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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Spacy ()
Date: September 12, 2008 08:40PM

Can't they just charge you with some kind of "interfering with a police officer" or "obstruction of justice" charge, though?

(One wonders why they would do the bogus light-flashing charge, though.)

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: trogdor! ()
Date: September 12, 2008 09:36PM

truthserum Wrote:

> 3. whether the government interest is unrelated to
> the suppression of free speech (content neutral).

> 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.

So if I follow you, the fact that the suppression of 'expression' is only for one single purpose (to protect the police speed trap), that alone is reason for it to be constitutionally prohibited?

> ***************************************
> 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.

Agreed. I can't see how any honest judge is going to agree with the police reading.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: bk ()
Date: September 12, 2008 09:49PM

I doubt that the police ever expect to win in court on this. It seems pretty clear it's just a harassment technique to scare people out of doing it, and to create an urban legend that's illegal to flash your lights to warn about a speed trap.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Dumb Fuck ()
Date: September 14, 2008 02:26AM

bk () = complete fucktard.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Awakened ()
Date: September 14, 2008 02:33AM

bk = /b/?

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Gravis ()
Date: September 14, 2008 07:58AM

trogdor! Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Agreed. I can't see how any honest judge is going
> to agree with the police reading.


therein lies the problem.


"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: truthserum ()
Date: September 14, 2008 07:30PM

The problem with just charging them with something is that the officers are bound by the terms of the statutes. In the case of obstructing, Virginia's Code requires an "actual" "physical" obstruction. Things that fall within the scope of the statute include pushing an officer, pulling hands away as officer attempts to cuff, walking away after being told that one is under arrest. So in the case of flashing lights at another other than the officer, it would seem to be more than a stretch to find obstruction.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Suburbanite ()
Date: September 15, 2008 09:41AM

The code is irrelevant. The cop is writing you up and forcing you to take a day to go to court. He's making it inconvenient for you. Whether the charge gets dropped or not, he has to be there for the other thirty tickets he's written, and he's getting paid. You have to take a day off and sit and wait through numerous other cases before yours gets called.

It's a pain-in-the-ass ticket. That's it. They know it will be dismissed. They are just screwing with you. So you need to decide if it's worth it to warn other drivers before you ever try to. If you can afford the day in court, go for it, if not, you might want to skip it all together and let them get written up.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: bk ()
Date: September 15, 2008 10:08AM

"Dumb Fuck" says:
> bk () = complete fucktard.

Well, I guess you have to admire someone who knows their limitations and admits right up front that they're a dumb fuck.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Date: September 16, 2008 11:59AM

truthserum: "But I am not licensed in DC. I am licensed in DC and in Kentucky."

Are you Lionel Hutz?

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Take a Stand ()
Date: September 16, 2008 04:22PM

Howie Feltersnatch Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> truthserum: "But I am not licensed in DC. I am
> licensed in DC and in Kentucky."
>
> Are you Lionel Hutz?


HA HA HA HA... nice one Howie.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: BustedinFFX ()
Date: September 19, 2008 10:07PM

I got a ticket for the same thing back on the 6th of August. I had court this past week and was found guilty. Yes, this stinks, oh well, obey the law and avoid the fines.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Ebo1949 ()
Date: September 25, 2008 03:06PM

Dear RESton Peace ... you continue to miss the point. It is one thing to confess to a crime ... it is something entirely different to admit doing something that is not a crime.

To those who have been following this issue ... court date is next week on 2 Oct. My lawyer friend seems to have forgotten he said he would help me. I simply intend to tell the judge that I do not understand the nature of the charges against me.

In any case, once I have an outcome to this ludicrous saga, I will post the results for all to see.

Regardless of the outcome, the Fairfax County police will have no luck with me in the future asking me for money to one of their causes if this is how they treat Joe Public.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Ebo1949 ()
Date: September 25, 2008 03:20PM

Dear Busted in FFX ... probably written up by Officer Meler methinks since I was also nabbed on 6 Aug on Silverbrook Road near South County High School.

Sorry to hear they found you guilty. What did judge and or cop say. Were you allowed to say anything? If so, what?

Amount of fine?

Thanks

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Bacon ()
Date: September 25, 2008 03:38PM


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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: RESton Peace ()
Date: September 26, 2008 02:58AM

Dear Ebo, You seem to have a third-grade reading ability. My last post on this thread said:

"I admit I missed the point"

I assume you are just some holier-than-thou loser who can't possibly be wrong?

It's pretty easy to tell you will eat this charge in court just because the judge will think you are a smug asshole (and even you can't be in denial about something so obvious), so enjoy the fine.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Ebo1949 ()
Date: September 26, 2008 08:55AM

The only smug &**^$#$ in any of this is you.

It is also pretty easy to tell that you are clueless. Enjoy your miserable life.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: BustedinFFX ()
Date: October 01, 2008 12:48PM

The judge asked the offcer what happened, and he said he was doing speed enforcement and observed people flashing their headlights to "warn" iother people. The judge asked me if I had flashed my lights and what reason I did. I told him that I was being nice to warn people and didn't know it was against the law. The judge told me the code section and found me guilty. The key is that there is a code section against everything in VA.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: tNDky ()
Date: October 01, 2008 01:10PM

Too late for you, but I would have appealed just on the principal that it's corrupt.


Appeals from the judgments of the Court must be noted in writing within ten calendar days and must be perfected in person within thirty calendar days from the date of the judgment by posting the bond, paying the writ tax and circuit court notice fee, and signing the appeal form prepared by the Clerk’s Office. In unlawful detainer actions, the bond, writ tax, and notice fee must be posted and the appeal perfected within ten calendar days. Notice and perfection of appeals shall be filed with the Civil Clerk's Office during business hours, Monday through Friday, unless otherwise authorized by a judge.


Either the plaintiff or the defendant has the right to appeal to the Circuit Court any decision where the amount in controversy exceeds $50.00, or is for possession only on an unlawful detainer action. An appeal may be noted by a party or by the attorney for such party (see Virginia Supreme Court Rule 7A:13 for exceptions). The denial of a motion to rehear may not be appealed.
A judge will determine the amount of bond, if any, needed to file an appeal. Before filing an appeal, the party must check with the Civil Clerk’s Office as to the amount of the bond and other fees. The writ tax and circuit court notice fee must be paid by cash, postal money order, or attorney’s firm check with bar number payable to Circuit Court. All bonds must be in the form of cash, postal money order, or surety bond. When bond is by corporate surety, the bondsman must appear

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Spacy ()
Date: October 01, 2008 01:10PM

Well, what was the code?

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Spacy ()
Date: October 01, 2008 01:43PM

> right to appeal to the Circuit Court any decision
> where the amount in controversy exceeds $50.00

Here's a few questions for lawyers.

1. In a state where I used to live, fines from traffic violations were
not considered crimes, since the penalty was not jail. (However, they
could arrest and jail you for not paying the fine, which is seperate.)
Therefore, you did not have a right to appeal anything.
In fact, the court didn't even have a judge, just a magistrate,
who doesn't even have a law degree. You cannot bring a lawyer,
you cannot have a jury trial, all decisions are final.
Because this is just "administration".

Is Virginia like that? People are citing a right to appeal and
referencing the Circuit Court.

2. Can the "amount" be construed to be greater than the statutory
fine amount? Because there are various administrative costs
("processing fees") and court costs that you are forced to pay.
Also, if this is a moving violation, you will get points on your
license and your insurance rates will skyrocket for years.

3. Is there some catch-all law that just lets them write tickets
for things they don't like? The Federal Aviation Administratiojn
has such a regulation for pilots of aircraft ("careless and reckless")
that they usually throw onto any case, just for good measure.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: LortonGuy ()
Date: October 02, 2008 10:59AM

Today was the court day. I won't go into detail, but suffice it to say, it's a good thing to be honest with officers when they pull you over. We had a good day in court and a good guy as an offcier.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Howie Feltersnatch ()
Date: October 02, 2008 11:15AM

Oh, no, LortonGuy, please do go into detail. What happened? What's an offcier?

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: _ ()
Date: October 03, 2008 02:01PM

Really? You're going to bring the thing up, spin out a whole thread, and then not tell us what happened? WTF dude? Did you get out of it or not? What did the judge/cop say?

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: LortonGuy ()
Date: October 05, 2008 03:58AM

_ Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Really? You're going to bring the thing up, spin
> out a whole thread, and then not tell us what
> happened? WTF dude? Did you get out of it or not?
> What did the judge/cop say?


he basically said "too bad for you"

Basically, I had to pay. not only that, but its now a permanent stain on my driving record. which doubly sucks because I've been taking truck driving classes, and if you have recent driving infractions, they are reluctant to pass you, or you might get paid less.

I called all around for lawyers who might help me appeal (if you can get these things appealed). So far, i've gotten about 3 call backs. monday morning, I'm going in for a consultation. I hope they tell me some good news. My parents are really worried too-- my dad is a retired lawyer, and he cant believe you can get charged for something like that. My mom is really flipping out too-- but I cant really blame her. I get one little ticket and my mom got scared and said "you're moving with your auntie and uncle to Bel Air." I whistled for a cab, and when it came near, the license plate said "fresh" and there was a dice in the mirror.

If anything, I can say that this cab was rare, but I thought "nah, forget it, yo home to Bel Air." I pulled up to the house about 7 or 8, and I yelled to the cabbie "yo holmes, smell ya later!". Looked at my kingdom, i was finally there... to sit on my throne as the Prince of Bel Air.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Gravis ()
Date: October 05, 2008 08:25AM

LortonGuy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> _ Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Really? You're going to bring the thing up,
> spin
> > out a whole thread, and then not tell us what
> > happened? WTF dude? Did you get out of it or
> not?
> > What did the judge/cop say?
>
>
> he basically said "too bad for you"
>
> Basically, I had to pay. not only that, but its
> now a permanent stain on my driving record.


In Soviet Fairfax, county works you.


> I get one little ticket
> and my mom got scared and said "you're moving with
> your auntie and uncle to Bel Air." I whistled for
> a cab, and when it came near, the license plate
> said "fresh" and there was a dice in the mirror.
>
> If anything, I can say that this cab was rare, but
> I thought "nah, forget it, yo home to Bel Air." I
> pulled up to the house about 7 or 8, and I yelled
> to the cabbie "yo holmes, smell ya later!". Looked
> at my kingdom, i was finally there... to sit on my
> throne as the Prince of Bel Air.


file.php?2,file=2212,filename=roflcopter
"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: October 05, 2008 10:39PM

Look at these cases:

GT07221628-00 01/30/2008 09:30 AM Nolle Prosequi
Court:
Fairfax County General District Charge:
IMPROPER USE RED/WHI EMERG LIT Complainant:
ANDERSON, L C


Case # Defendant Name Hearing Date/Time Status Paid Pay
GT08183567-00 10/02/2008 09:30 AM Nolle Prosequi
Court:
Fairfax County General District Charge:
IMPROPER USE RED/WHI EMERG LIT Complainant:
MELER, P A


GT08183569-00 10/02/2008 09:30 AM Nolle Prosequi
Court:
Fairfax County General District Charge:
IMPROPER USE RED/WHI EMERG LIT Complainant:
MELER, P A


GT08183568-00 10/02/2008 09:30 AM Nolle Prosequi
Court:
Fairfax County General District Charge:
IMPROPER USE RED/WHI EMERG LIT Complainant:
MELER, P A

All of these people were charged with the same thing, and the County dropped the charges....because the charge is bogus.

GT08183739-00 09/17/2008 09:30 AM Guilty In Absentia Paid Note that the charge was amended to "Failed to Dim Headlights" as he was guilty in absentia. This prevents an appeal to the circuit court on the bogus charge, and gives the prosecution a charge they can better defend.
Court:
Fairfax County General District Charge:
FAIL TO DIM HEADLIGHTS Complainant:
LINGENFELTER, D R



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 10/06/2008 12:12PM by trogdor!.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: LortonGuy ()
Date: October 06, 2008 09:30AM

That last post from "Lorton Guy" on Oct 5 was not from me (the person who started this post).

It is inncorrect.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: trogdor! ()
Date: October 06, 2008 10:43AM

oh, SNAP!

Looks like "Officer MELER, P A" got his hat handed to him by the judge on October 2, 2008.

Either that, or he didn't show up. But I wouldn't be surprised if he was told by the judge not to bring these crap charges

So what this shows is that if you get a ticket for flashing your headlights you should never pre-pay your ticket. The charge is clearly bogus and will be dismissed if you take it to court.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/06/2008 11:40AM by trogdor!.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: bluballz ()
Date: October 07, 2008 02:15PM

LortonGuy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> That last post from "Lorton Guy" on Oct 5 was not
> from me (the person who started this post).
>
> It is inncorrect.

The tell us what is correct.

Seriously..you start this whole thread, then tell us you had your court date and how the cop was a good guy? WTF does that mean? You got a reach around? I had ho's in high school tease me less than this. Out with it already.

Ridiculous.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Gravis ()
Date: October 08, 2008 03:24AM

LortonGuy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> _ Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Really? You're going to bring the thing up,
> spin
> > out a whole thread, and then not tell us what
> > happened? WTF dude? Did you get out of it or
> not?
> > What did the judge/cop say?
>
>
> he basically said "too bad for you"


file.php?2,file=4026,filename=Flag_of_th
"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: October 10, 2008 08:00AM

I also had a court date on Oct 2. Court doesn't start until 9:30 AM. I got there early and was waiting outside the courtroom. Shortly after 9 AM, a man that I did not recognize dressed in coat and tie called my name and that of one other person and asked us to join him in a small room near the courtroom entrance. Once in the room I realized the man who had called our names was in fact the police officer ... I did not recognize him in civvies.

He basically said that he had rethought the charges and had made arrangement to have them dropped. He told us that by the time our name was called that the judge would be telling us that the charges were dropped and we were free to go. That's exactly what happened.

It was never made clear to me whether or not the charges were dropped because they were improper or not. However, the officer made it very clear that all 3 people he cited that day (myself and 2 others) had told him the truth about why we were flashing our lights and that he appreciated that. It is clear that the officer took our truthfulness under consideration. But I really don't know if there were other reasons the charges were dropped.

However, I will take no future chances on this sort of thing. Other drivers are on their own as I will no longer flash my lights to warn them. The hassle of going to court caused me to miss about 3 hours of work. Don't need that.

In addition, whoever wrote above that this goes to prove that we should not have pre-paid the fine (we did not because it was not an option) does not get it. Even though the charges were dropped I would almost surely have prepaid to avoid having to go to court but this citation is not pre-payable. Since I do not plan on warning other drivers in the future, I no longer care whether or not thisis pre-payable.

Exchanging ideas and information on this blog has been, for the most part, very helpful. A few "I am smarter than you" from people with too much free time on their hands but all in all a positive experience.

So, a favorable resolution for all 3 of us.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: bk ()
Date: October 10, 2008 10:02AM

In other words, it's exactly what I said earlier in this thread:

> I doubt that the police ever expect to win in court on this. It seems pretty
> clear it's just a harassment technique to scare people out of doing it

The cop didn't "rethink" anything. They had to drop the charges because you didn't do anything illegal and they had nothing to charge you with that would stick in court.

Thanks for starting and following up on this topic. I hadn't been sure prior to this whether or not there was some arcane charge the cops could stick you with for warning people about speed traps. Now that I know for sure there isn't, I'll be a lot more comfortable flashing my lights (and I'll know to tell the cop exactly why I was doing it if I get pulled over).

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: trogdor! ()
Date: October 10, 2008 11:47AM

Ebo1949 Wrote:

> In addition, whoever wrote above that this goes to
> prove that we should not have pre-paid the fine
> (we did not because it was not an option) does not
> get it. Even though the charges were dropped I
> would almost surely have prepaid to avoid having
> to go to court but this citation is not
> pre-payable. Since I do not plan on warning other
> drivers in the future, I no longer care whether or
> not thisis pre-payable.

That was me I guess. As I posted above, you can see that the last few charges (if you want to look them up) including the (3) that were brought up on 10/2/08 were all dropped. Clearly, this shows that the police know these are bogus charges and (to me) indicates a pattern of harassment. The cop in question probably didn't realize you couldn't pre-pay, and he wasn't anticipating having to come in. Either way, even if you could pre-pay, you would be better off paying the 3 hours worth of work and dealing with it in the court rather than pre-pay (unless you make hundreds of $$'S per hour). I don't know what the fine was for this one, but the insurance costs could have easily made it worth your 3 hours of time.

But lets be clear, this was all about harassing people who engage in behavior the police don't like, not that the legislature has prohibited.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/10/2008 11:48AM by trogdor!.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: The Big O ()
Date: October 10, 2008 02:06PM

Seriously, how hard would this be to get out of?

"Do you know why I pulled you over?"

"Honestly, Officer, I have no idea."

"Why did you flash your lights back there?"

"I did?"

"Yes, you did."

"Oh. This lever here controls my high beams, and I must have bumped it by accident. Why? What's the problem?"

Only the most uptight, anal-retentive cop in the history of Amerrrrrca would ticket for this anyway, so I can't imagine the callous bastard that would cite you for an accident. NOTE: This really depends on the way your car's headlight controls are set up.

Regardless, this is a stupid ticket to give anyway. If the point of a speed trap is to get people to slow down, and that goal is attained by drivers signaling to each other to slow down, what's the problem?

It's all about the revenue, baby.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Bob ()
Date: October 11, 2008 12:51AM

(first off, I'm not the "bob" in previous comments who called someone a moron, I always post as Bob, not bob. Maybe I should change my nickname.



Spacy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> > right to appeal to the Circuit Court any
> decision
> > where the amount in controversy exceeds $50.00
>
> Here's a few questions for lawyers.
>
> 1. In a state where I used to live, fines from
> traffic violations were
> not considered crimes, since the penalty was
> not jail. (However, they
> could arrest and jail you for not paying the
> fine, which is seperate.)
> Therefore, you did not have a right to appeal
> anything.
> In fact, the court didn't even have a judge,
> just a magistrate,
> who doesn't even have a law degree. You cannot
> bring a lawyer,
> you cannot have a jury trial, all decisions are
> final.
> Because this is just "administration".
>
> Is Virginia like that? People are citing a right
> to appeal and
> referencing the Circuit Court.


Anyway, the magistrate thing is done in DC also. I got arrested for driving without a license years ago when the VA DMV changed license expiration dates from the end of the month of your birthdate to your actual birthdate. I got taken to the distict station, thrown in a cell and then told that if I paid $100, I could get out. I had $100 in my pocket, so I paid and got out. When I got into the cab to get back to my car, I read the paperwork, and basically, I paid the police department not to file charges and take me to court. I remember it saying something about an "administrative process" and what not. But it also said that if I wanted to contest the charges, they would file them with the court and I could then have a trial. So in states where they try to make it seem more formal by actually having you go in front of a magistrate to make your case, you can always say "I'd rather go to trial, please process my charges". Although I'm sure they would get pissed that you were ruining their money making system and would hold you in jail until your court date 2 months later.



>
> 2. Can the "amount" be construed to be greater
> than the statutory
> fine amount? Because there are various
> administrative costs
> ("processing fees") and court costs that you
> are forced to pay.
> Also, if this is a moving violation, you will
> get points on your
> license and your insurance rates will skyrocket
> for years.


I think this is the flaw in this officer's approach. I guess one of his cop buddies is going to night school to get his law degree or something. They obviously just found whatever VA Code that appeared to mention flashing lights without realizing there's a huge difference between a state code that prohibits an action and a state code that defines something that is allowed. There is no way to violate this code, because it just defines which types of vehicles are allowed to have permanently installed mechanisms to cause their headlights to flash while their other emergency lights are flashing.


>
> 3. Is there some catch-all law that just lets them
> write tickets
> for things they don't like? The Federal
> Aviation Administratiojn
> has such a regulation for pilots of aircraft
> ("careless and reckless")
> that they usually throw onto any case, just for
> good measure.

Several. Failure to Obey a Highway Sign. Failure to Pay Full Time and Attention, and for cops willing to be absolute dicks and who love to use their nightsticks against a tail light, Broken Tail Light.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Bob ()
Date: October 11, 2008 01:18AM

The Big O Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Seriously, how hard would this be to get out of?
>
> "Do you know why I pulled you over?"
>
> "Honestly, Officer, I have no idea."
>
> "Why did you flash your lights back there?"
>
> "I did?"
>
> "Yes, you did."
>
> "Oh. This lever here controls my high beams, and
> I must have bumped it by accident. Why? What's
> the problem?"
>
> Only the most uptight, anal-retentive cop in the
> history of Amerrrrrca would ticket for this
> anyway, so I can't imagine the callous bastard
> that would cite you for an accident. NOTE: This
> really depends on the way your car's headlight
> controls are set up.
>
> Regardless, this is a stupid ticket to give
> anyway. If the point of a speed trap is to get
> people to slow down, and that goal is attained by
> drivers signaling to each other to slow down,
> what's the problem?
>
> It's all about the revenue, baby.


You're sort of right about it being about the revenue. It's also about getting people like Ebo1949 to be afraid of warning drivers about speed traps. Even though, we've been told time and again that these speed traps are about safety, to get people to slow down on certain roads and it seems counterintuitive to take away one form of visibility to speed traps so that people know to drive slow in that area, in order to ensure that those speed traps catch as many fine payers as possible.

Oh wait, it is all about the revenue.

But you wouldn't even have to say you hit it on accident. You could say an oncoming vehicle had their high beams on, and it was blinding you, so you flashed to tell him to turn them off. You could say that the car in front of you (assuming you are in the left lane) was driving below the speed limit and you wanted him to yield to you so you could overtake him as per VA Code 46.2-842.1 --http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+46.2-842.1

I flashed my brights because I know the guy in the car ahead of me and I was trying to get his attention.

I flashed my brights because I noticed a car that had a tail light out.

I flashed my brights because my car was designed to allow me to do that and there is no law that states what reason or condition I can or cannot do it in.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Bob ()
Date: October 11, 2008 01:27AM

"But officer, I was just trying to pass a slower moving car in the left lane on a divided highway."

§ 46.2-842.1. Drivers to give way to certain overtaking vehicles on divided highways.

It shall be unlawful to fail to give way to overtaking traffic when driving a motor vehicle to the left and abreast of another motor vehicle on a divided highway. On audible or light signal, the driver of the overtaken vehicle shall move to the right to allow the overtaking vehicle to pass as soon as the overtaken vehicle can safely do so. A violation of this section shall not be construed as negligence per se in any civil action.

(1989, c. 708, § 46.1-211.1.)

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Spacy ()
Date: October 12, 2008 07:52PM

By the way, is passing on the right, illegal?

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Bob ()
Date: October 12, 2008 09:41PM

Spacy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> By the way, is passing on the right, illegal?


Apparently, it is legal.

http://law.justia.com/virginia/codes/toc4602000/46.2-841.html

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Spacy ()
Date: August 07, 2009 06:46AM

For anyone who wasn't clear about the law as discussed above, here is a case from Bethesda to clarify.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/06/AR2009080602233.html?wprss=rss_metro


Police Chief Tells Driver Ticket for Flashing Lights Was Wrong
By Rick Rojas
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 7, 2009

The Washington lawyer who threatened to file suit against Montgomery County police after being ticketed for flashing his lights in a speed enforcement zone says he is not likely to take legal action after he received an e-mail from the police chief.

Mark Zaid said Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger wrote that the officer had acted outside the policy of the department in issuing the ticket.

"I don't have any reason to believe this was anything other than a small number of officers who followed a mistaken policy," Zaid said Wednesday.

Zaid was ticketed in April in a Bethesda speed enforcement zone after he flashed his lights to thank a driver for warning him of the police officers stationed ahead.

The officer who ticketed him cited a law stating that it was illegal to flash his lights. Zaid examined the law and found that it refers to civilians driving with continuously flashing lights, like those on an emergency vehicle.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: formerhick76 ()
Date: August 17, 2009 10:35AM

It sounds like we have a case of 'contempt of cop' here.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: trogdor! ()
Date: August 27, 2011 01:18AM

Follow up on this: Right now this story is up on Drudge Report. It's from Florida, but it's the same sketchy situation:

http://www.wtsp.com/news/topstories/article/207550/250/FHP-sued-for-giving-out-illegal-tickets

Class action suit says Florida Highway Patrol illegally tickets motorists who warn others about speed traps

Tampa, Florida -- When the Florida Highway Patrol pulls someone over on the highway, it's usually because they were speeding.

But Eric Campbell was pulled over and ticketed while he was driving the speed limit.

Campbell says, "I was coming up the Veterans Expressway and I notice two Florida Highway Patrol Cars sitting on the side of the road in the median, with lights off."

Campbell says he did what he always does: flashed his lights on and off to warn drivers coming from the other direction that there was speed trap ahead.

According to Campbell, 60 seconds after passing the trooper, "They were on my tail and they pulled me over."

Campbell says the FHP trooper wrote him a ticket for improper flashing of high beams. Campbell says the trooper told him what he had done was illegal.

But later Campbell learned that is not the case. He filed a class action suit which says "Florida Statue 316.2397" -- under which Campbell was cited -- "does not prohibit the flashing of headlights as a means of communications, nor does it in any way reference flashing headlights or the use of high beams."

However, the FHP trooper who wrote the ticket either didn't know or didn't care. "You could tell in his voice he was upset," Campbell says. "He was professional, he wasn't rude... but you could tell he was irritated."

However, the lawsuit says the FHP is well aware they are wrongfully applying the state law and they are doing it as a means of generating revenue. In 2005, a court order was even issued saying the state law doesn't prohibit the flashing of vehicle headlights.

Campbell isn't the only one. Since 2005, FHP records show more than 10,429 drivers have been cited under the statute.

In addition to seeking the refund of the $100 ticket, the lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $15,000.

What's that costing you?

If each person illegally cited was awarded $15,000 that would be $156,435,000 in damages if the suit is successful. Then you would throw in at least another $1,042,900 in ticket refunds, all because it appears troopers don't like motorists warning others about speed traps.

Campbell says he felt as if the trooper thought it was a personal affront. According to Campbell, the trooper did not like the fact somebody was ratting him out.

The Florida Highway Patrol says it can't comment because of the pending lawsuit.

Campbell says FHP had no right to ticket him or anyone under the current law and he adds the agency is not being honest when it says it doesn't write tickets to increase revenue or punish people, but rather to get the motorist to slow down on the highway. If that were true, Campbell says the FHP should be delighted with him, because drivers did slow down before troopers could give them a ticket.

The suit evolved out the fact that Campbell says "I don't like what the government is dong especially now when most people have a hard time affording gas and now they have to defend themselves against a made up charge that doesn't exist."

The state will have to come up with the money for damages if the suit is successful, and guess where the money is coming from: your taxes.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: theShadowToo ()
Date: August 27, 2011 02:25PM

Thanks to trogdor! for reviving this old post, it was an interesting read.

A few years back I read in Readers Digest (Life in these United States section I think it was) something along the lines of the following:

So and so from some state was driving down the road when she noticed a couple kids on the side of the road holding up signs. As she got nearer, she realized what they said: Warning...Speed Trap Ahead! She slowed down and sure enough, there was a cop on the side of the road with his radar gun out. About 1/4 mile after the cop, there were a few more kids, also holding signs. These signs simply said: Donations Accepted.

I love that story.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Oliver_Wendell_Holmes ()
Date: August 27, 2011 02:43PM

Contact the court and ask for a continuance. They'll usually let you do this 3 times before telling you that if you don't show your case will be tried in your absence.

3 continuances will be about a year from the incident date. The officer will likely not show by that point...

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: grown man ()
Date: August 27, 2011 02:56PM

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


+1

people that are either too stupid or too immature to drive no more than 5 to 7 mph over the limit deserve tickets and plenty of them. Flashing of the lights should be done to warn other drivers of a safety issue ahead not to prevent law enforcement officers from doing the job you pay them to do.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Kilton ()
Date: August 27, 2011 03:18PM

grown man Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> people that are either too stupid or too immature
> to drive no more than 5 to 7 mph over the limit
> deserve tickets and plenty of them.

You're an idiot.

I like how you've determined exactly what degree of speeding is appropriate for everyone. Great work Einstein. :-)

> Flashing of
> the lights should be done to warn other drivers of
> a safety issue ahead not to prevent law
> enforcement officers from doing the job you pay
> them to do.

In these times of mass road rage and rudeness behind the wheel, it's refreshing to see drivers cooperating with each other by flashing lights. I support it 100%, and these tickets in Florida will be overturned because there's no such state law making light flashing illegal.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: ... ()
Date: August 27, 2011 05:44PM

It i$ un$afe* to fla$h light$, e$pecially around $peed trap$
*for regime revenue$

Good on whoever tries to warn anyone about a $peedtrap

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: kilton killer ()
Date: August 27, 2011 08:00PM

Kilton Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> In these times of mass road rage and rudeness
> behind the wheel, it's refreshing to see drivers
> cooperating with each other by flashing lights. I
> support it 100%,

ooh, Kilton supports it, so it must be right.

never know what dumbass comment is going to come out of your keyboard next.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Kilton ()
Date: August 27, 2011 08:13PM

kilton killer Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> never know what dumbass comment is going to come
> out of your keyboard next.

This coming from my stalker?

LOL. You're my biggest fan you dummy, and we both know it.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: grown Man ()
Date: August 28, 2011 08:41AM

Kilton Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> grown man Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > people that are either too stupid or too
> immature
> > to drive no more than 5 to 7 mph over the limit
> > deserve tickets and plenty of them.
>
> You're an idiot.
>
> I like how you've determined exactly what degree
> of speeding is appropriate for everyone. Great
> work Einstein. :-)
>
> > Flashing of
> > the lights should be done to warn other drivers
> of
> > a safety issue ahead not to prevent law
> > enforcement officers from doing the job you pay
> > them to do.
>
> In these times of mass road rage and rudeness
> behind the wheel, it's refreshing to see drivers
> cooperating with each other by flashing lights. I
> support it 100%, and these tickets in Florida will
> be overturned because there's no such state law
> making light flashing illegal.


Kilton, You will understand what Im talking about and agree with me when you grow up.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Kilton ()
Date: August 28, 2011 08:45AM

I know -- everyone who doesn't agree with you is just immature. You're the bestest driver there is. :-)

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Atom ()
Date: August 28, 2011 09:14AM

Instead of flashing your brights, try turning your lights on and off to warn people. (daytime only of course)

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: moderate speeder ()
Date: August 28, 2011 12:09PM

Kilton Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I know -- everyone who doesn't agree with you is
> just immature. You're the bestest driver there is.
> :-)


Heres grown mans car. He drives it with a floppy hat and dark wrap around sunglasses on wearing an adult diaper.
Attachments:
1995_mercury_grand_marquis_ls_20972879.jpg

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: the Unkilton ()
Date: August 28, 2011 12:17PM

Kilton Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I know -- everyone who doesn't agree with you is
> just immature. You're the bestest driver there is.
> :-)

I know -- everyone who doesn't agree with you is just stupid. You're the smartest person there is. :-)

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Kilton ()
Date: August 28, 2011 01:25PM

the Unkilton Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> I know -- everyone who doesn't agree with you is
> just stupid. You're the smartest person there is.
> :-)

Thank you! I knew my beloved stalker would start to see things my way. You're coming along quite nicely. :-)

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: BBQ ()
Date: August 28, 2011 08:33PM

Headlight flashing
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headlight_flashing

"In Virginia, headlight flashing to warn of police activity is not illegal, even though other evasion techniques like radar detectors are outlawed"

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: LortonGuy ()
Date: August 29, 2011 09:12AM

BBQ is right. We got off because flashing lights is not illegal. The cop gave me a ticket citing an unrelated law pertaining to using emergency equipment (Flashing "siren" lights).

The cop read the posts here and realized that several of us had done our homework but reading the statute, reseacrhingthe law, and were prepared to put up a defense.

When we got to court, he pulled us aside and said because we were honest he was letting us go and would not defend the ticket. That's BS of course, he knew he had written a ticket for an act that did not violate the law.

Interetsingly, he also specifically asked that we stop posting on this site about the incident which is why I was so vague immediately following the court appearance.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: BSCharge ()
Date: August 29, 2011 09:48AM

This is the type of BS charges that makes Fairfax County police look like assholes.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Me too! ()
Date: August 29, 2011 04:53PM

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.

Oh Shit. That's funny. I thought I was the only one. It happened to me 20 + years ago in NYC. The cop told me to mind my own business.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: follow up ()
Date: May 23, 2012 11:52AM

This link was posted in Off-Topic, but is relevant here.

Florida judge rules that flashing your headlights to warn other drivers of a speed trap is a lawful exercise of First Amendment rights

"People who flash their headlights to communicate are engaging in behavior protected by the U.S. Constitution," and cannot be ticketed for such action.

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-05-22/news/os-flashing-headlights-ruling-20120522_1_ryan-kintner-free-speech-headlights

Hopefully a Virginia judge will similarly "see the light."

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: NotACrime ()
Date: May 23, 2012 12:16PM

I called this 4 years ago:

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 *prevents* 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: FTP ()
Date: May 24, 2012 10:39PM

That cop actually asked you fguys to stop posting here ? ARE YOU FREAKING SERIOUS ?

Whats the cops name because I'm going to cause him some issues when I finish with my email campaign. I HATE COPS LIKE THIS ASSHOLE !

Give me that ASSHOLES NAME !!

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Date: May 24, 2012 11:18PM

Yah, what happens in Florida has no bearing on Virginia. You'll have to wait for a sympathetic VA judge.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Laurel ()
Date: June 04, 2013 08:20AM

This is an old thread, but it's what came up when I googled yesterday after being "warned" by a VA state trooper. He pulled me over for flashing my lights. I asked for a statute, which he refused to provide. (Haha!) After I argued with him for five minutes, I'm sure he would have given me a ticket if he could have.

I later had a lengthy phone discussion with the state patrol office in Salem.

--It is NOT illegal to flash your headlights.

--Is IS illegal to flash your high beams (see statute above re emergency vehicles, etc.)

That's the difference, people. The officer on the phone spent several minutes checking various statutes and conversing with another trooper. He also said he can't believe anyone would even write a ticket for this, and that he doesn't know any judge who would find someone guilty. (But this is southern VA, not Fairfax.)

I also use the (free) WAZE app on my phone. It serves as my GPS, and it's simple to alert fellow Wazers of where police are currently set up.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Speeder ()
Date: July 15, 2013 08:56AM


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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: asdfasdfsafd ()
Date: July 15, 2013 08:58AM

So there in fact is no statute against flashing your lights to warn another vehicle coming in my direction of a speed trap?

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Mr GFR ()
Date: July 15, 2013 10:41AM

asdfasdfsafd Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So there in fact is no statute against flashing
> your lights to warn another vehicle coming in my
> direction of a speed trap?


as long as they are not your high beams at night.....you are just now figuring this out?

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Driver ()
Date: February 06, 2014 12:02PM


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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: dont let cops scare you ()
Date: February 06, 2014 03:48PM

I call bullshit on this post. Being in law enforcement in FFX County for many years, an officer knows that there is no specific charge for a person flashing their beams during the daytime. What specific charge did they write you for? IF it was a night, there are code sections for when you can not use your high beams.

Once, I did pull somebody over for doing this since we had radar set up the roadway. This guy was flashing his lights. I pulled him over and asked him why he was flashing his lights. There was no way he was going to admit that he was doing this to alert other drivers about the radar unit. He said that he had no idea that his lights were doing this. So based on his admission, I gave him a ticket for Defective Equipment (the guy prepaid the fine). If he would have admitted what he did from the start, he would not have received a ticket because there was no code which I could write him up for and get a conviction. He would have received a lecture and been on his way.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: Louis Theroux ()
Date: February 06, 2014 04:17PM

I flash my fog lights and make it super obvious to the pooper trolling. Haven't had any problems yet.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: LortonGuy ()
Date: February 06, 2014 05:17PM

When he pulled me over the officer told me flashing lights to warn other drivers was illegal under state law. Then when filling out the ticket, he referenced the cite to the law against having flashing emergency lights on a civilian vehicle. I suspect he thought that we would not read the statute. Several of us did. When we showed up in court to challenge, he pulled us aside and said he was going to ask the judge to dismiss. Which he did. he obviously knew all along that it was a BS ticket.

Wasted a whole day going to court but at least the result was positive. I am sure a bunch of other people paid it. As I recall there were three of us that appeared in court that day.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: 0tter ()
Date: February 06, 2014 10:37PM

Yeah. I flash my fogs like it's Christmas. I warn everyone I can. They can't get you for driving without lights at night and they can't get you for flashing your highs.

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Re: Ticket for flashing lights
Posted by: let me get this straight ()
Date: February 07, 2014 01:29AM

So isn't it bordering on an illegal traffic stop if an officer pulls you over for flashing your lights? A valid traffic stop requires the officer have reasonable suspicion you are breaking the law...

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