Sunday, February 9, 2014

It's OK to Flash (Your Headlights)

I don't get away with much. I couldn't lie to save my life and I have very little personal time in which to carry out mischievous plots (I am writing this surrounded by dirty breakfast plates and in the next room, two naughty boys are jumping on the couch). Every once in a while, though, I get a rare opportunity to slide past the radar, literally.

Stock Photo: Front Of Car Picture. Image: 92200
© Photographer Melissa King | Agency:
While lying can make me physically ill, I get a strange sense of satisfaction when I successfully drive past a police officer running a speed radar. The feeling intensifies when I get to warn oncoming traffic by flashing my headlights.

Ha! You're not going to get us!

Granted, I'm obviously abiding the speed limit, I can't help but feel like I'm getting away with something.

I wondered if this was breaking the rules, and depending where you're driving, it might be. However, this week a U.S. District Judge in St. Louis ruled one city must stop citing drivers who flash their headlights. The ruling resulted from a suit filed by one driver who faced a $1,000 fine for the common practice.

Consider this: What is the intent of a "speed trap?" I think the police will say it's a matter of public safety. If you warn other drivers to slow down (through the action of flashing your lights), aren't you contributing to public safety? I have flashed my lights to warn drivers of other safety concerns, including deer and runners on the road. In Ohio and several other states, flashing your headlights is protected under the First Amendment.

No disrespect to the boys in blue, but why would police officers or city officials want to punish this practice? Could it be you are impeding a revenue source? Maybe that's why it feels so good.

1 comment:

  1. I appreciate getting flashed, and I, too, have flashed.