In the world of helping your fellow motorist, flashing your headlights to oncoming traffic to alert them of a speed trap used to put yourself at risk of getting a ticket . For years, Florida law enforcement have use various laws from interfering with a police investigation to improper use of vehicle equipment to tag those warning others to slow down. Starting in 2013, flashing your headlights to alert oncoming drivers that police are lurking on the roadside ahead will no longer be illegal in Florida.
This all came about because of a law suit filed against the Florida Highway Patrol, who issued a ticket for high-beam flashing to Erich Campbell of Land O' Lakes. FHP says he was was cited for violating an existing law that says "flashing lights are prohibited on vehicles" except for turn signals.
The lawsuit contends the Highway Patrol had been misinterpreting that provision in Florida's traffic code because it was meant only to ban drivers from having strobes or official-looking emergency vehicle lights on their cars and trucks.
To clear up any ambiguity, the new law amends that provision to specifically allow motorists to flash their headlights at an oncoming vehicle regardless of intent.
But before you flash your high beams in celebration, know there are still plenty of laws on the books that could cost you a ticket. Attorney J. Marcus Jones says police still can use other sections of Florida's traffic code to ticket motorists for flashing their headlights. Those provisions include prohibitions against using high beams within 500 feet of an oncoming vehicle or within 300 feet of a vehicle ahead. The new exception for flashing headlights doesn't apply to those parts of the traffic code, Jones said.
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