Florida Court Rules That Flashing Lights To Warn Other Drivers Of Speed Trap Is Protected Speech

Many of us were critical of the Seminole County Sheriff and prosecutors who insisted that citizens could be ticketed for flashing their lights to warn others of a speed trap. Ryan Kintner, 25, can now claim to not only have warned neighbors of a speed trap but to have protected their constitutional rights. Kintner has won his challenge under the first amendment and a court has ruled that the Sheriff and local prosecutors were misconstruing a statute and violating the rights of citizens.

Circuit Judge Alan Dickey previously ruled that that state law does not apply to people who flash lights as a warning and in Tuesday’s decision ruled that such action constitutes protected speech under the First Amendment.

Kintner was home when he spotted the speed trap and jumped into his car to go up the street to warn his neighbors.

Much like the effort to prosecute citizens videotaping police in public, the use of these laws against citizens appears part of a trend in police-citizen relations where citizens are expected to be passive and obedient. The decision is an important corrective measure in that trend. However, there still appears to be no public backlash against officials who fight for such expanded powers in violation of the Constitution.

Source: Orlando Sentinel

22 thoughts on “Florida Court Rules That Flashing Lights To Warn Other Drivers Of Speed Trap Is Protected Speech”

  1. http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2012/06/28/Woman-arrested-over-speed-trap-sign/UPI-68311340911213/

    Houston woman arrested over ‘speed trap’ sign

    HOUSTON, June 28 (UPI) — A Houston woman said she was wrongfully arrested by police for holding up a “speed trap” sign near where an officer was pulling over motorists.

    Natalie Plummer said she wrote “speed trap” on a grocery bag and held it at the roadside on West Dallas June 21 after she spotted an officer pulling motorists over while she was riding home on her bicycle, KTRK-TV, Houston, reported Thursday.

    “I felt like he was just pulling random cars over,” Plummer said.

    Plummer said an officer drove up to her after a few minutes, searched her backpack without consent and placed her under arrest.

    “He was telling me he was taking me to jail for obstructing justice, that was an automatic three to five years,” Plummer said.

    However, she was only cited with a misdemeanor count of walking in the roadway where there is a sidewalk present.

    “I for sure did not step into the street,” Plummer said. “(I stayed) on the sidewalk the entire time.”

    A police representative said Plummer, who spent 12 hours in jail, was “in the roadway” and “was a danger to herself and others … the sum total of which was is an arrestable offense.”

  2. Pete, I don’t doubt it. I was pulled over by a Maryland State Trooper for “driving too close to the line”. I asked him what he meant, and he told me, “You were close to the line on the left.”

    I asked him if I ever went over it, and he told me that I did not… So why was I pulled over? Because he’s a cop and he can do that.

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