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Florida - Judge: Flashing Your 'High Beam' to Warn about Police Is First Amendment Right

Published on: May 24, 2012 11:56 AM
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Florida - A judge ruled that a man who flashed his headlights to warn drivers of a nearby police speed trap was exercising his right to free speech, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Ryan Kintner, 25, of Lake Mary, Florida, was ticketed last August in Seminole County for what police said was a violation of a state traffic law that outlined appropriate headlight use.

Kintner contested the ticket and sued the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office for violating his civil rights, reported the Sentinel.
The circuit judge hearing the case ruled last October that using headlights for communication didn’t fall under the state law.

After a second hearing, the judge took his ruling a step further Tuesday, saying Kintner was protected by his constitutional right to free speech under the First Amendment.


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Read Comments (9)  —  Post Yours »

1

 May 24, 2012 at 12:08 PM Yossi Says:

i got ticketed on the NJ 17 South on a motze shabbos for signaling a speed trap...
The ticket was for improper use of Head lights and i paid $72.00 fine..
My civil rights was violated but now i am not such a good person warning others..
Dont speed and dont flash..

2

 May 24, 2012 at 12:55 PM Samson660 Says:

Proof that the Police are only interested in collecting money. The more they collect, the more that they can demand. If the purpose was to LOWER speeders, then this was accomplished. As well. the police would target speeders on the highways and NOT down some hill or over a stretch of unpopulated areas. Dangerous accidents occur on highways or from Drunk Drivers. Let police be involved in helping to prevent crimes by walking beats or driving neighbourhoods at night and NOT going entrapping drivers. Chaim....Toronto

3

 May 24, 2012 at 01:16 PM DenverYid Says:

Reply to #2  
Samson660 Says:

Proof that the Police are only interested in collecting money. The more they collect, the more that they can demand. If the purpose was to LOWER speeders, then this was accomplished. As well. the police would target speeders on the highways and NOT down some hill or over a stretch of unpopulated areas. Dangerous accidents occur on highways or from Drunk Drivers. Let police be involved in helping to prevent crimes by walking beats or driving neighbourhoods at night and NOT going entrapping drivers. Chaim....Toronto

Wrong. The idea behind a speed trap is to catch speeders who speed everywhere.
Receiving a ticket can be a life saving lesson for both the speeder and the public. Warning speeders about a speed trap may save them a fine but could cost society a fatality down the road (put intended)

4

 May 24, 2012 at 01:23 PM My2Cents Says:

I used to flash oncoming traffic about speed traps when I was younger. But I stopped once I started driving for a while and realized that there are a lot of lunatics on the road and innocent people are killed every day because of reckless driving.

5

 May 24, 2012 at 02:35 PM Binumin Says:

To me its like your neighbor in shul is talking middle davening and you warning him, Hey the Gabbe is coming...There is NO need to warn violators..Just dont speed

6

 May 24, 2012 at 04:13 PM Aryeh Says:

if flashing the lights makes somebody drive safer, why are the police again$t it?

7

 May 24, 2012 at 04:58 PM Anonymous Says:

It may not be against the law, but I do think that it violates halacha to flash your high beams as you are indeed obstructing a scenario whereby the guilty are to be enforced with laws. Either way, I do not think its going to make your day get that much worse, but Hashem does judge all of our guilt and all of our needs.

8

 May 24, 2012 at 10:59 PM Benny Says:

Reply to #1  
Yossi Says:

i got ticketed on the NJ 17 South on a motze shabbos for signaling a speed trap...
The ticket was for improper use of Head lights and i paid $72.00 fine..
My civil rights was violated but now i am not such a good person warning others..
Dont speed and dont flash..

There is no reason (legally) not to flash your lights. He was erroneously cited by the police. The law cited by the police did/does not include headlights, rather a flashing color light.
Kudos to the court for siding with the constitution. Shame on the cop for being so zealous.

9

 May 25, 2012 at 11:00 AM srulyk Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

It may not be against the law, but I do think that it violates halacha to flash your high beams as you are indeed obstructing a scenario whereby the guilty are to be enforced with laws. Either way, I do not think its going to make your day get that much worse, but Hashem does judge all of our guilt and all of our needs.

The same way you write: "Hashem does judge all of our guilt and all of our needs." Well, you can apply that to the driver who is speeding too! Having said this, it still doesn't mean you don't have a some point here. Hatzlacha rabah! & a joyous YT!

10

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