Judge rules flashing lights for speed trap warning is covered under free speech
Count this one as a big victory for motorists. A Florida man has won his First Amendment case against the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, who wrongfully ticketed him for flashing his lights to warn other drivers of a speed trap. According to the Orlando Sentinel, a Circuit Court judge not only said that the deputy who ticketed Ryan Kintner had misapplied a state law banning aftermarket flashing emergency lights, but also ruled that flashing your lights to communicate with other drivers qualifies as constitutionally protected speech.
But this victory for Kintner is just a stepping stone towards a larger case. According to the report, his attorney has filed a class action lawsuit that charges the Florida Highway Patrol with willfully violating a 2005 court order prohibiting the police from ticketing motorists for flashing their brights. The report says that case has a hearing scheduled for next month, so this is certainly not the last we’ll hear on the issue.