Drivers warning others to 'slow down' not against the law
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 23:09:38 GMT —
An Oregon judge dismissed a man's traffic ticket last week after he was pulled over and cited for improperly using his headlights to warn other drivers about a possible speed trap.
The judge made his decision saying that motorists flashing their headlights amounts to speech protected by the Oregon Constitution.
According to Michigan State Police, flashing your lights to warn other drivers in the state isn't against the law.
Trooper Rich Hall says that before he started working for the Michigan State Police, he always appreciated the headlight warnings that he received when he was out driving.
His opinion has since changed. He says he's learned that sometimes this friendly gesture can be given out to the wrong people.
"You could be warning somebody that's a very bad person," said Hall. "Maybe they're just not speeding, but maybe they just assaulted their wife or somebody else."
Hall says the majority of big arrests happen during routine traffic stops.
Drivers can't receive a ticket for flashing their lights at someone in Michigan, but they can still be pulled over if law enforcement think they are in violation of another law, or if they feel a person in the vehicle could be in danger.
"We are going to probably investigate the car further just to make sure that they're secure inside of the car," said Hall. "Because we don't know if they are flashing their high beams at us, or at somebody else."
State Police caution that if drivers want to flash their lights at someone to be careful when they do. They say that if you do it when you are too close to another car, it can startle the driver and could cause an accident.
Failing to turn your high beams off when you pass another car is against the law in Michigan. Michigan State Police report that they can pull you over for it, and they can write you a ticket.