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Flashing Headlights as Free Speech

A Jackson County judge recently found that flashing headlights as an warning to other vehicles about an upcoming police officer is protected as free speech. While there is a law that prohibits drivers from using high beam lights in a way that creates a traffic hazard, there is no law preventing drivers from warning other drivers in this manner.

A commercial truck driver was ticketed for flashing his lights to warn an oncoming vehicle of a patrol car ahead. He was then ticket for unlawfully using his headlights. When the driver fought this based on his constitutional right to free speech, the judge found in his favor. The judge determined that the driver’s light flashing was communication with another driver and therefore protected under the Oregon Constitution.

What are your thoughts? Should this be protected or does it cause too much of a hazard?

For more information on this case, including the judge’s written ruling, see this article: http://www.oregonlive.com/commuting/index.ssf/2014/04/oregon_judge_says_flashing_lig.html#incart_river

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