Police

Judge Says Speed-Trap Warning Beams are Cool

Flashing is free speech, says court.

Many a driver has had an anonymous stranger to thank for getting them out of a speed-trap conundrum. These Good Samaritans will spot one of those cops hiding in the bushes on the other side of the road, then spend the next couple of miles flashing their headlights at oncoming drivers - warning them to slow down to avoid a ticket. Michael Elli of Ellisville Missouri was doing just that in November 2012, when a cop pulled him over and cited him.

Taking his case to court and learning that a fine for the offense could reach up to $1,000, retiree Elli managed to convince the St. Louis judge that he was simply expressing his freedom of speech - alerting drivers of police presence. As more states put out increasingly complex regulations regarding the use of high-beam headlights, at least in Missouri drivers will enjoy the freedom of to help their fellow drivers. And when a court ruling supports any form of flashing, we’re all for it.

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