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KingsGambit
02-04-2014, 07:31 AM
Here is one of the two times a day where the clocks are stopped and I agree with the ACLU on something. I believe that flashing one's headlights to warn of an upcoming speed trap clearly falls under freedom of speech, and calling it obstruction of justice is a serious stretch.

http://www.kansascity.com/2014/02/04/4796658/is-flashing-headlights-to-warn.html

Sparko
02-04-2014, 07:43 AM
I can see it both ways. One, it is a free speech thing and two, you don't have the right to drive a car or use the highway system. You have to have a license and obey certain laws. If there is a law that says you can't flash your headlights at other drivers to warn of speed traps, then that seems like it could be a legitimate law.

Also, free speech is about political speech not all speech. You can't cause a noise disturbance or yell "fire" in a public place if there isn't a fire, for instance.

Paprika
02-04-2014, 07:49 AM
Here is one of the two times a day where the clocks are stopped and I agree with the ACLU on something. I believe that flashing one's headlights to warn of an upcoming speed trap clearly falls under freedom of speech, and calling it obstruction of justice is a serious stretch.

http://www.kansascity.com/2014/02/04/4796658/is-flashing-headlights-to-warn.html
It's willful obstruction of the detection of criminal activity. I don't see how it can be more blatant.

mossrose
02-04-2014, 08:08 AM
Why does "freedom of speech" then not include standing outside an abortion clinic and praying?

Or telling people that adultery, fornication and homosexuality are sins in a letter to the editor or online or to a group of people?

Or telling people that without Christ they are bound for an eternity away from the presence of God?

Seems to me that "freedom of speech" is highly subjective.

Cow Poke
02-04-2014, 08:16 AM
Yeah.

Cow Poke
02-04-2014, 08:26 AM
When I was a cop, many years ago, our department discouraged "speed traps". We DID, however, have "selective enforcement" of particular stretches of roadway or highway.

What's the difference?

A "speed trap" generally implies some form of trickery or deceit on the part of the law enforcement agency. For example, setting up radar, partially hidden from the view of the roadway, at a place where the speed limit conveniently drops from, say, 55 mph down to 35 mph in a short period of time. (If you are aware of something like that, I'd encourage you to talk to your city council and protest that)

"Selective enforcement" is where there may have been an increase in the number of accidents, or people habitually abusing a school zone, or something like that, where you want a VISIBLE PRESENCE to deter speeding or unsafe operation.

Then there's the "active traffic stop", where an officer has somebody pulled over -- and somebody passing that spot wants to warn oncoming traffic to be careful "up ahead". In THAT case, I was always HAPPY that somebody "flashed lights", because I didn't want to get killed or run over in the performance of my duty.

Raphael
02-04-2014, 08:45 AM
If the purpose of the Speed Trap is to slow traffic down for safety etc. then flashing your lights (or using the digital equivalent: Waze) then you are actually helping as it reduces the speed people are travelling along that section of road at.

On the other hand if speed trapping is purely for revenue gathering (and it should never be) then can I see why they would object to you warning fellow motorists.

KingsGambit
02-04-2014, 08:48 AM
On the other hand if speed trapping is purely for revenue gathering (and it should never be) then can I see why they would object to you warning fellow motorists.

Realistically, that is what these types of things are for. They run DUI checkpoints periodically here even though studies show that saturation patrols are more effective. DUI checkpoints are less effective now because people find out about them ahead of time and warn about them on social media (which would seem to be obstruction of justice if this was ruled to be).

Also, the US Constitution doesn't clarify that freedom of speech is only limited to political speech.

Cow Poke
02-04-2014, 08:52 AM
DUI checkpoints are less effective now because people find out about them ahead of time and warn about them on social media (which would seem to be obstruction of justice if this was ruled to be).

There are APPS for that! :yes:

KingsGambit
02-04-2014, 08:52 AM
And of course if the real purpose is just to get people to slow down, then people flashing their lights are simply helping police do their job.

Sparko
02-04-2014, 08:58 AM
The supreme court has determined that freedom of speech doesn't include such things as facilitating illegal activities or engaging in such activities.

KingsGambit
02-04-2014, 09:01 AM
The supreme court has determined that freedom of speech doesn't include such things as facilitating illegal activities or engaging in such activities.

Yes, that does seem familiar.

Cow Poke
02-04-2014, 09:06 AM
I remember in the old days when you would get a "Trip Tik" from Triple A -- and it would map our your trip with a collection of city and state maps, your route higlighted in yellow or green. And there would be numerous "red stamped" markings like "speed trap" or "Construction". I used to wonder if somebody just sat in a back room indiscriminately stamping "speed trap" at various points along the way, or if they really had reliable information that there WERE speed traps there.

Sparko
02-04-2014, 09:08 AM
Yes, that does seem familiar.

Like I said I can see it both ways. Our taxes pay for the roads so we should have freedom of speech on them, but then since you have to have a license to even drive on them, and you don't have a "right" to a license, it is similar to private property. Kinda like tweb. We don't have to allow freedom of speech here. And in fact we do place limits on what someone can say or post.

Also, if you are warning people that there is a speed trap and they slow down, you are not harming anything, but what if they are drunk and they decide to take another route to get around the speed trap and then run someone over? You then helped someone do something illegal.

Cow Poke
02-04-2014, 09:14 AM
Remember about 15 years ago, there were all those fax warnings (before texting) about flashing lights? Supposedly, as a gang initiation, somebody would drive around without their headlights on, and if you flashed yours to alert them, it was their obligation to chase you down and shoot you. So said the warnings, always "from Captain Young at the City of Los Angeles Police Department" or something like that, trying to make it sound official.

I would NOT, however, in these days of ROAD RAGE, be surprised if somebody got hacked at you for flashing your lights at them, and chased you down, maybe thinking that you were telling them their brights were on or something... wouldn't surprise me at all. :shrug:

So the only time I do the "flash the lights" thing is when I'm warning oncoming traffic of an accident I just passed, or an active police stop, or cows or horses in the road, or some other actual danger.

RumTumTugger
02-04-2014, 10:57 AM
I remember in the old days when you would get a "Trip Tik" from Triple A -- and it would map our your trip with a collection of city and state maps, your route higlighted in yellow or green. And there would be numerous "red stamped" markings like "speed trap" or "Construction". I used to wonder if somebody just sat in a back room indiscriminately stamping "speed trap" at various points along the way, or if they really had reliable information that there WERE speed traps there.

I used to work for Triple A and yes we had reliable information.

Cow Poke
02-04-2014, 11:09 AM
I used to work for Triple A and yes we had reliable information.

You're no fun! :tongue:

RumTumTugger
02-04-2014, 11:14 AM
You're no fun! :tongue:

:innocent:

Raphael
02-04-2014, 11:41 AM
The supreme court has determined that freedom of speech doesn't include such things as facilitating illegal activities or engaging in such activities.

Surely flashing your lights at someone to let them know there is a speed trap ahead is also telling them to slow down and obey the law, and is therefore not facilitating or engaging in illegal activities, but rather encouraging compliance with the law?

ETA: have have zero time for dunk drivers, and if the cops have a road block for doing breath tests, I don't warn people

Raphael
02-04-2014, 11:44 AM
@CP you should check out this app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.waze

Cow Poke
02-04-2014, 12:11 PM
@CP you should check out this app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.waze

Yeah, I have a Pioneer Radio/GPS, and the guy at Best Buy was telling about the AppRadio stuff.... pretty cool!

KingsGambit
02-04-2014, 12:44 PM
I'm actually personally pretty scrupulous about following the speed limit, which is the less stressful way of handling everything.

Raphael
02-04-2014, 12:48 PM
I'm actually personally pretty scrupulous about following the speed limit, which is the less stressful way of handling everything.
Likewise, although I battled a bit when I first moved to NZ as the speed limits here are lower.
100km/h on State Highways (outside of town obviously) compared to the 120km/h in South Africa.
50km/h in town compared to 60km/h

Sparko
02-04-2014, 12:54 PM
or you could just go so fast that by the time the cops even see you, you are 2 miles down the road...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-gzNi6MRwI

Paprika
02-04-2014, 07:02 PM
Surely flashing your lights at someone to let them know there is a speed trap ahead is also telling them to slow down and obey the law, and is therefore not facilitating or engaging in illegal activities, but rather encouraging compliance with the law?

I see it as such: prior to the flashing some drivers would have been speeding and thus breaking the law. Your flashing of the lights signals them to slow down and thus escape the punishment of having sped.

Raphael
02-04-2014, 07:14 PM
I see it as such: prior to the flashing some drivers would have been speeding and thus breaking the law. Your flashing of the lights signals them to slow down and thus escape the punishment of having sped.

So if I see you steal something from someone and I tell you to put it back before you get caught, am I helping you escape the punishment of stealing?

I think it boils down to "what is the purpose of speed traps" if they are to get people to drive slower, then giving a warning is going to make them drive slower (mission accomplished). If the purpose is to punish everyone who happened to be speeding somewhere on the road, then why not put in Averaging Speed Cameras.

if the purpose is just revenue gathering.....well the cops shouldn't be doing revenue gathering.

Paprika
02-04-2014, 07:20 PM
So if I see you steal something from someone and I tell you to put it back before you get caught, am I helping you escape the punishment of stealing?

Are you trying to tell me that after passing the speed trap those who had been speeding would remain below the speed limit for the rest of their journey? :duh:



I think it boils down to "what is the purpose of speed traps" if they are to get people to drive slower, then giving a warning is going to make them drive slower (mission accomplished). If the purpose is to punish everyone who happened to be speeding somewhere on the road, then why not put in Averaging Speed Cameras.

if the purpose is just revenue gathering.....well the cops shouldn't be doing revenue gathering.
Another possibility: over time through repeated fines to deter habitual speeders.

Raphael
02-04-2014, 07:42 PM
Are you trying to tell me that after passing the speed trap those who had been speeding would remain below the speed limit for the rest of their journey? :duh:Uhh yes.
My last speeding fine happened when I was overtaking someone. In the process of executing a safe overtake I happened to go over the limit. By the time I was back in my lane I was back to doing the posted 90km/h.
Other times if I have been doing a little over the limit, and I get flashed by someone, I've slowed down and stuck to the limit for the rest of my journey.



Another possibility: over time through repeated fines to deter habitual speeders.Averaging speed cameras would be the best solution.

Paprika
02-05-2014, 12:09 AM
Uhh yes.
My last speeding fine happened when I was overtaking someone. In the process of executing a safe overtake I happened to go over the limit. By the time I was back in my lane I was back to doing the posted 90km/h.
Other times if I have been doing a little over the limit, and I get flashed by someone, I've slowed down and stuck to the limit for the rest of my journey.

Are you willing to admit two things: that many people intentionally surpass the speed limit unnecessarily for convenience, that is, break the law in pure selfishness, and that most of such intentional speeding is habitual? If so, my point loses none of its force.

David Hayward
02-05-2014, 12:27 AM
You all might like to look at Item 12 of this British Parliamentary Report: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SPEED AND CASUALTIES (http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200102/cmselect/cmtlgr/557/55705.htm):


"Hit by a car at 40 mph, nine out of ten pedestrians will be killed.

Hit by a car at 30 mph, about half of pedestrians will be killed.

Hit by a car at 20 mph, nine out of ten pedestrians will survive."

Of course, if Americans are as fat on average as often reported, perhaps they roll with the blow better?

rogue06
02-05-2014, 04:38 AM
If the purpose of the Speed Trap is to slow traffic down for safety etc. then flashing your lights (or using the digital equivalent: Waze) then you are actually helping as it reduces the speed people are travelling along that section of road at.

On the other hand if speed trapping is purely for revenue gathering (and it should never be) then can I see why they would object to you warning fellow motorists.
^^^ That :thumb:

supton
02-05-2014, 05:58 AM
Speed traps can be a problem, when everyone crams on their brakes. Then again, visible deterant (where the cop is visible in the meridan) can be just as bad. For some reason, morons in MA&CT think they have to do 5 under, or even less, when the cop is sitting there in plain view. I bet half the time they are on break when they are doing that... Yet traffic hauls down in a hurry.

I find it really sad though the number of people who don't see the traps. I drive the same commute every day, and I know the typical traps. You'd think all the others would too. Yet I see very few brake lights as we go by... I can't tell if they didn't see the cop, or if the drivers just know where the "real" limit is. A simple tap on the brakes would be nice.

I dunno about traps. IMO they are usually about revenue generation. I don't drive much in other states, but up here if you want to drop speeds you park a cop there, in plain sight, and traffic slows down. You will get the dumb ones, the smart ones slow down. But I'm not sure that tickets have had much of an impact on changing individuals behavior. Most people I know just accept that they will get caught every few years; they just think of it as another cost of driving.

Bill the Cat
02-05-2014, 06:24 AM
Can they prove that is why you were flashing your lights?

Cow Poke
02-05-2014, 06:29 AM
Can they prove that is why you were flashing your lights?

No more than when an officer claims he saw you run a stop sign or red light. You get a citation, and it's up to you to prove your innocence -- your word against the citing officer's word in court.

Sparko
02-05-2014, 06:31 AM
You all might like to look at Item 12 of this British Parliamentary Report: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SPEED AND CASUALTIES (http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200102/cmselect/cmtlgr/557/55705.htm):


"Hit by a car at 40 mph, nine out of ten pedestrians will be killed.

Hit by a car at 30 mph, about half of pedestrians will be killed.

Hit by a car at 20 mph, nine out of ten pedestrians will survive."

Of course, if Americans are as fat on average as often reported, perhaps they roll with the blow better?

soo.... the solution is to not hit pedestrians! :idea:

Bill the Cat
02-05-2014, 06:45 AM
No more than when an officer claims he saw you run a stop sign or red light. You get a citation, and it's up to you to prove your innocence -- your word against the citing officer's word in court.

That's different. Running stop signs isn't a normal part of driving. Driving with your lights on is.

Cow Poke
02-05-2014, 06:48 AM
That's different. Running stop signs isn't a normal part of driving. Driving with your lights on is.

We're not talking about driving with lights on -- some companies require their employees to do that 24/7 for safety. We're talking about flashing your lights in an apparent attempt to warn other drivers of speed traps. All I'm saying is that the only way to "prove" that somebody flashed their lights is the same way to "prove" you ran a stop sign or red light, absent video. It's up to the testimony of the arresting officer.

Raphael
02-05-2014, 11:16 AM
Are you willing to admit two things: that many people intentionally surpass the speed limit unnecessarily for convenience, that is, break the law in pure selfishness, and that most of such intentional speeding is habitual? If so, my point loses none of its force.

I'm quite happy to admit that most people speed because they can't be bothered sticking to the limit.
As I said though if the point of speed traps is to actually get people to slow down then the best solution is not speed traps but Speed Averaging Cameras. According to friends of mine who still live in South Africa, they have been very effective in getting people to stick to the limit.

In SA, the speed limit on the highway is 120km/h. When I was still living there if you were doing 130 you would have most cars passing you (doing 140), slowing down only where they knew the traffic cops regular speed traps were. Since I've left SA they have introduced the averaging cameras and now most people are sticking to the 120 speed limit.

Bill the Cat
02-05-2014, 11:23 AM
We're not talking about driving with lights on -- some companies require their employees to do that 24/7 for safety. We're talking about flashing your lights in an apparent attempt to warn other drivers of speed traps. All I'm saying is that the only way to "prove" that somebody flashed their lights is the same way to "prove" you ran a stop sign or red light, absent video. It's up to the testimony of the arresting officer.

How does he know you didn't simply bump your switch reaching for change in your ash tray?

Cow Poke
02-05-2014, 02:59 PM
How does he know you didn't simply bump your switch reaching for change in your ash tray?

Not defending it at all, Bill, I just answered the question... like so many other citations based on human observation, it still boils down to the fact that the officer will write the citation (if, indeed, he feels it necessary) and it becomes a matter of "he said she said" in court. I'm wondering how many officers will actually use this to write citations based on that, and that alone. :shrug:

KingsGambit
02-05-2014, 04:14 PM
I don't see how there's much of any doubt that it's purely for revenue gathering. St. Louis has an unusually high amount of suburbs, and some of them happen to have tiny stretches of I-70 pass through. Guess where these departments always stick their patrol cars?

Bill the Cat
02-05-2014, 04:38 PM
I don't see how there's much of any doubt that it's purely for revenue gathering. St. Louis has an unusually high amount of suburbs, and some of them happen to have tiny stretches of I-70 pass through. Guess where these departments always stick their patrol cars?

There's a stretch of I-295 where I live that they call the "Million Dollar Mile"

http://www.nbc12.com/story/17579683/state-lawmakers-try-to-cut-down-on-excessive-speeding-tickets

Sparko
02-06-2014, 05:46 AM
Not defending it at all, Bill, I just answered the question... like so many other citations based on human observation, it still boils down to the fact that the officer will write the citation (if, indeed, he feels it necessary) and it becomes a matter of "he said she said" in court. I'm wondering how many officers will actually use this to write citations based on that, and that alone. :shrug:
Another thing, most people just pay the fine and go on. If they actually bother to show up at court, a lot of these things get tossed, especially if the citing officer is not present himself.

Cow Poke
02-06-2014, 05:53 AM
Another thing, most people just pay the fine and go on. If they actually bother to show up at court, a lot of these things get tossed, especially if the citing officer is not present himself.

Yeah, I was gonna say that. I've been told that, in some jurisdictions, there's STILL a "court cost' even if the charges against you are dismissed. I'd be surprised if that were true.

Also, I know one of those lawyers who represents traffic offenders in court to, for example, keep your speeding ticket from "adding points" to your driving record. One of the tactics they use is to reschedule your court appearance to a time when the arresting officer most likely will not be available to testify against you. OR, they simply make a plea deal with the district attorney -- something you could do yourself, WITHOUT paying an attorney a fee in ADDITION to court costs and fines.

Sparko
02-06-2014, 06:14 AM
Yeah, I was gonna say that. I've been told that, in some jurisdictions, there's STILL a "court cost' even if the charges against you are dismissed. I'd be surprised if that were true.

Also, I know one of those lawyers who represents traffic offenders in court to, for example, keep your speeding ticket from "adding points" to your driving record. One of the tactics they use is to reschedule your court appearance to a time when the arresting officer most likely will not be available to testify against you. OR, they simply make a plea deal with the district attorney -- something you could do yourself, WITHOUT paying an attorney a fee in ADDITION to court costs and fines.

I got stopped by a podunk police officer near where I worked one time. I had just turned onto a small state road and there was a stop sign about 50 yards from the point I turned onto the road. I drove that every day so I knew about the stop sign. I stopped and this cop pulled in behind me and gave me a ticket for speeding. I told him there was no way I could have gotten past the speed limit in the 50 yards since I turned on the road. He gave me a ticket anyway.

So I went to court, told the judge what happened and they tossed it out. Just cost me the time to appear.

Cow Poke
02-07-2014, 04:58 AM
CHARGES DROPPED against a North Houston man who was arrested in October for holding up a sign warning motorists of a speed trap. Ron Martin was charged with violating a sign ordinance, but he maintained he was exercising his constitutional rights of free speech. :smile:

“The Constitution still applies in Frisco, Texas,” Meisinger said. “Ron Martin is not going to be bullied by anyone.”

http://friscoblog.dallasnews.com/2014/02/charge-dropped-against-frisco-man-whose-sign-warned-motorists-of-police-ahead.html/

KingsGambit
02-23-2014, 02:18 PM
Social media has definitely changed how effective DUI checkpoints are. I just read an article in the paper about how they had one at the I-35 South exit right by a major multi-block bar/clubbing district in Kansas City last night, and they only caught eight people. People are finding out about these ahead of time.

Cow Poke
02-23-2014, 02:29 PM
Social media has definitely changed how effective DUI checkpoints are. I just read an article in the paper about how they had one at the I-35 South exit right by a major multi-block bar/clubbing district in Kansas City last night, and they only caught eight people. People are finding out about these ahead of time.

Yeah, there are apps for that -- even for appradio for your car's GPS/Navi.

Littlejoe
02-23-2014, 02:58 PM
A good buddy of mine is a LEO here. I asked him about the flashing lights for warning about police ahead. He said there's no law against it, and our municipal judge would throw out any ticket written for it.

Cow Poke
02-23-2014, 03:00 PM
A good buddy of mine is a LEO here. I asked him about the flashing lights for warning about police ahead. He said there's no law against it, and our municipal judge would throw out any ticket written for it.

Yeah, I think local municipalities are adding this as a statute so they can write money. :smile:

Howdy LJ!!!! So good to see you! Welcome back! Did you know CITE TAGS WORK!?!?!?!

Littlejoe
02-23-2014, 03:25 PM
I didn't even know they were broken...:noid: I just got here and boy are my arms tired...

HOWDY CP! Long time no...uhh....talk? :hehe:

Raphael
02-23-2014, 03:41 PM
I just got here and boy are my arms tired...he made you flap your arms the whole way didn't he?

Jedidiah
02-23-2014, 09:24 PM
Why does "freedom of speech" then not include standing outside an abortion clinic and praying?

Or telling people that adultery, fornication and homosexuality are sins in a letter to the editor or online or to a group of people?

Or telling people that without Christ they are bound for an eternity away from the presence of God?

Seems to me that "freedom of speech" is highly subjective.

You said it, moss.