You know how whenever you pass a speed trap without getting pulled over and instantly breathe a sigh of relief? What’s the next thing that flashes through your head?
If you are me it’s “I want to honk my horn and flash my lights and alert every driver so none of those stupid fucking cops can give anyone a ticket.”
But then I don’t, because I’m worried some overzealous dick of a police officer will pull me over. Well, now I, and you, and every single American can stop the goddamn 5-0 from issuing petty tickets, because a federal judge ruled it is well within our First Amendment rights.
A federal judge in Missouri ruled this week held that drivers have a First Amendment right to flash their headlights to warn other motorists of nearby police and speed traps. The order by U.S. District Judge Henry E. Autrey in St. Louis on Monday stems from a lawsuit filed by Ellisville resident Michael Elli. In 2012, Elli flashed his headlights to warn oncoming vehicles of a radar set up by police in the town of Ellisville.
Elli got pulled over and ticketed for his actions. The ACLU took up his cause and this week, he won. The judge felt that the flashing of lights was good for driver safety.
Autrey said in his ruling that the flashing of headlights “sends a message to bring one’s driving in conformity with the law — whether it be by slowing down, turning on one’s own headlamps at dusk or in the rain, or proceeding with caution.”
Basically, society policing itself. Which is how it should work. So if you ever get pulled over for such an act now, feel free to let the officer know it’s within your rights as an American to do so.