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If you remember when I posted about getting a ticket for flashing my cars headlights on the highway to warn of police speed traps...I fought the law and am involved in the class action lawsuit against at least 2 police agencies in the state of Florida...here's the latest...

http://www.clickorlando.com/news/Bill-allows-drivers-to-flash-headlights-warn-others-of-speed-traps/-/1637132/9279756/-/3hrlfmz/-/index.html
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can you post a link to the older story on MV?...and how did they know it was you? what evidence did they have? is their misinterpretation based partly on, how whether they can determine who flashed and what the intent was?
...one could be flashing to warn oncoming at any time, not just b/c of a speed trap. in my truck if i sense a problem ahead, i'll put my flashers on to warn those behind me of something [i perceive] as imminent...
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Re: If You Remember My Post From 1 1/2 Years Ago....
Munibonds wrote:
If you remember when I posted about getting a ticket for flashing my cars headlights on the highway to warn of police speed traps...I fought the law and am involved in the class action lawsuit against at least 2 police agencies in the state of Florida...here's the latest...

http://www.clickorlando.com/news/Bill-allows-drivers-to-flash-headlights-warn-others-of-speed-traps/-/1637132/9279756/-/3hrlfmz/-/index.html
Vindication is close!

Wonder what the upshot will be? Refund? Removing from your driving record?
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The police say speed traps are there to slow us down. Well if flashing headlights does it too then what's the problem? Oh yeah they don't make money when you do that.
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Good for you! I hope you win big. Speed-trap/ticket-writing zealots just create an atmosphere of distrust between the public and the real peace officers.
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richardsan wrote:
can you post a link to the older story on MV?...and how did they know it was you? what evidence did they have? is their misinterpretation based partly on, how whether they can determine who flashed and what the intent was?
...one could be flashing to warn oncoming at any time, not just b/c of a speed trap. in my truck if i sense a problem ahead, i'll put my flashers on to warn those behind me of something [i perceive] as imminent...
Richardsan,

They aren't talking about your 4-way or emergency flashers,which ever you prefer to call them, they're talking about flashing your headlights warning traffic going the other way of speed traps.

Personally I don't see a problem with it. No different than getting on the CB and telling people of the speed trap verbally.
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I admire your guts and determination. confronting the machine takes a hero! R
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Still Shifting wrote:
I admire your guts and determination. confronting the machine takes a hero! R
Or a Don Quijote, Quithote or however it's spelled.
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Wow has it been that long already? Way to stick with it. So the lawsuit that the last paragraph refers to is the one you are involved with?

Sometime after your original post I was talking to a deputy that used to live it the building we did and I don't remember his exact answer but it was something like it is not against the law as far as he knew but if he saw you do it he may pull you over to ask if everything was ok and maybe do a headlight check on your car to be sure the equipment is functioning properly.
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It is a pretty cut and dry case. You are communicating.

That is speech and is protected under the First Amendment.

Everything else is just pissing and moaning by the State who is infringing on motorists rights.
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DoorBuster wrote:
richardsan wrote:
can you post a link to the older story on MV?...and how did they know it was you? what evidence did they have? is their misinterpretation based partly on, how whether they can determine who flashed and what the intent was?
...one could be flashing to warn oncoming at any time, not just b/c of a speed trap. in my truck if i sense a problem ahead, i'll put my flashers on to warn those behind me of something [i perceive] as imminent...
Richardsan,

They aren't talking about your 4-way or emergency flashers,which ever you prefer to call them, they're talking about flashing your headlights warning traffic going the other way of speed traps.

Personally I don't see a problem with it. No different than getting on the CB and telling people of the speed trap verbally.
mes ami...i understood what the problem was, i hope my post doesn't confuse anyone, to think i didn't understand the OP...
my flashing[except when streaking] is a warning to prepare someone behind me, who may not see what i see ahead...a courtesy if you will...
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richardsan wrote:
in my truck if i sense a problem ahead, i'll put my flashers on to warn those behind me of something [i perceive] as imminent...
You live in Florida right? I forgot. Anyway if you do it is illegal to use four way flashers while moving. A lot of people are unaware of that (I was one of them) as you see a lot of people using them in heavy downpours while still traveling down the road. Not trying to hijack this thread. Just an FYI.

Again, kudos muni for stickin' it do da man!
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Let's see - sue the police for more than the fines collected and who pays the additional money awarded (damages, punitive award), plus the police's court costs, etc, etc.

You, the taxpayer, along with every other taxpayer in the jurisdiction who wasn't fined.

Kind of a Pyrrhic Victory for everyone except the lawyers.
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MUNI good for you and wow has it been that long ago. AL the police always have a lawyer on retainer so it gives them something to do. Razz emoticon
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Had to look up Pyrrhic Victory but yeah seems to be so Al.
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Aviator47 wrote:
Let's see - sue the police for more than the fines collected and who pays the additional money awarded (damages, punitive award), plus the police's court costs, etc, etc.

You, the taxpayer, along with every other taxpayer in the jurisdiction who wasn't fined.

Kind of a Pyrrhic Victory for everyone except the lawyers.
If our rights are worth dying for, then money is a cheap price indeed.
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stickyfrog wrote:
Had to look up Pyrrhic Victory but yeah seems to be so Al.
As Tomjasz would say, "Google is your friend".
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Sure is. Nerd emoticon
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I flash my lights mostly to warn drivers of something ahead they should be aware of. Like a construction crew or surveyors. Not always a warning of a speed trap. Imagine a cop attending a car crash. Wouldn't he like people to know they needed to slow down.
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Aviator47 wrote:
Kind of a Pyrrhic Victory for everyone except the lawyers.
Yes, but...

What's the alternative remedy? The police continued to write tickets even after it was clearly established that flashing lights at oncoming traffic was permissible. (At least, that's how I remember the original situation). How else to effect a change in behavior when the police themselves are abusing their authority?
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richardsan wrote:
can you post a link to the older story on MV?......
NSR:Got A Tkt For Flashing Headlamps Warning of Speedtrap..
Got Ticketed For Flashing My Headlights...
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jess wrote:
Aviator47 wrote:
Kind of a Pyrrhic Victory for everyone except the lawyers.
Yes, but...

What's the alternative remedy? The police continued to write tickets even after it was clearly established that flashing lights at oncoming traffic was permissible. (At least, that's how I remember the original situation). How else to effect a change in behavior when the police themselves are abusing their authority?
Well, if the court could levy the police who wrote the tickets with the settlement costs, that would be a different issue. Or charge them with some sort of infraction themselves. As our system of jurisprudence is structured, those officers will simply pay their proportionate share of the resulting tax burden as will my 83 year old cousin in Miami, who is otherwise not involved. Maybe the lawyers can get a multi-million settlement and every taxpayer can chip in a dollar to cover it? Kinda like redistribution of wealth, under a different name.

To me, the remedy is to simply have the court vacate every flashing headlight conviction (there are records that would get that done), refund any fines collected and at a max allow anyone who incurred legal expense to defend themselves to submit their receipts for reimbursal, all with 3% interest. Any subsequent issuance of such a ticket would be a "false arrest" or such, and there exists legal remedy for same.

It will be interesting to see what the court awards.
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Aviator47 wrote:
To me, the remedy is to simply have the court vacate every flashing headlight conviction (there are records that would get that done), refund any fines collected and at a max allow anyone who incurred legal expense to defend themselves to submit their receipts for reimbursal, all with 3% interest.
Alas, this too will cost the taxpayers. And if the police continue to do it (claiming that "it's for the courts to sort out", as they did before) then it will continue to cost the taxpayers.
Aviator47 wrote:
Any subsequent issuance of such a ticket would be a "false arrest" or such, and there exists legal remedy for same.
Except that it's not an arrest. It's a ticket. And I'd be surprised if there were any laws that punished police officers for writing bad tickets.

To me, this suit sends a clear message: stop writing false tickets for something you know is permissible. When it becomes a financial burden for the state, the state will police the police.
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jess

A financial burden for the state is a financial burden on the taxpayer. There is no way around that. Any "punitive damages" are punitive on the taxpayer and no one else. Which is why I say Pyrrhic Victory.

There are statutes pertaining to "official misconduct" in many jurisdictions, as well as similar remedies that can be addressed to offending officers. The only reason most will cheer a mega settlement is that most have no idea where the money will come from. That's almost as sad a social commentary as the actions of the police.

The cop who issued a patently bogus speeding citation to me in the early 60's (long story), and gave false testimony about it, got his badge pulled, simply because my attorney, after the testimony of witnesses was accepted and resulted in a not guilty, requested same from judge, along with a citation of the statute allowing the judge to do so. Cop ordered on suspension by judge, pending investigation, and I made a point of not driving in his precinct for a long time.
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Law suit really seems to be the only viable answer unfortunately. I don't remember all the details but I do remember something about the police knowing they were using the statute wrong and still doing it.

However, I think that some police may not be aware and hopefully the wording will be changed because it can be interpreted differently
Quote:
(7) Flashing lights are prohibited on vehicles except as a means of indicating a right or left turn, to change lanes, or to indicate that the vehicle is lawfully stopped or disabled upon the highway or except that the lamps authorized in subsections (1), (2), (3), (4), and (9) and s. 316.235(5) are permitted to flash.
Here's the whole thing http://law.onecle.com/florida/motor-vehicles/316.2397.html

And the latest change I could find but still doesn't seem to clear anything up http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2012/0390/Amendment/503778/PDF

I think 316.001[7] refers to blinkers, hazard lights or other lights that can be set to blink as opposed to non modulated headlights. Speaking of which may actually be illegal according to this. Anyway that is my layman's look at it.
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Aviator47 wrote:
A financial burden for the state is a financial burden on the taxpayer. There is no way around that. Any "punitive damages" are punitive on the taxpayer and no one else. Which is why I say Pyrrhic Victory.
Oh, I agree. There's no doubt that the taxpayers will bear the burden. If the state is doing its collective job of governance, though, it will recognize the problem and correct it. This is one way to effect change, and possibly the only way, in this case, to effect this change. I'm not cheering because the taxpayers are being burdened, I'm cheering because this will likely result in change. If the state isn't paying attention and continues to let the police write bogus tickets, then it is up to the taxpayers to demand better governance.
Aviator47 wrote:
The cop who issued a patently bogus speeding citation to me in the early 60's (long story), and gave false testimony about it, got his badge pulled, simply because my attorney, after the testimony of witnesses was accepted and resulted in a not guilty, requested same from judge, along with a citation of the statute allowing the judge to do so. Cop ordered on suspension by judge, pending investigation, and I made a point of not driving in his precinct for a long time.
I suspect that had the officer not given false testimony, there would have been zero repercussions for the officer.

Writing bad tickets over a long period of time, besides being an abuse of authority, costs the taxpayers a lot of money. If it costs the taxpayers some more money to put an end to the losses (and the violations of the public's rights), then I'm all for it.
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[quote="jess"]
Aviator47 wrote:
I suspect that had the officer not given false testimony, there would have been zero repercussions for the officer.
It would have been difficult for him not to. He wasn't even on the road following me, but behind some foliage on the exit ramp. The ticket was for speeding on the parkway itself. 60 in a 45 zone, citing a mile marker 1/4 mile before the exit ramp.

I was followed by a car, the three occupants of which testified that we were the only two cars in sight on the parkway (around 12:30 AM) in the northbound lane. If course, to make matters worse for the officer, he testified that he first saw me "traveling at an excessive rate of speed" at an overpass almost two miles before where I and the witnesses testified that we got on the parkway. When he said that, I knew he was dead in the water. The witnesses were not present to hear the officer's testimony, so that lent weight to their contradiicting testimony, no less that the entrance we did testify to using made sense based on where we said the event we were coming from and the driver of the other car still had his ticket stub for the event.

Since the other car exited at the next exit, the cop had no idea they were following me.

My attorney was going to ask the judge to have the court check any and all late night speeding tickets at that mile marker, but decided to quit while he was ahead.

No idea what ultimately happened to the cop, but the judge was not at all pleased.
⚠️ Last edited by Aviator47 on UTC; edited 2 times
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I think it's pretty-much settled here in Ontario (Canada) that, by flashing your lights, you're helping to slow down other drivers (which is what the radar is supposed to accomplish). However, a friend of mine was stopped for flashing, and the cop claimed there might be a problem with his lights, and made him go to some sort of inspection station to have them checked. That was a real PITA.
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The police here in England take a very dim view of the practise of flashing your headlights to warn others of speed traps.
http://goo.gl/LX6k2
It's a very thorny issue here- The newspaper report said that the gentleman was fined because he was obstructing the police in doing their duty i.e the police wasn't making enough cash while the gentleman was warning others..
This problem is getting worse as local councils are facing cutbacks, and so the police use handheld devices - in other words, you knew where the fixed speed camera's were so you made sure you kept to the speed limit - now you have no idea where they are thanks to the mobile traps!
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stickyfrog wrote:
Had to look up Pyrrhic Victory but yeah seems to be so Al.
+1 thanks for the history lesson Al, and improving my vocabulary
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Can someone tell me why all vehicles (except my Vespa) are fitted with the ability to flash your headlights if it's illegal to do so? Nerd emoticon
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You can flash them on a Vespa. Push the switch back instead of forward
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If the class action suit is successful or even settled you better believe the police supervisors will send the message to stop the practice. If that costs the taxpayers to pay this out OK that's what you need to stop these kind of abuses. Pretty please usually does not work with institutions. They do respond to hits in the wallet. If Florida has to pay out their AG will make this crystal clear to the police. That's worth it to me even if it happens in my state.
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StooterBoy wrote:
You can flash them on a Vespa. Push the switch back instead of forward
Works on Piaggio bikes. Doesn't work on the Vespa (unless the switch is dodgy).
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Thanks Jess. I thought I was going crazy trying to get mine to work. Whew emoticon
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Rage against the machine. Clap emoticon

Good on ya.
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aren't we leaving out
another possible necessitative reason to flash lights?
like when grandma leaves her brights on and is driving, blinding everyone headed the opposite way?
how can the popo determine an infraction, if the oncoming vehicle "appeared" to be driving with its high beams on and a driver flashed them to lower them"?
i have flashed before, thinking,'those are bright' and sometimes get them dimmed, and other times get an even brighter flash back[misaligned, perhaps]
maybe it's a state level thing...where it's not okay some places and not considered in others?
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Flashing one's lights means nothing more, and nothing less, than "I am here".

Useful with use of the horn as some drivers or other road users could be deaf.

To assume anything more (especially by LEOs) is a stretch too far methinks.
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Santiago wrote:
If the class action suit is successful or even settled you better believe the police supervisors will send the message to stop the practice. If that costs the taxpayers to pay this out OK that's what you need to stop these kind of abuses. Pretty please usually does not work with institutions. They do respond to hits in the wallet. If Florida has to pay out their AG will make this crystal clear to the police. That's worth it to me even if it happens in my state.
Santiago-

And if it's not OK with my cousin Eugene in Miami? Or my cousin Aaron in west Palm, who is 90 and doesn't drive and feels he has no skin in the game? There have been posts here bemoaning taxes for services one of us doesn't not wish to fund. (Some even got threads locked and posters banned). A large settlement would a solution whose costs would be imposed totally upon the taxpayer, but sadly, not viewed that way.

I do think that there could and should be a better way, that's all. Rooting for huge punitive damages may be emotionally pleasing, but still, when the burden falls on uninvolved taxpayers, sad, sad, sad.

Give back fines collected and proven legal costs plus 3% interest and move on.

Funny that folks rail against the McDonalds hot coffee suit, and there was clear malfeasance in the part of the company resulting in more than that one famous scaulding, if you bother to read the whole and true story., but scream for vengeance at their own expense in other cases.
@aviator47 avatar
UTC

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2006 PX 150 & Malossi Kitted Malaguti Yesterday (Wife's)
Joined: UTC
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Location: Paros Island, Greece
 
Moderator
@aviator47 avatar
2006 PX 150 & Malossi Kitted Malaguti Yesterday (Wife's)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 12955
Location: Paros Island, Greece
UTC quote
jimc wrote:
Flashing one's lights means nothing more, and nothing less, than "I am here".

Useful with use of the horn as some drivers or other road users could be deaf.

To assume anything more (especially by LEOs) is a stretch too far methinks.
jim

As far back as I can remember, in the Colonies it also was also a warning that a speed monitoring site (radar, or rubber tubes across the road before that) is ahead.

However, there is no intellectually legitimate reason, in my mind, for legally prohibiting such practice. Enforcing or obeying speed limits is not a contest nor a game, but a mark of a reasonably civilized society (civilized police, and civilized citizenry as well). Again, in my mind.
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