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Flashing lights to warn of speed traps

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  • Flashing lights to warn of speed traps

    Here is one of the two times a day where the clocks are stopped and I agree with the ACLU on something. I believe that flashing one's headlights to warn of an upcoming speed trap clearly falls under freedom of speech, and calling it obstruction of justice is a serious stretch.

    http://www.kansascity.com/2014/02/04...s-to-warn.html
    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

  • #2
    I can see it both ways. One, it is a free speech thing and two, you don't have the right to drive a car or use the highway system. You have to have a license and obey certain laws. If there is a law that says you can't flash your headlights at other drivers to warn of speed traps, then that seems like it could be a legitimate law.

    Also, free speech is about political speech not all speech. You can't cause a noise disturbance or yell "fire" in a public place if there isn't a fire, for instance.
    Last edited by Sparko; 02-04-2014, 10:46 AM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
      Here is one of the two times a day where the clocks are stopped and I agree with the ACLU on something. I believe that flashing one's headlights to warn of an upcoming speed trap clearly falls under freedom of speech, and calling it obstruction of justice is a serious stretch.

      http://www.kansascity.com/2014/02/04...s-to-warn.html
      It's willful obstruction of the detection of criminal activity. I don't see how it can be more blatant.

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      • #4
        Why does "freedom of speech" then not include standing outside an abortion clinic and praying?

        Or telling people that adultery, fornication and homosexuality are sins in a letter to the editor or online or to a group of people?

        Or telling people that without Christ they are bound for an eternity away from the presence of God?

        Seems to me that "freedom of speech" is highly subjective.


        Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

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        • #5
          Yeah.
          "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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          • #6
            When I was a cop, many years ago, our department discouraged "speed traps". We DID, however, have "selective enforcement" of particular stretches of roadway or highway.

            What's the difference?

            A "speed trap" generally implies some form of trickery or deceit on the part of the law enforcement agency. For example, setting up radar, partially hidden from the view of the roadway, at a place where the speed limit conveniently drops from, say, 55 mph down to 35 mph in a short period of time. (If you are aware of something like that, I'd encourage you to talk to your city council and protest that)

            "Selective enforcement" is where there may have been an increase in the number of accidents, or people habitually abusing a school zone, or something like that, where you want a VISIBLE PRESENCE to deter speeding or unsafe operation.

            Then there's the "active traffic stop", where an officer has somebody pulled over -- and somebody passing that spot wants to warn oncoming traffic to be careful "up ahead". In THAT case, I was always HAPPY that somebody "flashed lights", because I didn't want to get killed or run over in the performance of my duty.
            "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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            • #7
              If the purpose of the Speed Trap is to slow traffic down for safety etc. then flashing your lights (or using the digital equivalent: Waze) then you are actually helping as it reduces the speed people are travelling along that section of road at.

              On the other hand if speed trapping is purely for revenue gathering (and it should never be) then can I see why they would object to you warning fellow motorists.
              "If you can ever make any major religion look absolutely ludicrous, chances are you haven't understood it"
              -Ravi Zacharias, The New Age: A foreign bird with a local walk

              Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
              1 Corinthians 16:13

              "...he [Doherty] is no historian and he is not even conversant with the historical discussions of the very matters he wants to pontificate on."
              -Ben Witherington III

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Raphael View Post

                On the other hand if speed trapping is purely for revenue gathering (and it should never be) then can I see why they would object to you warning fellow motorists.
                Realistically, that is what these types of things are for. They run DUI checkpoints periodically here even though studies show that saturation patrols are more effective. DUI checkpoints are less effective now because people find out about them ahead of time and warn about them on social media (which would seem to be obstruction of justice if this was ruled to be).

                Also, the US Constitution doesn't clarify that freedom of speech is only limited to political speech.
                "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                  DUI checkpoints are less effective now because people find out about them ahead of time and warn about them on social media (which would seem to be obstruction of justice if this was ruled to be).
                  There are APPS for that!
                  "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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                  • #10
                    And of course if the real purpose is just to get people to slow down, then people flashing their lights are simply helping police do their job.
                    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The supreme court has determined that freedom of speech doesn't include such things as facilitating illegal activities or engaging in such activities.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                        The supreme court has determined that freedom of speech doesn't include such things as facilitating illegal activities or engaging in such activities.
                        Yes, that does seem familiar.
                        "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I remember in the old days when you would get a "Trip Tik" from Triple A -- and it would map our your trip with a collection of city and state maps, your route higlighted in yellow or green. And there would be numerous "red stamped" markings like "speed trap" or "Construction". I used to wonder if somebody just sat in a back room indiscriminately stamping "speed trap" at various points along the way, or if they really had reliable information that there WERE speed traps there.
                          "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                            Yes, that does seem familiar.
                            Like I said I can see it both ways. Our taxes pay for the roads so we should have freedom of speech on them, but then since you have to have a license to even drive on them, and you don't have a "right" to a license, it is similar to private property. Kinda like tweb. We don't have to allow freedom of speech here. And in fact we do place limits on what someone can say or post.

                            Also, if you are warning people that there is a speed trap and they slow down, you are not harming anything, but what if they are drunk and they decide to take another route to get around the speed trap and then run someone over? You then helped someone do something illegal.

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                            • #15
                              Remember about 15 years ago, there were all those fax warnings (before texting) about flashing lights? Supposedly, as a gang initiation, somebody would drive around without their headlights on, and if you flashed yours to alert them, it was their obligation to chase you down and shoot you. So said the warnings, always "from Captain Young at the City of Los Angeles Police Department" or something like that, trying to make it sound official.

                              I would NOT, however, in these days of ROAD RAGE, be surprised if somebody got hacked at you for flashing your lights at them, and chased you down, maybe thinking that you were telling them their brights were on or something... wouldn't surprise me at all.

                              So the only time I do the "flash the lights" thing is when I'm warning oncoming traffic of an accident I just passed, or an active police stop, or cows or horses in the road, or some other actual danger.
                              "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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