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Judge: Okay to flash headlights to warn drivers of cops

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.

Judge: Okay to flash headlights to warn drivers of cops
Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

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.

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