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The Mysterious Stranger
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Posted: 10/13/2011 6:07:32 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/13/2011 6:16:38 AM EST by metalsaber]
I think all of us have done this or seen someone flash their lights to warn drivers that there are cops up ahead.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/10/12/taking-liberties-bright-lights-big-trouble/
Initially he was cited for "improper flashing of high-beams". Ticket was later dismissed, but he's now filing a suit in FL.


"He has a definite different interpretation of the U.S. Constitution than I do,” said Thomas Ruskin. "And than most members of law enforcement.”

Ruskin is a former New York Police Department detective and current police advocate. He says flashing high beams is dangerous and clearly illegal.

"It's illegal because you're warning someone,” he explained. "It's the same thing as saying, 'run, here comes the cops,' You're obstructing a cop from doing his lawful duty.”

He said citizens do not have the right to interfere with a police action that is under way.

"He is aiding law-breakers,” said Ruskin. "He is warning people who are speeding to slow down. His intent is to impede the police.”




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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:09:40 AM EST
its saved my ass a few times

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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:10:02 AM EST
In some states I do believe it is some kind of non-summary driving offense.

Speed


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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:10:06 AM EST
Nope.
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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:11:37 AM EST
No. If the goal of speed traps is to slow people down, it slowed people down.


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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:12:13 AM EST
Originally Posted By VBC:
No. If the goal of speed traps is to slow people down, it slowed people down.



Exactly!
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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:14:19 AM EST
Originally Posted By packinheavy:
Originally Posted By VBC:
No. If the goal of speed traps is to slow people down, it slowed people down.



Exactly!


The only problem is that we all know that is not the goal...

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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:14:39 AM EST
If the guy wins, it will be a huge money maker for him. He gets a cut of all revenue from of all the people that have been wrongly ticketed.
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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:14:53 AM EST
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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:15:34 AM EST

Originally Posted By Aimless:
Wow read the part about the cop from NY

yeah I should have included that part, but didn't want to seem biased. It was pretty much an eye opener.
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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:17:06 AM EST
Its not illegal here in Texas from what my Texas Law professor and long time police officer says...

The reasoning being that if the Officer has not seen the speeding vehicle then technically, no crime as occurred.
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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:17:46 AM EST
I do it religiously, I don't care if a cop sees me doing it either.


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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:19:28 AM EST
Originally Posted By metalsaber:
I think all of us have done this or seen someone flash their lights to warn drivers that there are cops up ahead.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/10/12/taking-liberties-bright-lights-big-trouble/
Initially he was cited for "improper flashing of high-beams". Ticket was later dismissed, but he's now filing a suit in FL.


"He has a definite different interpretation of the U.S. Constitution than I do,” said Thomas Ruskin. "And than most members of law enforcement.”

Ruskin is a former New York Police Department detective and current police advocate. He says flashing high beams is dangerous and clearly illegal.

"It's illegal because you're warning someone,” he explained. "It's the same thing as saying, 'run, here comes the cops,' You're obstructing a cop from doing his lawful duty.”

He said citizens do not have the right to interfere with a police action that is under way.

"He is aiding law-breakers,” said Ruskin. "He is warning people who are speeding to slow down. His intent is to impede the police.”






I beat one of those tickets here a few months ago..

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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:20:47 AM EST
Is it illegal by letter of the law (depending on state) yes.

Is it morally wrong? I'd say NOT warning someone is worse.
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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:21:14 AM EST
Gotta keep that money flowing.


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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:23:04 AM EST
Not illegal here neither.
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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:23:58 AM EST
Screw the police and thief many stupid laws they enforce .
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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:25:23 AM EST

Originally Posted By E5TOMHAV:
Originally Posted By packinheavy:
Originally Posted By VBC:
No. If the goal of speed traps is to slow people down, it slowed people down.



Exactly!


The only problem is that we all know that is not the goal...

Correct, "speed traps" (I put it in quotes because 99% of the time I hear this term its not actually a "speed trap", just an officer trying to enforce the law) are not intended to slow people down in the vicinity of the "speed trap", the goal is to punish people who consistently break the law. After receiving a fine then perhaps they will slow down. Regardless if someone regularly speeds or not, the psychological effect of "I don't want to get a huge ticket" does indeed help keep people driving near the speed limit.


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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:26:08 AM EST
Flashing your lights at another driver isn't telling that other driver to run from the police. Quite the opposite: it tells other drivers to slow down, to comply with the posted speed limit.
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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:26:29 AM EST

Originally Posted By Muerte:
Screw the police and thief many stupid laws they enforce .
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So speed limits (set to help ensure that the traffic flows safely due to the design of the roadway) are "stupid"?


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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:27:32 AM EST
Speeding is illegal as well. Does that stop people from speeding? It doesn't stop me.
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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:27:38 AM EST
Either way, I do it often and I appreciate when others give me a heads up as well.

So what about giving out activity/placement over the CB? Never heard a peep out of anyone over that and its the same thing.
Or how about when the morning radio traffic reports "police activity" in a certain area? I hear about it every day.

The guy will win and a bunch of pompus LEO's will get to eat crow.

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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:28:16 AM EST
Hopefully this will wake others up to fight other types of stupid tickets.

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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:29:15 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/13/2011 6:29:32 AM EST by metalsaber]
Keep in mind, the person flashing their lights has NO idea if the oncoming traffic is breaking the law or not. They could already be complying with the speed limit. So to say that the person is aiding people break the law is ridiculous.
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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:29:56 AM EST
I flash all the damn time and appreciate it if someone flashes me.

Revenue generation by the cops really pisses me off.
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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:30:15 AM EST
I think the "wrongness" of it from a legal standpoint would depend upon the flasher knowing that other drivers are speeding (knowledge of a crime in progress, so to speak).

If everybody is driving the speed limit, the flasher has not changed the game at all.

In the end, though, if everybody slows down and overall safety is increased, the only downside is law enforcement missing out of some revenue enhancement.
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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:30:50 AM EST
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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:33:23 AM EST
I use my foglights, wired separately from the headlights.

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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:33:43 AM EST

Originally Posted By metalsaber:
I think all of us have done this or seen someone flash their lights to warn drivers that there are cops up ahead.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/10/12/taking-liberties-bright-lights-big-trouble/
Initially he was cited for "improper flashing of high-beams". Ticket was later dismissed, but he's now filing a suit in FL.


"He has a definite different interpretation of the U.S. Constitution than I do,” said Thomas Ruskin. "And than most members of law enforcement.”

Ruskin is a former New York Police Department detective and current police advocate. He says flashing high beams is dangerous and clearly illegal.

"It's illegal because you're warning someone,” he explained. "It's the same thing as saying, 'run, here comes the cops,' You're obstructing a cop from doing his lawful duty.”

He said citizens do not have the right to interfere with a police action that is under way.

"He is aiding law-breakers,” said Ruskin. "He is warning people who are speeding to slow down. His intent is to impede the police.”





So Ruskin doesn't want people to slow down? Proof that speeding tickets are not for safety, merely a revenue generator.
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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:35:09 AM EST
wow this is the GD.....got confused with all of the excellent points above.
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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:35:31 AM EST
I did it a month or so ago, and another cop coming from the opposite direction saw me flash
and pulled me over.

He said it was illegal in Tennessee to do ANYTHING that distracts another motorist
including flashing, yelling, or waving.

He gave me a verbal warning and let me go.

I don't know if he was full of shit or not.

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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:36:23 AM EST

Originally Posted By BikerTrashXx4:

Originally Posted By metalsaber:
I think all of us have done this or seen someone flash their lights to warn drivers that there are cops up ahead.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/10/12/taking-liberties-bright-lights-big-trouble/
Initially he was cited for "improper flashing of high-beams". Ticket was later dismissed, but he's now filing a suit in FL.


"He has a definite different interpretation of the U.S. Constitution than I do,” said Thomas Ruskin. "And than most members of law enforcement.”

Ruskin is a former New York Police Department detective and current police advocate. He says flashing high beams is dangerous and clearly illegal.

"It's illegal because you're warning someone,” he explained. "It's the same thing as saying, 'run, here comes the cops,' You're obstructing a cop from doing his lawful duty.”

He said citizens do not have the right to interfere with a police action that is under way.

"He is aiding law-breakers,” said Ruskin. "He is warning people who are speeding to slow down. His intent is to impede the police.”





So Ruskin doesn't want people to slow down? Proof that speeding tickets are not for safety, merely a revenue generator.

+1

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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:36:25 AM EST
You forgot the "I Don't Care" option.

I think it depends on the state.
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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:36:54 AM EST
Your poll question and title are twisted.

Should it be illegal to warn police are ahead if u flash ur highbeams? No.

Is it illegal to flash your high beams at night regardless of why? Technically yes. If within 500 highbeams cannot be used. Is it enforced? Yes, but not for flashing.
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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:37:23 AM EST
Originally Posted By fatalerror113:

Originally Posted By Muerte:
Screw the police and thief many stupid laws they enforce .
Big Brother

So speed limits (set to help ensure that the traffic flows safely due to the design of the roadway) are "stupid"?




Since most of the speed limits are set artificially low....yes.
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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:37:31 AM EST

Originally Posted By Mazeman:
You forgot the "I Don't Care" option.

I think it depends on the state.

well should go off the thread title which is do you believe it should be illegal? Hoping most people can make up their minds and not vote present.
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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:38:10 AM EST
so then all of the websites and apps that show speedtraps are illegal?

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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:38:17 AM EST

Originally Posted By VooDoo3dfx:
Your poll question and title are twisted.

Should it be illegal to warn police are ahead if u flash ur highbeams? No.

Is it illegal to flash your high beams at night regardless of why? Technically yes. If within 500 highbeams cannot be used. Is it enforced? Yes, but not for flashing.

I know but can't edit it now. Should be based on what the thread title asks.
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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:38:35 AM EST
Originally Posted By VBC:
No. If the goal of speed traps is to slow people down, it slowed people down.



If that's the goal instead of revenue, what's the big deal?
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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:39:10 AM EST
Flashing headlights causes a denial in revenue for the police department.

By flashing your headlights, you are preventing the police officers from getting their paychecks, and perhaps endangering their ability to make it home safely that day.
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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:40:31 AM EST
Originally Posted By HermanSnerd:
I did it a month or so ago, and another cop coming from the opposite direction saw me flash
and pulled me over.

He said it was illegal in Tennessee to do ANYTHING that distracts another motorist
including flashing, yelling, or waving.

He gave me a verbal warning and let me go.

I don't know if he was full of shit or not.



Searched the Tennessee Code Annotated and found:

55-8-187. Obscene or patently offensive bumper stickers, window signs, etc., prohibited.

To avoid distracting other drivers and thereby reduce the likelihood of accidents arising from lack of attention or concentration, the display of obscene and patently offensive movies, bumper stickers, window signs or other markings on or in a motor vehicle that are visible to other drivers is prohibited and display of such materials shall subject the owner of the vehicle on which they are displayed, upon conviction, to a fine of fifty dollars ($50.00). "Obscene" or "patently offensive" has the meaning specified in § 39-17-901.

He's FOS.
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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:40:51 AM EST

Originally Posted By DangerJ:
Flashing headlights causes a denial in revenue for the police department.

By flashing your headlights, you are preventing the police officers from getting their paychecks, and perhaps endangering their ability to make it home safely that day.

If you prevented the cop from stopping a violent offender that might have killed the cop during a routine stop, aren't you saving his life?
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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:41:35 AM EST
Originally Posted By metalsaber:

Originally Posted By DangerJ:
Flashing headlights causes a denial in revenue for the police department.

By flashing your headlights, you are preventing the police officers from getting their paychecks, and perhaps endangering their ability to make it home safely that day.

If you prevented the cop from stopping a violent offender that might have killed the cop during a routine stop, aren't you saving his life?


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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:41:47 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/13/2011 6:46:40 AM EST by Admiral_Crunch]
I don't just use them to warn of speed traps. I use them to warn of upcoming debris in the road, traffic accidents, parked emergency vehicles, etc. Anything that a driver needs to slow down for.
I use my headlights, but not my high beams. Using high-beams with close, oncoming traffic is illegal.

I believe the SCOTUS has ruled that warning other drivers of speed traps is protected free speech, as it should be.
Scratch that. Can't find anything about it. Still seems to be a state-by-state thing.
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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:42:26 AM EST
In my opinion as a former LE you can not site someone for trying to get others to comply with the law. This was my view on it as an LEO but others I worked with did not all agree.
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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:44:54 AM EST
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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:45:11 AM EST
Originally Posted By E5TOMHAV:
Originally Posted By packinheavy:
Originally Posted By VBC:
No. If the goal of speed traps is to slow people down, it slowed people down.



Exactly!


The only problem is that we all know that is not the goal...


Aye.

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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:46:48 AM EST
Originally Posted By fatalerror113:

Originally Posted By Muerte:
Screw the police and thief many stupid laws they enforce .
Big Brother

So speed limits (set to help ensure that the traffic flows safely due to the design of the roadway) are "stupid"?




If that were true and every roadway had its maximum safe speed posted and didn't fluctuate in certain spots, towns, etc. then you might have a point.
You know better. It is not about safety.

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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:51:13 AM EST
It seems like it would be difficult or impossible to prove intent. You could say that you inadvertently bumped the high beam switch. It's not illegal to actuate your high beams, is it?

They couldn't prove that you even had knowledge that there was a cop car at all.
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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:51:45 AM EST
Originally Posted By DangerJ:
Flashing headlights causes a denial in revenue for the police department.

By flashing your headlights, you are preventing the police officers from getting their paychecks, and perhaps endangering their ability to make it home safely that day.


I didnt realize the amount of tickets cops right is related to their paycheck.

I guess that is why unions are so against quotas.
ككافر
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Link Posted: 10/13/2011 6:55:37 AM EST
Pretty sure it is illegal here - that does not mean it should be illegal.

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