• Feb 5th 2014 at 12:53PM
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A federal judge in St. Louis ruled Monday that a driver flashing their lights to warn other drivers of an impending speed trap is protected free speech.

On November 22, 2012 Michael Elli received a ticket for flashing his lights to warn fellow drivers of a speed trap, according to Fox 2. The American Civil Liberties Union helped Elli fight the $1,000 ticket all the way to federal court.

Judge Henry Autrey of St. Louis ruled a driver has the right to flash their lights under the First Amendment. Autrey issued an injunction to stop Ellisville Police from enforcing the policy.

"If you're at the gas station on the corner and someone says 'Hey be careful over there, there's a speed trap,' that's protected speech. You can't be ticketed for that. This is no different," Tony Rothert, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, told Fox 2.

A lawyer for the police in Ellisville said the department isn't affected by the ruling, as this kind of ticket has only been issued five or so times in the last decade. Across the country, however, the ruling will be considered the benchmark for such cases.


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  • 462 Comments
      agranon2
      • 1 Year Ago
      Cops are dirty, lying pieces of garbage. We need a movement to get rid of cops. And for you idiots that say, 'what would you do if you ever needed one' I've never called a stinky cop and I never will.
      • 1 Year Ago
      can that judge stop obamacare too lolol sorry every one take care
      davandsher
      • 1 Year Ago
      I have flashed the lights for years to warn of speed traps and hazards and would continue to do so even if it was unlawful to do.
      momsopenarea
      • 1 Year Ago
      Great ruling (for once!)! YEAH!!
      Mary Ann
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think warning someone of a speed trap could also prevent an accident by hopefully making people slow down.'
      mdog002
      • 1 Year Ago
      here is a tip and you don't need lights flashing for this one....if you are driving either north or south bound on the I-15 through Beaver County, Utah adhear to the speed limit...in fact 5 under is a pretty good policy for that 30 miles of road. The place is a speed trap conducted by the Sheriff's Department...sometimes working in pairs with radar and waving cars over....they build an incredible sheriff's office there with monster stainless steel lettering identifing the building as the S.O....I'm guessing due to all the fines collected....gotta admit it does tend to slow the folks down on that stretch of the road!!!!
      • 1 Year Ago
      hoooray for us ----im glad he won -----
      papam11
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ever see cops hiding on private property---to catch oncoming drivers for speeding? Isn't that trespassing?
      mrandmrsz
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well, duh. Was the officer out there to control speed, or to collect revenue?
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is a must see. Google the term SLICK MARKET CASH and go to the top site. Click on the PENNY STOCK page and see what the rich are hiding from us this time.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Every time cops do thier jobs there pigs and when they dont they are lazy.....My daughter was killed by a speeder and I critized the cops for not doing enough speed traps to slow pompous Americans who think that are the crap. Yeah and it was a rich white person that ran my daughter over. I pay there salaries too and demand of them to do this and much more and when I read comments like these it boils my blood.
      horsedrag
      • 1 Year Ago
      Flashing lights slow me down so why do I need a cop. Every so often flash your lights save lives.
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