Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Top News

Judge: Okay to flash headlights to warn drivers of cops

See also

One judge has ruled that it's within your first amendment rights for you to flash other drivers, warning them that police are close by.

That judge was one in St. Louis and this week he officially ruled that one driver can flash his headlights to warn another they are about to reach a police trap.

It has often been the case that drivers did this for each other. But one driver got into trouble for doing so, says the AP

Michael Elli tried to flash oncoming traffic as a warning back in November 2012 but was arrested by police for doing so.

Although the charges were finally dropped, the ACLU filed a lawsuit on Elli's behalf.

"It doesn't seem right that he should be arrested for that," says San Francisco resident, Alice Marshall. "Of course, it's so close to Valentine's Day, a person might think they are being flashed because the other person likes them a lot!

This past Monday, US District Judge, Henry Autrey, ruled that disallowing headlights to be flashed for other traffic is a breach of the First Amendment.

He told

"Detaining, ticketing, or arresting someone for the content of their speech is illegal," said the judge, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch."

So now we know. Flashing headlights is the equivalent of speech. It's as if you'd yelled to them out your window.

Have YOU ever been stopped for warning other motorists about a speed trap? Feel free to comment below.

Follow Sheila on Twitter (@Sheilamba)

Subscribe to Sheila's articles for updates in your inbox as they are written. The Subscribe button is beside the author's photo. Your email will never be shared. Period.

See the video that accompanies this article for more on this story.


See these other articles by this Examiner:

Firefighter cuffed, put in squad car, helping crash...

Sochi 2014: is toothpaste next bomb threat?

Furniture store owner happy to lose $7M Super Bowl...

3-year-old Kayleigh Slusher found dead in Napa, CA

Philip Seymour Hoffman dead at 46



  •  Day 17
    Israel continues their ravaging bombardment on Gaza as the conflict wages on
  • MH17 victims arrive home
    40 bodies of the MH17 plane crash return to a somber homecoming in Holland
    Top News
  • Military advisers to Ukraine
    President Obama announces the deployment of military advisers to Ukraine
  • Bubonic plague in China
    A bubonic plague outbreak in Yumen prompts China to quarantine the city
    World News
  • Air Algierie disappearance
    A flight headed from Burkina Faso to Algeria disappears from radar over Mali
  • Windows Phone training portal
    Microsoft launches Windows Phone training portal in attempt to woo consumers

Related Videos:

  • Drunk man almost opens plane door during flight, major scare
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518339605" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>
  • Conflicting reports on location of missing Air Algerie jetliner
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518339565" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>
  • Duff Watson SWA: Really Southwest, kicking off a passenger for a tetchy tweet?
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518337233" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>