If you’ve ever paid a speeding ticket, you probably think fines are more about generating revenue than improving highway safety.
Not so long ago, you had to drive on the sidewalks to get a traffic ticket in Atlanta, but, as budgets got tighter, police started writing more tickets to fund raises.
A time-honored way of warning your fellow man about speed traps has been to flash your headlights at approaching motorists. This is especially useful on most of I-16, the locations listed here, and anywhere else the sheriff is the judge’s cousin.
According to some police officers, flashing your headlights is illegal, but it’s not in Georgia, according to my hasty review of the Georgia Code, but I’m no lawyer and its possible you can be charged.
Fortunately for liberty and people in other states, a federal judge in Missouri has ruled flashing your headlights to warn other motorists of speed traps is a protected right under the First Amendment of the Constitution.
In 2012, all-around good guy and noted American Michael Elli was given a $1,000 ticket for flashing his headlights in the city of Ellisville, which sounds like the name of a city someone named Elli could get away with all kind of things, but I guess not.
Elli contested the ticket and the city dropped the case. Elli, along with the ACLU, filed a lawsuit anyway, saying his “freedom of speech” had been violated by flashing blue lights.
On Monday, the judge ordered the city to stop punishing drivers for using their high beams as warning signals.
In Florida, even though there is no specific law against flashing headlights, PO’d police officers were writing tickets for “misuse” of vehicle equipment.
Federal judges in the Sunshine State have made similar rulings, saying Americans have a right to warn fellow motorists of speed traps.
Now, what can we do about these red light cameras?
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