It happens every day – a motorist sees a speed trap then flashes their vehicle’s lights so oncoming cars are warned in advance. Most people don’t understand that they can receive a ticket for that in Florida, or can they? An Oviedo law firm filed a lawsuit on behalf of a 22-year-old motorist who was on her way to school one morning when she received a ticket for flashing her lights to warn other motorists. She was told by the officer she had broken the law, but what law?
She filed a lawsuit, challenged the ticket and won, something 2,900 other motorists are hoping happens to them in another lawsuit filed Wednesday, August 24 in Tallahassee. The motorists all received tickets from 2005 to 2009 and were told flashing their lights was against the law. However, there is no law against flashing your lights. Officers were merely misinterpreting a law against putting emergency lights on their vehicles.
Even more, the lawyer representing the group argued in the lawsuit the officers in writing those tickets violated an individual driver’s right to free speech. He has requested of a judge in Tallahassee that a class action be certified so that everyone who received a ticket between 2005 and 2010 is able to join the class.
The lead plaintiff is a 38-year-old man from Tampa who was ticketed two years ago and paid a $100 fine. The lawyer behind the suit says that law enforcement is engaging in illegal, wrongful, and unconstitutional actions which amount to theft, misuse of office, and extortion.
Sources: http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2011-08-26/news/os-headlight-flash-cop-warning-20110826_1_speed-trap-florida-cops-ticket and http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/article/216517/3/Lawsuit-Claims-You-Have-A-Right-To-Warn-Drivers-About-Speed-Traps