Flashing your headlights to warn of speed traps is free speech

This is wonderful:

A judge ruled Tuesday 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.

What makes this even better is that Kintner wasn’t merely driving down the road when he saw the cop. He was sitting at home, saw the cop park and pull out a radar gun. He then got in his car, drove a few blocks ahead, and sat there flashing his headlights at oncoming traffic. I’ve always wanted to do something like that. I admire Kintner for his follow-through. Not only did he stick it to ‘the man’, but his actions made sense from a safety standpoint anyway:

At an earlier hearing Circuit Judge Alan Dickey said, “If the goal of the traffic law is promote safety and not to raise revenue, then why wouldn’t we want everyone who sees a law enforcement officer with a radar gun in his hand, blinking his lights to slow down all those other cars?” reported The Crime Report.

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One Response

  1. I have the opinion, but I haven’t read it yet. I kind of figured this would be the ruling because it’s no different from calling a friend and telling them there is a cop parked over by _________.

    I’ve been to a few search and rescue operations where the aircraft we were working with gave us the skinny on where the troopers were hiding up ahead.

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