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Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: LortonGuy ()
Date: August 07, 2008 08:52AM

I was traveing on Silverbrook Rd in Lorton yesterday afternoon. I noticed a speed trap on the other side of the road. So like a good neighbor, I flashed my lights a few times to alert the on coming traffic. Well what do you know, the FFX Co cops were waiting for me and other headlight flashers up the street and ticketed me for flashing other drivers.

I told the cop that I didn't realize it was illegal to flash my lights. Anyway, he said they are instituting the checks for headlight flashers at most speed traps in FFX co so be carfeul out there and as the cop told me worry about yourself from now on not the other drivers.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Expensive Jeans ()
Date: August 07, 2008 08:56AM

This is interesting. I had always wondered about that, if you could get a ticket.

I almost want to call your bluff on this, but I think I believe you.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Dude ()
Date: August 07, 2008 09:10AM

I have mixed feelings about this. I don't like getting speeding tickets any more than anybody else but these speed traps do serve a legitimate purpose in some places. I don't have an issue with sensible speeding on 66, FFX County Pkwy, Route 28, etc. but don't appreciate people flying through my neighborhood at high speeds. I've come too close to being run down too many times so I like when they do enforcement around the area where I live.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: trogdor! ()
Date: August 07, 2008 09:12AM

It would be great if you would tell us what part of the Virginia or Fairfax County code you were charged with violating.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Expensive Jeans ()
Date: August 07, 2008 09:19AM

I think that ticket could easily be fought in court.

Whats to say there wasnt a chipmunk running through the road and that is what you were alerting oncoming traffic to?

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: TheMeeper ()
Date: August 07, 2008 09:21AM

I don't know the code section, but I think they ticket you for "distracting other drivers", something like that.

It's sort of bogus, IMO. Their goal should be to get people to slow down. And when you warn someone, you are achieving that goal.

If I see a complete stranger about to shoplift something, should I be ticketed for warning him not to steal?

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: MBF ()
Date: August 07, 2008 09:35AM

I don't know the code section

It's not written on the ticket? Or do you just not have it with you to check right now?

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: TheMeeper ()
Date: August 07, 2008 09:38AM

MBF- I wasn't the one ticketed, it was the original poster who was.

I just know they do issue tickets for this because someone I know got one (in another state though)

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: MBF ()
Date: August 07, 2008 09:40AM

heh, my bad.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Jester ()
Date: August 07, 2008 09:42AM

I flash my headlights all the time, but I am careful not do it where police can see it. I don't know of any part of the Virginia code that says you can't that, except maybe obstructing justice, but that would be very weak.

What was the code on the ticket? or is this just some cop posting here who is pissed off that he can't catch people?

You have the right to flash your headlights or tell somebody to not do something.

Go to court the judge will throw it out in a second.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: hellyacopssuck ()
Date: August 07, 2008 09:51AM

hey, i think that warning other drivers is a great thing to do becouse it saves everybody money. I would much rather me get a ticket that i can get thrown out cause it is bullshit than someone else getting a huge ticket that might not get turned down. I have been saved many times from people warning me so i do the same. It should be common driving manners. I think thats a load of bullshit that law and i hope someone looks it up and posts what it actually says

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Lorton guy ()
Date: August 07, 2008 09:53AM

The code vioaltion on the ticket is 46.2-1029.1

The ticket itself doesn't say the amount of the fine. I was told I could show up in court or prepay. I checked the FFX co website for a list of prepayment fine amounts but this one is not listed. I tried calling but gave up after 30+ minutes on hold.

According to recording if I wait until two weeks after receiving the ticket, i can call and input my violation number and it'll give me the ammount I owe -- great system.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: lortonGuy ()
Date: August 07, 2008 10:10AM

get this!. I finally reached someone at traffice court. The lady answering the phone said in her 15 years on the job, she had never heard of this violation. It isn't even listed in the materials they give her to respond to questions. She had to get a supervisor, who also couldn't find it and had never heard of it.

They suggested that I call back two weeks before my oct court date after the violation is inputed into the system. Generally if the violation is not listed in the materials they have, the fine is not prepayable so I may need to show up on my court date.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: MBF ()
Date: August 07, 2008 10:12AM

Hmmm. I couldn't find it in county code, but the state code section http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+46.2-1029.1 doesn't make sense.

§ 46.2-1029.1. Flashing of headlights on certain vehicles.

Emergency vehicles as defined in subsection C of § 46.2-920 may be equipped with the means to flash their headlights when their warning lights are activated if (i) the headlights are wired to allow either the high beam or low beam to flash, but not both, and (ii) the headlight system includes a switch or device which prevents flashing of headlights when headlights are required to be lighted under § 46.2-1030.

The provisions of clause (ii) above shall not apply in the City of Chesapeake, the City of Portsmouth, the City of Poquoson, or the County of York.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Numbers ()
Date: August 07, 2008 10:14AM

TheMeeper Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I don't know the code section, but I think they
> ticket you for "distracting other drivers",
> something like that.
>
> It's sort of bogus, IMO. Their goal should be to
> get people to slow down. And when you warn
> someone, you are achieving that goal.
>
> If I see a complete stranger about to shoplift
> something, should I be ticketed for warning him
> not to steal?


I was thinking the same thing. Since when is flashing your lights distracting to other drivers? I do this sometimes just to make sure my lights are on. Now I can get ticketed for it? This sounds bogus to me.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: LortonGuy ()
Date: August 07, 2008 10:16AM

OK Now I am pissed off. If I violated a law against this I would pay the fine and move on but check out what the statute states. This applies to emergency vehicles and installing a switch in the car to make the headlights flash like a police car. I have no such switch I was just flashing my headlights on and off manually.

I am definately fighting this one.




§ 46.2-1029.1. Flashing of headlights on certain vehicles.

Emergency vehicles as defined in subsection C of § 46.2-920 may be equipped with the means to flash their headlights when their warning lights are activated if (i) the headlights are wired to allow either the high beam or low beam to flash, but not both, and (ii) the headlight system includes a switch or device which prevents flashing of headlights when headlights are required to be lighted under § 46.2-1030.

The provisions of clause (ii) above shall not apply in the City of Chesapeake, the City of Portsmouth, the City of Poquoson, or the County of York.

(1989, c. 47; 1994, c. 69; 2003, c. 121; 2005, c. 209.)


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: ITRADE ()
Date: August 07, 2008 10:17AM

----------------

Emergency vehicles as defined in subsection C of § 46.2-920 may be equipped with the means to flash their headlights when their warning lights are activated if (i) the headlights are wired to allow either the high beam or low beam to flash, but not both, and (ii) the headlight system includes a switch or device which prevents flashing of headlights when headlights are required to be lighted under § 46.2-1030.

------------------

What exactly was violated. Its not an emergency vehicle. There was no special equpiment installed. There were no activated warning lights.

Concur. Bogus. Fight it.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: MBF ()
Date: August 07, 2008 10:20AM

I'd email the captain of that police station today.

http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police/contacts_stations.htm#WestSpringfield

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: coffin ()
Date: August 07, 2008 10:22AM

It's probably something like "interfering with a police officer in the performance of his/her duties" or some such.

I never flash....why do I care if some self-absorbed asshole gets a ticket?


Meanwhile, Dude's opinion ^ is SO typical....speeding is OK everywhere but HIS neighborhood! LOL

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: LortonGuy ()
Date: August 07, 2008 10:35AM

>> It's probably something like "interfering with a police officer in the performance of his/her duties" or some such.


yeah but I wasn't charged with interferring with apolice officer, i was charged with violated teh code referenced about which, as I read it, doesn't apply to me.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: KeepOnTruckin ()
Date: August 07, 2008 10:54AM

Yep. Fight that ticket. LEt us know what happens. I always apreciate headlight flashers

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: hey ()
Date: August 07, 2008 11:03AM

i bet you pretty soon the person who bitches about people mad at her for driving under the speed limit in the left lane will put her sorry ass words in here for everybody to see lol.... Keep on flashing NOVA

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: paulp4435 ()
Date: August 07, 2008 11:34AM

what exactly does calling the police station do? once the ticket is written and in the court system there is nothing that the officer or his supervisor can do.

in addition it appears based on my reading of the code this section does not apply to what was done. so it will be thrown out in court. once the judge reads the code section (which he/she will have to do because i have also never seen this violation charged) it will be dismissed and the judge will tell the officer that this violation is not proper to charge in these circumstances.

the only part that sucks is that you will have to go to court. any officer that would write that i would wager writes a ton of tickets meaning you will be at the end of the traffic docket so you will be there for awhile.



§ 46.2-1029.1

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: ITRADE ()
Date: August 07, 2008 11:56AM

Do you also have to pay the court appearance fee?

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: MBF ()
Date: August 07, 2008 12:40PM

what exactly does calling the police station do? once the ticket is written and in the court system there is nothing that the officer or his supervisor can do.

The Captain may be able to do something depending how far along in the process it is. Even if he can't, he should know at least one of his officers is citing an incorrect code section--likely on a frequent basis. Should at least stop it in the future as it's a waste of county resources and the drivers' time.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: .. ()
Date: August 07, 2008 01:06PM

coffin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> I never flash....why do I care if some
> self-absorbed asshole gets a ticket?
>

dude...thats a pretty self-absorbed statement. don't you think?

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Billy ()
Date: August 07, 2008 01:23PM

Flashing your lights is a form of communication. Ticketing you for it is a violation of your first amendment rights.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Lurker. ()
Date: August 07, 2008 02:30PM

So my county tax dollars are paying for the police to run a sting operation to pull over people who flash their lights and ticket them???

Just a suggestion, but maybe FFX police time might be better spent trying to find this bank robber? - http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police/news-releases/2008/080108bankrobbery.htm

or Maybe this rapist
http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police/news-releases/2008/072908sexaslt.htm

or Maybe 7-11 Robbery
http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police/news-releases/headlines2008.htm

or Maybe Convenience Store Robbery
http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police/news-releases/2008/072508storerobbery.htm



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/07/2008 02:32PM by Lurker..

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Date: August 07, 2008 02:36PM

Lurker. Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So my county tax dollars are paying for the police
> to run a sting operation to pull over people who
> flash their lights and ticket them???
>
> Just a suggestion, but maybe FFX police time might
> be better spent trying to find this bank robber?
> -
> http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police/news-releases/
> 2008/080108bankrobbery.htm
>

Okay. That dude has a big-ass gun. Pull over soccer moms for flashing their lights or take on this mo-fo. Hmmmm.


> or Maybe this rapist
> http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police/news-releases/
> 2008/072908sexaslt.htm
>

Grabbing an 11-year-old girl's ass cheeks isn't "rape." The dude was Hispanic, so odds are he mows some cop's lawn. Better to pull over soccer moms for flashing their lights.


>
> or Maybe Convenience Store Robbery
> http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police/news-releases/
> 2008/072508storerobbery.htm


Once again, this dude had a gun. WTF are you thinking???

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Fairfax Citizen ()
Date: August 07, 2008 02:44PM

Flashing headlights is an important safety feature, especially in Europe. It is done to warn other drivers; e.g., a driver entering the main highway and you flash your lights to warn him/her. How would a safety officer assume that you were not warning another driver about to cut in front of you? As a matter of good habit, I do flash my headlights when an unsafe driving situation appears before me--the driver starting to turn into my lane, not realizing that I am there. Something surely doesn't sound right about this ticket.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Jester ()
Date: August 07, 2008 02:47PM

Sounds to me like this officer had way too much time on his hands.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Date: August 07, 2008 02:53PM



Can anyone guess in which thread I'm going to post the other Kanye video?

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Ebo1949 ()
Date: August 19, 2008 09:30AM

I was also stopped and cited by Officer Friendly on Silverbrook Road on 6 Aug just across from South County. Cited for violation of 46.2-1029.1 although that appears to be a portion of the code that allows certain emergency vehicles to have flashing lights.

OK, my bad for trying to keep other drivers from getting a speeding ticket. Ralize ignorance is no defense but it did not occur to me that what I did was against the law.

But now I learned that this citation is not prepayable. I learned that by calling the Traffic Court and waiting on hold for 20 minutes. I could get no explanation regarding why such a minor offense was not pre-payable but I had no choice but to go to court. So then I called the Police Liaison to complain because the Officer said I could pre-pay. The Liaison was actaulyl quite helpful. He actually looked up the code and said, in his opinion, that the officer cited the wrong section of the code. The Liaison Officer suggested that I contest the charge since I have to go to court anyway.

Anyone have any ideas on this?

Thanks

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: LortonGuy ()
Date: August 19, 2008 10:02AM

Since I got one too, I plan to go to court and get it thrown out. When is your court date? Mine is Oct 2 at 9:30.

It sucks to have to take a day off to sit there for a few hours but I can't see how thay can uphold the fine when the code section referenced does not prohibit flashing lights manually.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: slinkeyts ()
Date: August 19, 2008 11:21AM

I flashed my lights in the dark once...got a ticket for driving without headlights lol my lights were off for like 1 sec...lol

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: watcher ()
Date: August 19, 2008 01:43PM

In reading that code section, it appears to be part of a definition of what an emergency vehicle is. If your (OP) vehicle isn't an emergency vehicle, then you are not allowed to have flashing white lights.

Sounds like the officers were thinking outside the box on this one.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: HAHA ()
Date: August 19, 2008 02:26PM

Your a Moron...The reason that you got the ticket is because you are NOT an emergency vehicle and you are not allowed to have lights that flash. Why was that so hard to understand....I agree that it is unusual for you to get a ticket for that code section and not failing to dim high beams or something like that... have you not learned anything from this site if you go to court and fight it the judge is most certainly going to side with officer because the officer is right...PAY THE FINE!!! and move on with your meaningless existance and stop breaking the law..what do you care if someone else gets a ticket.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Gravis ()
Date: August 19, 2008 02:37PM

HAHA Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Your a Moron...The reason that you got the ticket
> is because blah blah blah


file.php?2,file=70
"the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish."095042938540

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: curious ()
Date: August 19, 2008 04:52PM

was it a county sheriff or state trooper

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Ebo1949 ()
Date: August 19, 2008 05:42PM

Thank you for your insightful drivel. I would have gladly paid the fine but Fairfax County says this terrible offense is not pre-payable which leaves me no choice but to go to court. I hope the next time I see a speed trap that you are the speeding driver that I do not warn.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Ebo1949 ()
Date: August 19, 2008 05:48PM

Same time, same date as yours. The only strategy I can think of is to print off a copy of the section of code and present that to the judge and point out that my violation is not clear to me. But I smell a rat on this. If the police really wanted people to slow down, they would applaud what we did. However, methinks it is a revenue strategy that we spoiled. Wish I knew a lawyer who could advise me.

You got any better ideas?

I really love wasting work time for something so trivial. If they would let me pre-pay I would do so to avoid missing work.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Ebo1949 ()
Date: August 19, 2008 05:50PM

Fairfax County Police

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: curious ()
Date: August 19, 2008 05:53PM

Ebo1949 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Fairfax County Police

waht time of day? was it raining or foggy.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Ebo1949 ()
Date: August 19, 2008 06:32PM

About 6 PM, bright and sunny. I freely admitted I was flashing to warn other drivers because that's what I was doing. I was not clever enough to make up any BS reason. So Officer Friendly thanks me for my honesty and rewards me with a ticket. Then he tells me the offense is minor and that I can pre-pay the fine. Which turns out to be a crock because Fairfax County says this offense (whatever it really is) is not pre-payable. So I have to take time off work to go to court. Our tax dollars at work. I am most pleased that we have such hard working police watching out for us. Who knows how many speeders he missed while he was writing up my ticket.

Responder HAHA above does not have a clue.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: curious ()
Date: August 19, 2008 06:56PM

i wonder if this will have any effect on your insurance. hope not, good luck

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: someguy2 ()
Date: August 19, 2008 10:11PM

There was a court case years back where a guy took the same violation all the way up the appeals ladder and won. I think it reached the supreme court of whatever state it was. Can't remember if it was VA or not.
Try to track down that case on ye old interwebs to see what the reasoning was and cite it to the judge.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Libertarian1 ()
Date: August 19, 2008 10:20PM

My Dad taught me that it is good highway manners to flash the lights after a big rig has passed and it is safe for him to come back into the lane. I've always done this. Love to hear how this one comes out.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: bob ()
Date: August 20, 2008 02:29AM

Libertarian1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> My Dad taught me that it is good highway manners
> to flash the lights after a big rig has passed and
> it is safe for him to come back into the lane.
> I've always done this. Love to hear how this one
> comes out.

Your dad is a fucking moron.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: LortonGuy ()
Date: August 20, 2008 08:40AM

It sounds like we were pulled over at the same time by the same guy. I too was honest about flashing my lights and he thanked me and said the same thing to me.

I plan to go to court with a copy of the statute and argue that I did not violate the statute. My car does not have emergency flashing lights installed. We'll see what the judge says.

I'll see you in court, maybe our cases will be heard together.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: RESton Peace ()
Date: August 20, 2008 09:46AM

this guy won't win on the appeals docket or anything else. He made the dumbest mistake that everyone makes - he didn't shut his mouth AND he admitted to the crime. If he fights it, the cop WILL have notes stating this and the dude will lose. The confession trumps everything else... I have seen people, including myself, get charged with the wrong code section, and the judge could care less.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: LortonGuy ()
Date: August 20, 2008 09:50AM

I hear what you are saying but I admitted to flashing my headlights to warn other drivers about the speed trap. However, this is NOT a violation of the law. The statute referenced does not prohibit manually flashing ones lights.

We'll see what the judge says.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: LortonGuy ()
Date: August 20, 2008 09:56AM

I sure addd, there is no statute or code in VA or FFX Co. that prohibits drivers from flashing lights to warn on coming drivers of a speed trap. So, it's not a matter of me doing something illegal and having the ticket reference the wrong statute.

There is no law that prohibits what I did.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: SBS ()
Date: August 20, 2008 10:16AM

bob Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Libertarian1 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > My Dad taught me that it is good highway manners
> > to flash the lights after a big rig has passed and
> > it is safe for him to come back into the lane.
> > I've always done this. Love to hear how this one
> > comes out.
>
> Your dad is a fucking moron.

The only fucking moron here is Bob. It absolutely is a courteous gesture, and 9 times out of 10, you'll see the trucker flash his taillights back at you to acknowledge the gesture.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Get real folks ()
Date: August 20, 2008 10:33AM

I have news for you people-lorton guy does not have a chance of winning in court. My experience with the courts and the school system in Fairfax County is that the rules/laws don't apply. They support the establishment no matter what. I have had 2-3 minor skirmishes with FFXCNTY in the last few years, and I was shocked as to how they disregard laws and rules to get the outcome they want.

I would be curious to hear other folk's experiences with courts here, but they seem to be quite corrupt in my opinion.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Ebo1949 ()
Date: August 20, 2008 12:39PM

I think RESton Peace is missing the point on this. The issue is not that I flashed my lights to warn oncoming traffic .... I did. Rather the issue is whether or not that constitutes a moving violation. We appear to have been charged with a violation of the Virginia code that may or may not apply. Heck, the Police Liasion Officer for the FFX County Traffic Court told me he thought the citing officer was in error. Doesn't mean he is right. But FFX County is not giving us the option of paying the ticket and being done with it. If they had given me this option I would have paid the fine whether I agreed with it or not because it's not worth the hassle. So if I have to waste time by going to court I may as well raise this issue. Since there are clearly multiple people who got nabbed by Officer Friendly, I'll take my lead from what the judge does in the earlier cases. If I happen to be first on the docket then that's potentially too bad for me.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: slinkeyts ()
Date: August 20, 2008 12:59PM

why are you guys bitching...just pay the ticket..and move on with your lives.



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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: RH ()
Date: August 20, 2008 01:16PM

slinkeyts Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> why are you guys bitching...just pay the
> ticket..and move on with your lives.

Didn't you read from some of the posts the OP was saying this type of ticket wasn't pre-payable and that he has to show up in court? Read the posts carefully before huffing up your statement and telling people to move on with their lives.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: NoSoSure ()
Date: August 20, 2008 01:26PM

RESton Peace Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>The confession trumps everything else... I
> have seen people, including myself, get charged
> with the wrong code section, and the judge could
> care less.


I agree you shouldn't confess anything to a police officer writing you a ticket.

But the fact remains, they confessed to an act that is not criminal (at least, I've seen zero evidence that it is). Clearly they cited him under the wrong code. They could recharge him in court under the correct code section, but I can't find anything remotely describing what they did (flashing their lights).

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: ohhyeahh ()
Date: August 20, 2008 01:46PM

There is a precedent on this although I'm not sure if it was in Virgina or not. Guy use the 1st ammendment argument and beat the ticket.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: RESton Peace ()
Date: August 20, 2008 01:50PM

I admit I missed the point, I assumed that it was against the law to flash warnings about speed traps, but then I realized I never read the law before... I got the info from people telling me. Not a strong source of info.

My apologies dude! Good luck in court!

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: I smell a rat ()
Date: August 20, 2008 01:57PM

I don't think the cops are going to let this go-nor will the judge. I think someone flashing their lights is clearly interfering with police work. The objective is to warn people of a law enforcement sting. I don't see why they can't make the obstruction of justice charge.

Let's say cops were ready to raid a house that was used as a drug operation. You find out about it and run into the house and warn the residents of the raid. What is the difference in that and flashing your lights to warn drivers of a speed trap. You are interfering with law enforcement.

For the record, I think most cops are jerks-so believe me I am not defending them here.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: MBF ()
Date: August 20, 2008 01:59PM

I don't see why they can't make the obstruction of justice charge.

...because that's not the section of code that was cited on the ticket. The code cited had to do with light equipment on emergency vehicles.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: formerhick76 ()
Date: August 20, 2008 02:28PM

I'm assuming misspellings (my brother in law got a ticket in Fairfax Couny, Vagina, and I was once told to show up in Fairfax Country, Virginia) are not an acceptable defense unless the judge is in a good mood that day.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: slinkeyts ()
Date: August 20, 2008 02:35PM

it doesn't matter what was on the ticket...they can always change it to something else in court. so yes you can be charged with obstruction of justice.



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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Ebo1949 ()
Date: August 20, 2008 03:52PM

Enough of this already. I greatly appreciate 95% of what people have posted. I will not comment on the remaining 5%.

But at the end of the day, I was hoping to run across someone who has previously been through this ridiculous situation. Alas, that does not appear to be the case. The court of public opinion on this subject is all over the map and will not prevail here ... the Fairfax County judicial will drag me and others like me who were trying to be good neighbors through a knothole. Only after that occurs will we know the answer. If I have broken the law that's a lick on me ... just charge me in some understandable way.

I certainly do not know what the outcome will be but I will be happy to post it once I go to court on 2 October.

But until then, please don't get mad if I fail to warn you of a speed trap in front of you! (-:

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: NotACrime ()
Date: August 20, 2008 08:06PM

I smell a rat Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> Let's say cops were ready to raid a house that was
> used as a drug operation. You find out about it
> and run into the house and warn the residents of
> the raid. What is the difference in that and
> flashing your lights to warn drivers of a speed
> trap. You are interfering with law enforcement.

That's a bad example. In your case, you are preventing the lawful (we hope) arrest of someone who a judge has already issued a warrant for (after reviewing the evidence of their criminal conduct).

A better example is this. Suppose FFX PD is running one of their "shoulder tap" stings where they are using underage recruits to ask people to buy them beer/wine/vodka. Suppose you get what you believe to be a 'tap' in a public parking lot and immediately recognize the situation. You say no, and then watch the young person ask someone else. You approach the pair and say "Hey, did you know it's illegal to purchase alcohol for a minor? The police run stings like this all the time. If I were you, I wouldn't purchase alcohol for this person."

Would that be illegal? I don't think so. I think the court would call that free speech. And that's essentially what flashing your lights does. It warns people that they should obey the law, and thereby *prevent* a crime/violation from taking place.

Now, if flashing your lights were a crime, that would be different. But it's not. AAA purchased billboards to warn drivers of notorious speed traps up the road. They weren't thrown in jail..or even charged. What does that tell you? Did AAA interfere with law enforcement?

http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/local/news-article.aspx?storyid=32199
http://www.redorbit.com/news/general/7394/billboard_speed_trap_warning_irks_some/

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Ebo1949 ()
Date: August 21, 2008 08:05AM

Addendum to my last ... stopped at COSTCO on way home last night and ran into an old friend who just happens to be a lwyer. He admits he does not know the right answer at this point but he is intrigued enough to research the matter for me.

I will post whatever he may tell me.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: break ()
Date: August 22, 2008 02:33AM

Hell, there was a church off Glebe road in Arlington that told traffic that a cop hides behind a sign...

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: ltb ()
Date: August 25, 2008 09:53AM

do some research, i don't think you can beat it in court.

LortonGuy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I was traveing on Silverbrook Rd in Lorton
> yesterday afternoon. I noticed a speed trap on
> the other side of the road. So like a good
> neighbor, I flashed my lights a few times to alert
> the on coming traffic. Well what do you know, the
> FFX Co cops were waiting for me and other
> headlight flashers up the street and ticketed me
> for flashing other drivers.
>
> I told the cop that I didn't realize it was
> illegal to flash my lights. Anyway, he said they
> are instituting the checks for headlight flashers
> at most speed traps in FFX co so be carfeul out
> there and as the cop told me worry about yourself
> from now on not the other drivers.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Sunnyland Slim ()
Date: August 25, 2008 01:05PM

This is exactly how Nazi Germany started!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Rich ()
Date: August 25, 2008 01:55PM

Most states can ticket you for flashing your high beams within 3 - 5 hundered feet of another vehicle, but this only counts at night.

There is no law prventing you from blinking your low beams off and on, day or night.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: trogdor! ()
Date: August 25, 2008 07:20PM


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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Someguy2 ()
Date: August 25, 2008 07:38PM

Nice find trogdor.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: jimbob ()
Date: August 30, 2008 10:54AM

The officer should have charged

§ 46.2-1030. When lights to be lighted; number of lights to be lighted at any time; use of warning lights

But he would have to stop you for a primary offense first since this is a secondary offense

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: someguy2 ()
Date: August 30, 2008 11:08AM

trogdor posted all the info you need in that link

find that court case and take the details to court with you

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: eric5476 ()
Date: August 30, 2008 03:32PM

i wouldnt cite an out of state case in a fairfax court. in my exp virginia courts hate having out of states used as precedent. if it was a VA case im with you bring it in....out of state is not a good idea.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: RH ()
Date: August 30, 2008 05:07PM

eric5476 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> i wouldnt cite an out of state case in a fairfax
> court. in my exp virginia courts hate having out
> of states used as precedent. if it was a VA case
> im with you bring it in....out of state is not a
> good idea.


Can you please tell us why not?

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: trogdor! ()
Date: August 30, 2008 09:56PM

RH Wrote:

> Can you please tell us why not?

I know that Fairfax would have no reason to even look at a case from Tenneseee, but if a judge there found the argument compelling, it certainly wouldn't hurt to bring it up.

At the very least, it makes it look like you did your research (to the point where you might appeal) and no judge wants to have their opinion overturned in a higher court.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: eric5476 ()
Date: August 31, 2008 12:18PM

i dont know how much exp you have dealing with the fairfax courts and VA courts in general. however i have a spent a good amount of time in them. the judges i have dealt with get very irritated when out of state cases are cited as case law.

the exact reason for this i am unsure of, however based on the comments from the judges it seems to be a home rule type of issue.

i have heard lawyers attempt to cited a federal appeals case from other district (specifically california/san fran) and the judge became angry and threatened to hold the lawyer in contempt unless he could produce VA case law, VA district federal court, or SCOTUS case law.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: someguy2 ()
Date: August 31, 2008 01:26PM

IANAL, and you may be right, but the interesting thing about this case is that it went to the court of appeals.
I think courts of appeal have to actually issue some kind of reason with judgements, so its not like you are just saying "hey, this court in Tennessee dismissed the charge for reasons unknown so you should too"

Since they cited the 1st ammendment (federal law) there should be a well thought out reason in there somewhere that can just be trumpted back to the judge.
Better than nothing.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: eric5476 ()
Date: August 31, 2008 04:25PM

someguy,

i agree....however when in front of the judge you would have to present the reason itself.....not the case law thats all im saying.

if you have a legal argument i say go for it....but dont mention anything about the potential "case law" from another jurisdiction.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: VUwildcats28 ()
Date: September 02, 2008 12:36AM

I got pulled over last year for flashing my lights at a speed trap. The police officer gave me a warning for "failure to dim lights"

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: centreville1234 ()
Date: September 02, 2008 07:22PM

I'm thinking maybe you should just drive down the road, mind your own business, and let the cops do what they are being paid to do...........

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: someguy2 ()
Date: September 02, 2008 09:06PM

LortonGuy,
Whatever the outcome please make sure you come back and update us.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: EminM2 ()
Date: September 02, 2008 09:23PM

centreville1234 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm thinking maybe you should just drive down the
> road, mind your own business, and let the cops do
> what they are being paid to do...........

Which is to..? Serve & Protect? Ironically, the idea of the 'speed trap' is to get people to slow down (the protect part), which is exactly what flashing your headlights does. Perhaps we should all drive around flashing our headlights for safety.

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emails
Posted by: Gravis ()
Date: September 03, 2008 08:56AM

Quote
Ticketing for flashing headlights.
Apparently, people (not me personally) have been ticketed for warning
people about speed traps by flashing their headlights twice. The ticket
in question cites § 46.2-1029.1 as the violation. This ticket is not
prepayable online which seems to indicate this is a serious offense. I
do this ticketing is the spirit of the law. I am wondering if you
condone and if you have instructed/encouraged police officers to ticket
and cite § 46.2-1029.1 as a violation of the law.

Thank you for your time.

Quote
RE: Ticking for flashing headlights
The flashing of headlights could possibly constitute a violation
depending on the specific circumstances. Further, it would depend on
the exact circumstances to determine if the officer used a correct code
section. In order to look into the matter further I would need the
officer's name and would also need to speak to the individual that
received the summons so that they could relate their side of the story
and the reason their headlights were flashing. With the limited
information available I am unable to determine if the code section was
used correctly. Certainly a traffic court judge would also be making
this determination should your friend elect to go to court.

I checked with staff from the Criminal Justice Academy and they're not
instructing officers to write this offence, however, that does not
prevent an officer from writing it. As far as not being able to pre-pay
the fine, that is determined by the court and no way implies that it is
a serious offense.


Lieutenant L. B. Gamble
Assistant Commander,
Traffic Division
Office (703) 280-0557
Fax (703) 280-0624


"the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish."095042938540

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Ebo1949 ()
Date: September 03, 2008 01:38PM

I am certainly willing to provide all of the information I have to LT Gamble. Does Gravis have an email address for the LT I could use?

Officer P.A. Meler issued the citation. Case number is GT08183568-00

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Gravis ()
Date: September 03, 2008 07:16PM

Butch.Gamble (AT) fairfaxcounty.gov


"the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish."095042938540

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: trogdor! ()
Date: September 03, 2008 08:41PM

Ebo1949 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I am certainly willing to provide all of the
> information I have to LT Gamble. Does Gravis have
> an email address for the LT I could use?
>
> Officer P.A. Meler issued the citation. Case
> number is GT0XXXXXXXX


Ahh...You might want to remove the case #...unless you want freaky FFX Underground people showing up at your door.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: LotonGuy ()
Date: September 04, 2008 12:56PM

Let me know what he says. I may send him my citation information too

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: sucks ()
Date: September 07, 2008 01:46AM

thats what im saying cant we be good neighbors

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: HIGHSPEEDER ()
Date: September 09, 2008 06:41PM

I happen to be a law enforcement officer in the Commonwealth of Virginia and when I write motorist for flashing their headlights I write under 46.2-1034 not 46.2-1029.1.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: someguy2 ()
Date: September 09, 2008 06:53PM

You are taking a law completely out of the context for which it was meant.
Meanwhile you harass your fellow citizens with for nothing more than a rare showing of kindness to a stranger.

Want to find the real antisocial asses in the community? Start ticketing those who don't flash their lights. Those are the ones you need to look out for.

The law he referenced:

§ 46.2-1034. When dimming headlights required.

Whenever a vehicle is being driven on a highway or a portion thereof which is sufficiently lighted to reveal any person or object upon such highway at a distance of 350 feet ahead, the operator of such vehicle shall use the low beam of his vehicle's headlights or shall dim the headlights if the vehicle has single-beam lights. Whenever a vehicle approaches an oncoming vehicle within 500 feet, the driver of such vehicle shall use the low beam of his vehicle's headlights so aimed that glaring rays are not projected into the eyes of the oncoming driver or dim the headlights, if the vehicle has single-beam lights. Whenever the driver of any motor vehicle approaches from the rear or follows within 200 feet of another vehicle proceeding in the same direction, the driver shall use the low beam of his vehicle's headlights or shall dim the headlights if the vehicle has single-beam lights.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: trogdor! ()
Date: September 09, 2008 09:13PM

Well That would only work (possibly) if it were at night. What if a motorist was driving in the daytime and only turned on then off their low beams? Ticketing them for high beams in that instance would be perjury.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: ThePackLeader ()
Date: September 09, 2008 11:25PM

I've known about that forever. I always figured everyone else did as well.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: tian6869 ()
Date: September 10, 2008 02:13AM

I guess, we need to come up a new way to warn others.

How about, we just stop in front of cops (before the speed trap) and just carry a sign "Warning! Cops are ahead!! Slow down!".

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: itsme333 ()
Date: September 10, 2008 04:53AM

after getting a ticket, i woulda turned around and drove back the way i came so i could flash my lights at the drivers coming FROM the speed trap to warn them of the light-flasher-catching cops.

THATS my way of sticking it to the man.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/10/2008 04:54AM by itsme333.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: trogdor! ()
Date: September 10, 2008 05:26PM

tian6869 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I guess, we need to come up a new way to warn
> others.
>
> How about, we just stop in front of cops (before
> the speed trap) and just carry a sign "Warning!
> Cops are ahead!! Slow down!".

Like this:
Attachments:
lawtey.png
Waldo.png

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: truthserum ()
Date: September 12, 2008 02:57PM

I am throwing in my two cents worth at this point. First, quick background and disclaimer. I am an attorney (over 20 years). I live in Virginia (20years as an adult and 8 years as a kid). But I am not licensed in DC. I am licensed in DC and in Kentucky. My principal area of practice is the First Amendment. I provide both criminal and civil representation in cases involving interference with First Amendment rights.

As soon as I saw this thread, I said: easy case, communicating to others that a speed trap has been set up in a location is an exercise of free expression; true, the expression uses symbols (flashing lights) rather than words. But the Supreme Court has held symbolic acts of expression to be the equivalent to speech in a number of cases. (The Court describes symbolic speech as"communication of ideas by conduct.") Not every act that might be symbolic, however, will be found to be symbolic speech. First, of course, there must be the intent to communicate. Second, it must be objectively reasonable to conclude that the chosen symbol will provide the given message. When both factors are answered affirmatively, the question becomes one of the constitutionality of the government's restriction (meaning that at this point, there clearly is expression at stake that enjoys some dimension of constitutionally provided protection).

Once the flashing of lights is understood to be a kind of protected speech, the question is whether the State may constitutionally restrict it. This is answered, according to O'Brien by these four questions:

1. whether the restriction is within the constitutional power of the government.
2. whether the restriction furthers an important or substantial government interest.
3. whether the government interest is unrelated to the suppression of free speech (content neutral).
4. whether the incidental restriction on alleged First Amendment freedoms is no greater than is essential to the furtherance of that interest

In this case, I would argue that the tickets for light flashing fails at least that third point. The government's interest is directly that of suppressing speech that warns motorists of the placement and operation of a speed trap.

***************************************
An unrelated problem with the tickets:

The section under which these drivers were ticketed cannot sensibly be read to apply to their conduct. All automobiles, whether private, public, commercial, governmental, industrial, or transportation, ALL automobiles are equipped with white lights that can be turned on and off and on and off. The statute must be read sensibly. A sensible reading limits its reach to hazard warning lights, rather than headlights.






(US v. O'Brien) (http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/comm/free_speech/obrien.html):

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Somebody ()
Date: September 12, 2008 06:14PM

By far the most informative post ever on the site

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