Second Judge: It's OK to Flash Headlights to Warn of Cops

He, too, says it's protected under freedom of speech
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 11, 2014 5:13 PM CDT

(Newser) – Score another one for drivers trying to help other drivers avoid a speeding ticket. A judge in Oregon's Jackson County this week tossed out a $260 ticket given to a trucker who flashed his headlights to warn a UPS driver about a nearby sheriff's deputy. Judge Joseph Carter concluded that motorists flashing their headlights amounts to speech protected by the Oregon Constitution. (A judge in St. Louis reached a similar conclusion earlier this year.)

"The citation was clearly given to punish the Defendant for that expression," wrote the Oregon judge. "The government certainly can and should enforce the traffic laws for the safety of all drivers on the road. However, the government cannot enforce the traffic laws, or any other laws, to punish drivers for their expressive conduct." The driver who got the ticket, Chris Hill, acted as his own attorney in court. "What I did wasn't illegal, whether it's freedom of speech or not," he said.

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