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A judge in Florida ruled on Tuesday that flashing one's headlights to warn other drivers of speed traps set by police is protected by the First Amendment.

Ryan Kintner of Lake Mary, Fla. was pulled over and cited by a police officer in an unmarked car for doing just that. Kintner was at home when he saw a deputy park along a street and being using his radar gun. He got in his car, drove a little ways away and parked his vehicle so he could flash his lights at oncoming traffic to warn them.

He was stopped shortly after doing so and fined $166 for "improper flashing of lights."

Kintner, however, was not going down without a fight. He took his case to court, suing the Seminole County Sheriff's Office, with Attorney J. Marcus Jones arguing that "You're completely in your rights to flash your headlights. Flashing your headlights is expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment. By issuing a citation, monetary fine for that conduct you've breached the First Amendment rights."

The judge agreed that the officer misapplied a law meant to ban motorists from flashing after-market emergency lights and ruled that the law does not apply to people using headlights as a form of communication. Thus, the court decided, citing Kintner was, in fact, a violation of one of his Constitutionally-protected rights.

Jones has filed a similar suit in Tallahassee aimed at the entire Florida Highway Patrol, which has agreed to stop citing drivers for flashing their headlights until litigation is complete.

"This stuff is fun," said Jones after Tuesday's hearing.



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  • 67 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      A person who wants to warn others of a speed trap by flashing headlight of his/her vehicle at motorists was ticketed by police... read full article here, http://www.geekscover.com/2012/05/flashing-headlights-constitutionally-protected-right/
      • 3 Years Ago
      The problem with Jones doing this is it could impede police from catching criminals by warning them & thus avoiding the police patrol (i.e. patrol car staked out to catch a kidnapper reported driving in an area direction. It also obstructs officers from enforcing the law. What a JackAsp!!!
      nance11434
      • 2 Years Ago
      I thought the reason to stop speeders was to slow them down before someone is endangered. I've always felt that flashing my lights to other vehicles who are going too fast, has the same results. Of course, I'm not trying to make any money, just trying to make the road a little safer!
      hartchase
      • 2 Years Ago
      with all the new crappy laws enacted nationwide it seems some of the police depts around the country do not mind breaching the constitution , gettin balsy....aren`t they ? they do not own the country....their job is to serve and protect . and thats all .........period . don`t they have better things to do any damn ways.....like arresting real criminals ?
      • 3 Years Ago
      If you are rich, if you are lonely, g00gle “lovewealthy”, you can find you in the boundless huge crowd soul mate!Slowing that person down now may even save your life next week or one of your children or another family member. When one gets a ticket three times in a year he has a tendency to slow down to keep his license.
      yozi2
      • 2 Years Ago
      Let's cut the bull. Cops write tickets for revenue. Period!
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's about time that police abuse of power is scaled back a little.
      • 3 Years Ago
      If a person is driving over the speed limit they deserve a ticket. Lots of people want to speed including me sometimes, but like in other areas the fear of law enforcement limits lawlessness. Slowing that person down now may even save your life next week or one of your children or another family member. When one gets a ticket three times in a year he has a tendency to slow down to keep his license. If not then his license needs to be taken. People who do things at the cost of other people's lives need to be stopped. So why should I warn them. Or you for that matter.
      gojoe1402
      • 2 Years Ago
      HEY, IF YOU SPEEDING YOU NEED A TICKET. (LET THE LADY GO) BUT I AGREE WITH POLICE ABOUT SPEEDERS, DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT LIMIT MEANS IT MEANS THAT IS AS FASE AS YOU CAN GO (HELLO)
      georgementor
      • 3 Years Ago
      Cops are the biggest law breakers on the road, but they get away with it.
      MARIA
      • 2 Years Ago
      Considering my age I find the situation amusing.....I grew up in a country that had a "dictator"....we advised incoming cars of the cops waiting for some poor duck with the same signal...blink your lights... .and we did not have freedom of speech!!!!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Stupid lazy cops- the only better job for them is babysitting road crews.
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