssssss
      MONTEGOD7SS
      • 2 Years Ago
      Cops need money so they can buy APCs, to protect you. If speed traps are designed to slow people down (yeah right, they're money makers), then flashing your lights is accomplishing the same thing.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MONTEGOD7SS
        [blocked]
          jtav2002
          • 2 Years Ago
          Not saying that either would make the average speeding motorist slow down, but I'd think actually getting a fine/points on their license would do more to change their driving habits than slowing down when they see a cop then speeding up any time they don't see one.
        FIDTRO
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MONTEGOD7SS
        Well said.
      DKano
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is a great ruling! I got warned this morning about a cop standing on the side of the road with his lazer/radar gun.
      ZOZ
      • 2 Years Ago
      Great; this is wise man!
      Sire
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nice! Enough of these rogue cops citing anyone for whatever they feel. I do it when I can and help others keep more of their money.
      tomario.gotti
      • 2 Years Ago
      We need to have our freedoms restored. One small step for motorists, one step back for the short arm of the law.
      space
      • 2 Years Ago
      sweeeeet
      assassingtr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hats off to him. I love it when people stick it to the wrongful pigs.
      leo
      • 2 Years Ago
      the thing is when you flash to let them know there is a speed trap they actually slow down, so in essence you're at least making everyone more alert for a few miles or so this increases safety
      rhonda johnson
      • 2 Years Ago
      I got a WARNING ticket for doing this. Didn't stop me from doing it again. I flicked off an oncoming Sheriff's car! Right on! I hope he wins this! :} Brotherly & Sisterly love! LOL
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