• Feb 5, 2014


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
      bun607
      • 10 Months Ago
      If you flash your headlights and someone slows down to the posted speed limit, then you have created safer driving for everyone around them.
      robtucan
      • 10 Months Ago
      Good for him! However, I NEVER flash my lights. If you speed, I want you stopped, before you kill someone. If you want higher speeds, then vote someone in to change the limit. So Sad!!! The me, me me people, just like our Clueless Mr. President. He does not like a law, the he tell his AG, don't enforce it. and here I thought we were a country of LAWS. Nope, we are turning into just like the 3rd world. So Sad!!
      • 10 Months Ago
      can that judge stop obamacare too lolol sorry every one take care
      impactvqi
      • 10 Months Ago
      hey ticket this, duh
      Ralph
      • 10 Months Ago
      The staff wrorte, : a driver flashing their lights...." '(A) dirver' is singular, ;their' is plural. With everybody griping about Coke's multilingual "America the Beautiful," the least you can do is get your Engiish grammar correct. It should read, "... a driver flashing HIS lights....:
      • 10 Months Ago
      AS GOOD ENGLISH SPEAKING CITIZENS OF USA, IF WE KNOW OF A POLICE BLOCKADE OR ENTRAMPMENT, WE SHOULDMAKE BIG SIGNS AND STAND BY THE HIGHWAYS. LET THE OTHER ENGLISHMEN OF THE USA KNOW BEFORE THEY ARRIVE AT LOCATION.
      Joan Kaaihue
      • 10 Months Ago
      WE HAVE BEEN FLASHING OUR HEADLIGHTS AT EACH OTHER SINCE THE 1950s. DEFINITELY FREEDOM OF SPEECH.
      The Canoli King
      • 10 Months Ago
      To bad he wasn't on the SCOTUS in place of Judge Roberts.
      IRVING
      • 10 Months Ago
      If the police were staking out a terrorist plot would it be alright to let them know that the coast was not clear ?
      geddy37
      • 10 Months Ago
      The police usually insist that their aim is to enhance public safety. Someone flashing their lights in order to warn of a speed trap gets people to slow down, thereby advancing the same goal. I just can't imagine why the police would object...unless there's another purpose to a speed trap. Now that couldn't be true, could it?
      hartchase
      • 10 Months Ago
      this is finally the right thing to do,this should be passed into law nationwide ! no tickets for flashing headlights !!!!!
      • 10 Months Ago
      DEAD TO RIGHT NO TICKET NO FINE "we the people"
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