Flashing headlights to warn about traffic cops

A driver coming from the opposite direction flashes headlights at you.  You slow down.  Sure enough, when you go around the corner you see a highway patrolman with a radar gun.  That stranger with the flashing headlights saved you from a speeding ticket.  Is that a good work, an example of loving one’s neighbor?  Or is it aiding and abetting illegal activity?  (I remember as a teenager mentioning that I flashed a warning about a speed trap, and my aunt jumped all over me, whereupon I felt ashamed.)

At any rate, I guess there is a law against that in Florida, though a judge in that state just tossed it out.  Flashing your headlights to communicate counts as free speech:

A judge in Sanford ruled Tuesday that a Lake Mary man was lawfully exercising his First Amendment rights when he flashed his headlights to warn neighbors that a deputy had set up a speed trap nearby.

That decision is another victory for Ryan Kintner, 25, who sued theSeminole County Sheriff’s Officelast year, accusing it of misconstruing a state law and violating his civil rights, principally his right to free speech.

He was ticketed Aug. 10 by a Seminole County deputy, but Kintner alleges the officer misapplied a state law designed to ban motorists from flashing after-market emergency lights.

Circuit Judge Alan Dickey earlier ruled that that state law does not apply to people who did what Kintner did, use his headlights to communicate.

On Tuesday the judge went a step further, saying people who flash their headlights to communicate are engaging in behavior protected by the U.S. Constitution.

“He felt the police specificially went out of their way to silence Mr. Kintner and that it was clearly a violation of his First Amendment free speech rights,” said his attorney, J. Marcus Jones of Oviedo.

via flashing headlights: Sanford judge rules in favor of motorist who flashed his headlights – Orlando Sentinel.

So it’s legal.  But is it moral?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Pete

    The underlying purpose of a speed limit is highway safety – encouraging drivers to keep their speedometer below a speed that has been determined to be safe for that particular road. As well as providing negative reinforcement for the driver who chooses to exceed that speed. Someone who flashes their headlights to warn a fellow motorist of a speed trap has assisted in that process by similarly encouraging others to keep their speed safe – at least for the next mile or two. In effect, he is helping the government do its job which, in this instance, is to promote highway safety by discouraging speeding. Extending the influence of that cop sitting behind the billboard, if you will.

  • Pete

    The underlying purpose of a speed limit is highway safety – encouraging drivers to keep their speedometer below a speed that has been determined to be safe for that particular road. As well as providing negative reinforcement for the driver who chooses to exceed that speed. Someone who flashes their headlights to warn a fellow motorist of a speed trap has assisted in that process by similarly encouraging others to keep their speed safe – at least for the next mile or two. In effect, he is helping the government do its job which, in this instance, is to promote highway safety by discouraging speeding. Extending the influence of that cop sitting behind the billboard, if you will.

  • Jack

    Hasn’t the driver heading into a “speed trap” already properly been informed of traffic laws before even taking the behind the wheel test?

    The other driver has had the same opportunity as I to be aware of the law and how to protect himself and others.

    Am I responsible for the choices of others?

  • Jack

    Hasn’t the driver heading into a “speed trap” already properly been informed of traffic laws before even taking the behind the wheel test?

    The other driver has had the same opportunity as I to be aware of the law and how to protect himself and others.

    Am I responsible for the choices of others?

  • formerly just steve

    What Pete said.

    Isn’t the aim of punishing speeders to stop people from speeding? Certainly, it may in same cases be a means of bankrolling the state but then I would ask, is that moral? But if the aim is to stop speeding then isn’t the guy flashing his lights doing the same by slowing down traffic? You might say, well those people will just speed up again after the police are out of sight but even if they slowed down at the sight of the police rather than the sight of the guy flashing his lights, they would still speed up again after the police are out of sight–if they were so inclined.

  • formerly just steve

    What Pete said.

    Isn’t the aim of punishing speeders to stop people from speeding? Certainly, it may in same cases be a means of bankrolling the state but then I would ask, is that moral? But if the aim is to stop speeding then isn’t the guy flashing his lights doing the same by slowing down traffic? You might say, well those people will just speed up again after the police are out of sight but even if they slowed down at the sight of the police rather than the sight of the guy flashing his lights, they would still speed up again after the police are out of sight–if they were so inclined.

  • Michael B.

    “The underlying purpose of a speed limit is highway safety ”

    Not always true. In a lot of places the purpose is revenue generation.

  • Michael B.

    “The underlying purpose of a speed limit is highway safety ”

    Not always true. In a lot of places the purpose is revenue generation.

  • Jack

    Doesn’t one demonstrate the love of God’s law, and thereby the love of Christ’s fulfilment of that law when showing obedience to the laws of the state?

  • Jack

    Doesn’t one demonstrate the love of God’s law, and thereby the love of Christ’s fulfilment of that law when showing obedience to the laws of the state?

  • mikeb

    Michael B. @ 4

    Let’s not forget, the double nickel was implemented to conserve gas

  • mikeb

    Michael B. @ 4

    Let’s not forget, the double nickel was implemented to conserve gas

  • Dan Staifer

    I don’t think any one in the younger generation know this “trick” so what it amounts to some one being annoyed by your high beams.

  • Dan Staifer

    I don’t think any one in the younger generation know this “trick” so what it amounts to some one being annoyed by your high beams.

  • mikeb

    If I see my brother sinning and I implore him to stop and he does, is his recidivism on my conscience or his?

  • mikeb

    If I see my brother sinning and I implore him to stop and he does, is his recidivism on my conscience or his?

  • TE Schroeder

    There is a stretch of road by my house which has a speed limit much lower than most other roads. It is heavily patroled. I suspect it is the greatest source of revenue for the city via the police department. I have warned people not to drive fast on that stretch of road because of the likelihood of getting a ticket there. Isn’t this basically the same idea of flashing the headlights? And if so, which is the moral thing to do — to give warning or to let people speed and get ticketed? Which one is love for one’s neighbor (“neighbor” being friends or gov’t)?

  • TE Schroeder

    There is a stretch of road by my house which has a speed limit much lower than most other roads. It is heavily patroled. I suspect it is the greatest source of revenue for the city via the police department. I have warned people not to drive fast on that stretch of road because of the likelihood of getting a ticket there. Isn’t this basically the same idea of flashing the headlights? And if so, which is the moral thing to do — to give warning or to let people speed and get ticketed? Which one is love for one’s neighbor (“neighbor” being friends or gov’t)?

  • mikeb

    Dan @ 7

    True. And not nearly as easy to do without the button on the floor!

  • mikeb

    Dan @ 7

    True. And not nearly as easy to do without the button on the floor!

  • formerly just steve

    mikeb… wow! You’re showing your age on that one!

  • formerly just steve

    mikeb… wow! You’re showing your age on that one!

  • Kirk

    @5 Sometimes yes and sometimes no, but we’ve already established that flashing you lights to warn other motorists is legal.

  • Kirk

    @5 Sometimes yes and sometimes no, but we’ve already established that flashing you lights to warn other motorists is legal.

  • http://acroamaticus.blogspot.com Pr Mark Henderson

    The flashing of headlights to warn of speed traps ahead happens in Australia as well. The point about speed traps often being merely easy revenue raisers for governments and not obviously related to road safety merits some discussion (should speed limits be reviewed or more police attention paid to dangerous driving rather than speeding or should speed limits even, as in Germany, be unlimited if the roads are safe enough (this would be a rare occurrence in Australia!) ? That would be a legitimate matter for citizens to pursue by the channels of law reform. But in the meantime the reality is that the law is the law and breaking it is rightly punished by the state (unless it clearly contradicts God’s law). Therefore, the flashing of headlights would seem to me to be making oneself complicit in another’s sin (assuming the oncoming drivers are speeding), or at the very least their illegal behaviour.

  • http://acroamaticus.blogspot.com Pr Mark Henderson

    The flashing of headlights to warn of speed traps ahead happens in Australia as well. The point about speed traps often being merely easy revenue raisers for governments and not obviously related to road safety merits some discussion (should speed limits be reviewed or more police attention paid to dangerous driving rather than speeding or should speed limits even, as in Germany, be unlimited if the roads are safe enough (this would be a rare occurrence in Australia!) ? That would be a legitimate matter for citizens to pursue by the channels of law reform. But in the meantime the reality is that the law is the law and breaking it is rightly punished by the state (unless it clearly contradicts God’s law). Therefore, the flashing of headlights would seem to me to be making oneself complicit in another’s sin (assuming the oncoming drivers are speeding), or at the very least their illegal behaviour.

  • Gary

    Flashing your high beams should be illegal because it is blinding. I would quickly turn my lights off and on, which I guess could be dangerous of itself.

    If the goal of flashing your lights is to help people keep the speed limit, would it be immoral to do so when there is no speed trap? Would this be vigilantism? Do we have a call to judge our neighor’s speed?

  • Gary

    Flashing your high beams should be illegal because it is blinding. I would quickly turn my lights off and on, which I guess could be dangerous of itself.

    If the goal of flashing your lights is to help people keep the speed limit, would it be immoral to do so when there is no speed trap? Would this be vigilantism? Do we have a call to judge our neighor’s speed?

  • Kurt

    Nobody wants a speeding ticket and very few people who get speeding tickets deserves speeding tickets. They just get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time going a little over 10 miles over the limit (which in my opinion is hardly reckless driving with how silly many speed limits are). Speed limit signs are also sometimes hard to see or someone may be paying attention to something else on the road or may be unfamiliar with the town and may fall prey to a speed trap without even knowing. Granted, we are subject to the governing authorities, but I’ll let someone know where a speed trap is knowing that a speed trap is not there for my good, but for the greed of law enforcement. There have been many times where I have been warned via headlights prior to noticing I’m going 11 over the limit and that person saved me $100! My response to the grace shown me? Flashing my headlights to the next car that passes me.

  • Kurt

    Nobody wants a speeding ticket and very few people who get speeding tickets deserves speeding tickets. They just get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time going a little over 10 miles over the limit (which in my opinion is hardly reckless driving with how silly many speed limits are). Speed limit signs are also sometimes hard to see or someone may be paying attention to something else on the road or may be unfamiliar with the town and may fall prey to a speed trap without even knowing. Granted, we are subject to the governing authorities, but I’ll let someone know where a speed trap is knowing that a speed trap is not there for my good, but for the greed of law enforcement. There have been many times where I have been warned via headlights prior to noticing I’m going 11 over the limit and that person saved me $100! My response to the grace shown me? Flashing my headlights to the next car that passes me.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    By the way, I love (and miss) the button on the floor! I think flashing lights to oncomers to a speed trap a courtesy and service to the other drivers and makes driving a less isolating and more communal act. Those drivers engaged enough to regard others on the road make driving safer and a joy.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    By the way, I love (and miss) the button on the floor! I think flashing lights to oncomers to a speed trap a courtesy and service to the other drivers and makes driving a less isolating and more communal act. Those drivers engaged enough to regard others on the road make driving safer and a joy.

  • SKPeterson

    People around here flash their lights for several reasons: 1) it may be that there is a sheriff at speed trap, or 2) there is an accident up ahead in which cars need to slow down well below the speed limit, or 3) they are doing some type of road construction, or 4) the utility companies are out trimming trees and clearing roadsides. We have a lot of twisting roads with limited visibility curves and heavily treed roadsides that have little or no shoulder. Flashing your lights (if anyone knows how to do it, or even knows what it means anymore) is definitely a way to look out for the best interests of your neighbor.

  • SKPeterson

    People around here flash their lights for several reasons: 1) it may be that there is a sheriff at speed trap, or 2) there is an accident up ahead in which cars need to slow down well below the speed limit, or 3) they are doing some type of road construction, or 4) the utility companies are out trimming trees and clearing roadsides. We have a lot of twisting roads with limited visibility curves and heavily treed roadsides that have little or no shoulder. Flashing your lights (if anyone knows how to do it, or even knows what it means anymore) is definitely a way to look out for the best interests of your neighbor.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    I don’t see a problem with it. If anything, it warns people to obey the law; what’s wrong with that? Most people when they speed don’t do so in conscious rebellion to the law. They do it because they just don’t pay attention to their spedometer. Warning people to stay at the limit is helping other people obey the law, and that’s being a good citizen, right?

    BTW, while I don’t often agree with Michael B., he is right @4: for some communities there are speed limits set up simply for the intention of raking in $$$, and that is wrong.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    I don’t see a problem with it. If anything, it warns people to obey the law; what’s wrong with that? Most people when they speed don’t do so in conscious rebellion to the law. They do it because they just don’t pay attention to their spedometer. Warning people to stay at the limit is helping other people obey the law, and that’s being a good citizen, right?

    BTW, while I don’t often agree with Michael B., he is right @4: for some communities there are speed limits set up simply for the intention of raking in $$$, and that is wrong.

  • JonSLC

    Though there may be other purposes for speed limits and speed traps (e.g., “revenue generation”), aren’t those things examples of the law as a curb? In other words, doesn’t the knowledge that you could get a ticket curb the sinful flesh a little bit, for the common good? I think so.

    Therefore, if my neighbor on the road flashing his lights gets my sinful flesh to think twice about going too fast, it’s a good thing. Flashing headlights = law as curb, only the curb is being provided by my neighbor before I see the curb provided by the police.

  • JonSLC

    Though there may be other purposes for speed limits and speed traps (e.g., “revenue generation”), aren’t those things examples of the law as a curb? In other words, doesn’t the knowledge that you could get a ticket curb the sinful flesh a little bit, for the common good? I think so.

    Therefore, if my neighbor on the road flashing his lights gets my sinful flesh to think twice about going too fast, it’s a good thing. Flashing headlights = law as curb, only the curb is being provided by my neighbor before I see the curb provided by the police.

  • Cincinnatus

    I regularly flash my headlights to warn oncoming drivers of revenue traps–er, speed traps–ahead.

    In the meantime, why is this being framed as a moral question? Is it “immoral” or “ungodly” to exceed an arbitrarily established speed limit that a) isn’t a criminal law, b) is used, in America, primarily as an (illegitimate) form of local taxation, and c) isn’t obeyed by anyone? Admittedly, I don’t subscribe to the Lutheran notion of civil obedience in general, but even if I did–the speed limit seems like a generic rule that is to be followed prudentially. As long as you aren’t running over children in the streets or blatantly compromising the safety of fellow drivers, one might as well speed so long as one is willing to pay the prescribed penalty for said speeding (usually, a modest fine). In fact, on many roads, it is patently unsafe to confine oneself to the speed limit (cf.: the beltway around Atlanta, GA, for example; all of Michigan; I-290 around Chicago).

    /flame away

  • Cincinnatus

    I regularly flash my headlights to warn oncoming drivers of revenue traps–er, speed traps–ahead.

    In the meantime, why is this being framed as a moral question? Is it “immoral” or “ungodly” to exceed an arbitrarily established speed limit that a) isn’t a criminal law, b) is used, in America, primarily as an (illegitimate) form of local taxation, and c) isn’t obeyed by anyone? Admittedly, I don’t subscribe to the Lutheran notion of civil obedience in general, but even if I did–the speed limit seems like a generic rule that is to be followed prudentially. As long as you aren’t running over children in the streets or blatantly compromising the safety of fellow drivers, one might as well speed so long as one is willing to pay the prescribed penalty for said speeding (usually, a modest fine). In fact, on many roads, it is patently unsafe to confine oneself to the speed limit (cf.: the beltway around Atlanta, GA, for example; all of Michigan; I-290 around Chicago).

    /flame away

  • Cincinnatus

    By the way, fun fact: in my town, local news outlets–newspapers and television stations–publicly broadcast the location of weekly speed traps throughout the city, giving times, locations, etc. The police department supplies this information!

  • Cincinnatus

    By the way, fun fact: in my town, local news outlets–newspapers and television stations–publicly broadcast the location of weekly speed traps throughout the city, giving times, locations, etc. The police department supplies this information!

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    Flash away, flash away, warn your brother he should not be breaking the law.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    Flash away, flash away, warn your brother he should not be breaking the law.

  • Joe

    I am just glad the court recognized there is real communication going on. I drove truck to put my self through college and law school. Straight trucks and tractor-trailers, beer trucks, propane trucks, dump trucks, etc. There is a language used by truckers (and other drivers in the know). As already noted, flashing headlights at on coming traffic indicates some thing ahead that you need to be alert for.

    The next most common communication is when you are being passed by a truck on a two lane road. Once he gets passed you, you should flash you lights on and off to tell him there is enough room for him to come back over into the lane, once he changes lanes he’ll turn his flashers on to say thank you.

  • Joe

    I am just glad the court recognized there is real communication going on. I drove truck to put my self through college and law school. Straight trucks and tractor-trailers, beer trucks, propane trucks, dump trucks, etc. There is a language used by truckers (and other drivers in the know). As already noted, flashing headlights at on coming traffic indicates some thing ahead that you need to be alert for.

    The next most common communication is when you are being passed by a truck on a two lane road. Once he gets passed you, you should flash you lights on and off to tell him there is enough room for him to come back over into the lane, once he changes lanes he’ll turn his flashers on to say thank you.

  • Jon

    Is it moral?

    Obviously the cops didn’t think so. But why? Because it deprives them of the ability to write citations at the “speed trap.” Thus proving that it really is a “trap” where the chief feature is not to ensure safety, but to generate revenue from fines.

  • Jon

    Is it moral?

    Obviously the cops didn’t think so. But why? Because it deprives them of the ability to write citations at the “speed trap.” Thus proving that it really is a “trap” where the chief feature is not to ensure safety, but to generate revenue from fines.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Jon @ 24, well said.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Jon @ 24, well said.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    For the cops, it’s about revenue, not safety.

    Likewise, with parking meters where there are laws that forbid you from being nice and putting money in an expired meter to save the stranger who’s parked there a parking ticket. They’d rather have the money from a fine than compliance with the law.

    Also, like those patrolmen in Tennessee that like to seize drivers’ cash on the grounds that it might be proceeds from illegal drug trafficking . Funny how they don’t patrol the other side of the freeway to interdict the drugs before it gets turned into cash.

    There seems to be a significant portion of law enforcement that is more concerned with extracting money from the rubes that cross their path than with actually serving and protecting the people that pay their salaries.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    For the cops, it’s about revenue, not safety.

    Likewise, with parking meters where there are laws that forbid you from being nice and putting money in an expired meter to save the stranger who’s parked there a parking ticket. They’d rather have the money from a fine than compliance with the law.

    Also, like those patrolmen in Tennessee that like to seize drivers’ cash on the grounds that it might be proceeds from illegal drug trafficking . Funny how they don’t patrol the other side of the freeway to interdict the drugs before it gets turned into cash.

    There seems to be a significant portion of law enforcement that is more concerned with extracting money from the rubes that cross their path than with actually serving and protecting the people that pay their salaries.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I flash my lights, and others have done it for me, I have always been appreciative. Speed limits are for safety…. oh the naive. I read a study once that showed they actually cause more accidents. Montana had fewer accidents when they lifted the speed limits alltogether, they put them back because they lost revenue. Five dollars adds up!

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I flash my lights, and others have done it for me, I have always been appreciative. Speed limits are for safety…. oh the naive. I read a study once that showed they actually cause more accidents. Montana had fewer accidents when they lifted the speed limits alltogether, they put them back because they lost revenue. Five dollars adds up!

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    For those who say it’s all about revenue do not paint with such a wide brush. I personally know cops and a fair number of them just want people to slow down. As in, “I will sit on the side and if you slow down I will not pull you over, but if you blow by I will pull you over.”

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    For those who say it’s all about revenue do not paint with such a wide brush. I personally know cops and a fair number of them just want people to slow down. As in, “I will sit on the side and if you slow down I will not pull you over, but if you blow by I will pull you over.”

  • BS in Texas

    I travel quite a bit on the road in my work, all in Texas and much of that out in West Texas. Think speedtrap – think Estelline, Texas on US Hwy 287. There’s even a billboard in town now mocking the local police department because of their over-the-top diligence in enforcing a ridiculous speed limit through the no-stoplight town. You see drivers flashing their lights all the time as you get close to the city limits from either direction on 287. They (the flashers) are doing a public service – the excessive enforcement exists solely to generate revenue for the town. But, bottomline, it is a right thing to follow the law…no sense throwing away good money at a bad cause.

  • BS in Texas

    I travel quite a bit on the road in my work, all in Texas and much of that out in West Texas. Think speedtrap – think Estelline, Texas on US Hwy 287. There’s even a billboard in town now mocking the local police department because of their over-the-top diligence in enforcing a ridiculous speed limit through the no-stoplight town. You see drivers flashing their lights all the time as you get close to the city limits from either direction on 287. They (the flashers) are doing a public service – the excessive enforcement exists solely to generate revenue for the town. But, bottomline, it is a right thing to follow the law…no sense throwing away good money at a bad cause.

  • DonS

    I’ll weigh in as well on the side of the high-beam flashers. We were founded as a self-governing people — we ARE the authorities in our system of government. Unfortunately, we have recently seemed to lose that mindset, so when I see it displayed, it makes me happy. Bravo to the judge for recognizing the right of the accused driver to free speech.

    Dr. Luther @ 28: good point. I, too, know a good many police officers who care more about safety than writing tickets. And, always, those types of officers are very happy to have drivers slow down, whatever the reason. They appreciate the fact that drivers are engaged enough to notice them and to warn others. I’ve had officers tell me they won’t pull you over if you brake when you see them, as long as your initial speed wasn’t outrageous, because they know you are at least paying attention.

    Of course, then there are the bullying type of officers, only interested in the citations, like the one who cited this guy for flashing his lights. Or the one I read about yesterday who cited a guy for giving a dollar to a panhandler, out of his car window at a traffic light, because it fell to the ground. The citation was for littering!

  • DonS

    I’ll weigh in as well on the side of the high-beam flashers. We were founded as a self-governing people — we ARE the authorities in our system of government. Unfortunately, we have recently seemed to lose that mindset, so when I see it displayed, it makes me happy. Bravo to the judge for recognizing the right of the accused driver to free speech.

    Dr. Luther @ 28: good point. I, too, know a good many police officers who care more about safety than writing tickets. And, always, those types of officers are very happy to have drivers slow down, whatever the reason. They appreciate the fact that drivers are engaged enough to notice them and to warn others. I’ve had officers tell me they won’t pull you over if you brake when you see them, as long as your initial speed wasn’t outrageous, because they know you are at least paying attention.

    Of course, then there are the bullying type of officers, only interested in the citations, like the one who cited this guy for flashing his lights. Or the one I read about yesterday who cited a guy for giving a dollar to a panhandler, out of his car window at a traffic light, because it fell to the ground. The citation was for littering!

  • Cincinnatus

    Dr. Luther@28: Obviously, not all (or even most) police officers are jerk. I know plenty who claim a sincere interest in public safety when issuing traffic citations. That’s probably true at the level of the individual officer.

    But I think you overestimate the individual discretion of individual officers. Police officers don’t show up for their shift and have the following internal conversation: “Hm, long day. What should I do with it? Instead of arresting pot smokers, I think I’ll pull over speeders because today because I’m just so gosh-darn concerned about safety.”

    No. The officer receives an order from the department: “Today, you’ll spend four hours patrolling–i.e., running a speed trap–at the corner of Maple and Main with the goal of issuing x number of citations.” So yeah, some individual officers will gladly go about their duty because they are concerned for our safety (however tangentially the speed limit is related to that concern). Other officers will use the time to be jerks with petty power complexes. But the bottom line is that both groups are simply following orders.

    And why do you think the local department issues those orders? Sometimes it’s because a particular stretch of road is demonstrably dangerous at speeds higher than the posted limits. But usually it’s because they have a quota to meet. You didn’t know departments have citation quotas? Yes. These quotas are included in departmental budgets: “We’ll get y percentage of our revenue this year from speeding citations.” And they do. Why? Because they choose to patrol streets where the pickings are easy, regardless of whether such streets are most in need of “safety enhancement.” The departments that do not follow this practice are few and far between. In fact, I doubt you could find one. They’re not doing it for safety. If they were, they’d spend a lot more time running DUI checkpoints than pulling over moms in minivans.

    Which leads to my assessment: I think such policies are morally atrocious. What local (and state) police departments have done is effectively rendered a substantial proportion of the population petty criminals solely to increase revenue. Criminalization as a form of taxation! Brilliant! Personally, I think they should just be honest: send everyone a bill every year; those who want to exceed the speed limit can go ahead and pay the fee.

  • Cincinnatus

    Dr. Luther@28: Obviously, not all (or even most) police officers are jerk. I know plenty who claim a sincere interest in public safety when issuing traffic citations. That’s probably true at the level of the individual officer.

    But I think you overestimate the individual discretion of individual officers. Police officers don’t show up for their shift and have the following internal conversation: “Hm, long day. What should I do with it? Instead of arresting pot smokers, I think I’ll pull over speeders because today because I’m just so gosh-darn concerned about safety.”

    No. The officer receives an order from the department: “Today, you’ll spend four hours patrolling–i.e., running a speed trap–at the corner of Maple and Main with the goal of issuing x number of citations.” So yeah, some individual officers will gladly go about their duty because they are concerned for our safety (however tangentially the speed limit is related to that concern). Other officers will use the time to be jerks with petty power complexes. But the bottom line is that both groups are simply following orders.

    And why do you think the local department issues those orders? Sometimes it’s because a particular stretch of road is demonstrably dangerous at speeds higher than the posted limits. But usually it’s because they have a quota to meet. You didn’t know departments have citation quotas? Yes. These quotas are included in departmental budgets: “We’ll get y percentage of our revenue this year from speeding citations.” And they do. Why? Because they choose to patrol streets where the pickings are easy, regardless of whether such streets are most in need of “safety enhancement.” The departments that do not follow this practice are few and far between. In fact, I doubt you could find one. They’re not doing it for safety. If they were, they’d spend a lot more time running DUI checkpoints than pulling over moms in minivans.

    Which leads to my assessment: I think such policies are morally atrocious. What local (and state) police departments have done is effectively rendered a substantial proportion of the population petty criminals solely to increase revenue. Criminalization as a form of taxation! Brilliant! Personally, I think they should just be honest: send everyone a bill every year; those who want to exceed the speed limit can go ahead and pay the fee.

  • Stephanie

    I have never heard of flashing headlights to indicate a speed trap in the vicinity. I have heard of doing so to indicate that a driver has left their headlights off when it is dark. But I was a teenager and starting to think about driving when I first heard the urban legend about gang initiations selecting targets by who flashed their headlights first at a car driving w/o lights at night; even though I know intellectually that it is not true and never happened, I have not ever flashed my headlights at an oncoming car. (I do flash them to indicate that a semi can pull in front of me on 2-lane highways on occasion.)

  • Stephanie

    I have never heard of flashing headlights to indicate a speed trap in the vicinity. I have heard of doing so to indicate that a driver has left their headlights off when it is dark. But I was a teenager and starting to think about driving when I first heard the urban legend about gang initiations selecting targets by who flashed their headlights first at a car driving w/o lights at night; even though I know intellectually that it is not true and never happened, I have not ever flashed my headlights at an oncoming car. (I do flash them to indicate that a semi can pull in front of me on 2-lane highways on occasion.)

  • http://deepeningwaters.com JD Loofbourrow

    Isn’t this principally the same thing we do in evangelism? We see righteous judgment coming so we warn those who don’t see it? This concept seems to me to be similar to what God tells Ezekiel in Ezekiel 33:8 & 9.

    “When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked [man], you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked [man] shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. “Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.”

    Whether the judgment is immediately divine and its consequence is eternal, or the judgment is mediated through the government and its consequence is financial, I would wonder if it is morally right to do NOTHING and let the person get trapped. I’d rather be warned so that I can slow down. Usually, when I realize that I almost got caught speeding, my conscience catches up with me and I stay under the speed limit… For a while…

  • http://deepeningwaters.com JD Loofbourrow

    Isn’t this principally the same thing we do in evangelism? We see righteous judgment coming so we warn those who don’t see it? This concept seems to me to be similar to what God tells Ezekiel in Ezekiel 33:8 & 9.

    “When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked [man], you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked [man] shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. “Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.”

    Whether the judgment is immediately divine and its consequence is eternal, or the judgment is mediated through the government and its consequence is financial, I would wonder if it is morally right to do NOTHING and let the person get trapped. I’d rather be warned so that I can slow down. Usually, when I realize that I almost got caught speeding, my conscience catches up with me and I stay under the speed limit… For a while…

  • DonS

    Cincinnatus @ 31: Of course, that is just part of the whole picture of a thicket of governments, federal, state, and local, which have become so revenue-hungry that revenue for themselves are their overarching concern. They don’t have a mindset of serving the citizens because the citizens have become nothing more than sources of revenue generation.

  • DonS

    Cincinnatus @ 31: Of course, that is just part of the whole picture of a thicket of governments, federal, state, and local, which have become so revenue-hungry that revenue for themselves are their overarching concern. They don’t have a mindset of serving the citizens because the citizens have become nothing more than sources of revenue generation.

  • http://deepeningwaters.com JD Loofbourrow

    DonS@ 34

    Do you think such a mindset might lead to more severe forms oppression?

  • http://deepeningwaters.com JD Loofbourrow

    DonS@ 34

    Do you think such a mindset might lead to more severe forms oppression?

  • Rev. Larry D. Wright

    Did I miss something or has every post to this point assumed the oncoming cars are already guilty?

  • Rev. Larry D. Wright

    Did I miss something or has every post to this point assumed the oncoming cars are already guilty?

  • Cincinnatus

    Wright@36:

    Does that surprise you?

  • Cincinnatus

    Wright@36:

    Does that surprise you?

  • DonS

    JD @ 35: “might lead” or “has led”? My vote is for the latter.

  • DonS

    JD @ 35: “might lead” or “has led”? My vote is for the latter.

  • DonS

    Good point, Larry @ 36. But I think the point of the thread is with respect to those who ARE guilty, not the entire group of warned drivers.

  • DonS

    Good point, Larry @ 36. But I think the point of the thread is with respect to those who ARE guilty, not the entire group of warned drivers.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @31 Written proof of orders requiring a certain number of tickets or they don’t exist.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @31 Written proof of orders requiring a certain number of tickets or they don’t exist.

  • Cincinnatus

    Really, Dr. Luther@40? Are you literally the only person on the planet who doesn’t know about citation quotas? Of course, police departments like to avoid that word–the tyrannical implications are too explicit.

    But they exist. Fewer than 10 seconds of Googling turned up this: http://www.arlnow.com/2012/03/20/wusa-9-memo-reveals-acpd-ticket-quota/

    There are literally thousands of other websites with similar documentation.

    I’m curious: what is your angle here? Do you honestly support the practice of speed traps? If so, why? Do you deny that police departments–especially in small towns–are so keen on them because they’re a huge source of revenue? (So are red-light cameras, by the way–but that’s a rant for another time.)

    In the interest of disclosure, by the way, I’ve never received a speeding ticket (or any ticket) in over 10 years of regularly driving 10-15 over.

  • Cincinnatus

    Really, Dr. Luther@40? Are you literally the only person on the planet who doesn’t know about citation quotas? Of course, police departments like to avoid that word–the tyrannical implications are too explicit.

    But they exist. Fewer than 10 seconds of Googling turned up this: http://www.arlnow.com/2012/03/20/wusa-9-memo-reveals-acpd-ticket-quota/

    There are literally thousands of other websites with similar documentation.

    I’m curious: what is your angle here? Do you honestly support the practice of speed traps? If so, why? Do you deny that police departments–especially in small towns–are so keen on them because they’re a huge source of revenue? (So are red-light cameras, by the way–but that’s a rant for another time.)

    In the interest of disclosure, by the way, I’ve never received a speeding ticket (or any ticket) in over 10 years of regularly driving 10-15 over.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @41 Despite your implications, I am not an idiot. Just tired of people making broad sweeping claims without proof.

    Do you think part of the motivation is they are bored?

    Also, I could care less if you got 0 or 100 tickets.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @41 Despite your implications, I am not an idiot. Just tired of people making broad sweeping claims without proof.

    Do you think part of the motivation is they are bored?

    Also, I could care less if you got 0 or 100 tickets.

  • Cincinnatus

    Dr. Luther@42:

    I suspect you’re not an idiot; you’re just making idiotic comments!

    1) Do you continue to doubt the existence of quotas, and that local departments often establish speed traps primarily to create revenue?

    2) Who is bored? The individual officers? Who knows or cares? Like I said, local officers don’t get to decide what they do with their days. The officers running speed traps were assigned to do that by their superior officers (who in turn are attempting to fulfill department-mandated “guidelines”).

    3) My point in mentioning my (so-far) clean driving record is merely to clarify that I’m not bashing local police departments out of impotent rage over citations I consider unjust.

    Anyway, most people speed most of the time. And as long as that happens, local departments will regard the behavior of the majority as a nice opportunity for extra cash.

  • Cincinnatus

    Dr. Luther@42:

    I suspect you’re not an idiot; you’re just making idiotic comments!

    1) Do you continue to doubt the existence of quotas, and that local departments often establish speed traps primarily to create revenue?

    2) Who is bored? The individual officers? Who knows or cares? Like I said, local officers don’t get to decide what they do with their days. The officers running speed traps were assigned to do that by their superior officers (who in turn are attempting to fulfill department-mandated “guidelines”).

    3) My point in mentioning my (so-far) clean driving record is merely to clarify that I’m not bashing local police departments out of impotent rage over citations I consider unjust.

    Anyway, most people speed most of the time. And as long as that happens, local departments will regard the behavior of the majority as a nice opportunity for extra cash.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @43 So it is idiotic to demand proof?

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @43 So it is idiotic to demand proof?

  • http://www.kamloopslutheran.org Pastor Gordon Heselton

    Is it moral? Good question.
    At what point does something move from moral to immoral? Is speeding at 10 kph (Canadian eh!) over posted speed sin? How about 20 kph over? 40?
    Let’s not try to justify either speeding or warning others. Let’s live in God’s grace and follow Luther’s advice to “sin boldly.” I take his meaning as “don’t sweat the small stuff, sinner, live in Christ’s forgiveness and work on the big stuff sin in your life.”

  • http://www.kamloopslutheran.org Pastor Gordon Heselton

    Is it moral? Good question.
    At what point does something move from moral to immoral? Is speeding at 10 kph (Canadian eh!) over posted speed sin? How about 20 kph over? 40?
    Let’s not try to justify either speeding or warning others. Let’s live in God’s grace and follow Luther’s advice to “sin boldly.” I take his meaning as “don’t sweat the small stuff, sinner, live in Christ’s forgiveness and work on the big stuff sin in your life.”

  • Jon

    Is it moral to run a speed trap whose primary purpose is to generate revenue?

  • Jon

    Is it moral to run a speed trap whose primary purpose is to generate revenue?

  • Cincinnatus

    Dr. Luther@44: Well, I had thought–apparently mistakenly–that most conscious adults were aware that local police departments regularly maintain citation quotas (indeed, in the town in which I grew up, everyone knew not to speed near the end of the month, because that’s when the officers got aggressive about ensuring they met the tally).

    But even if you weren’t aware, demanding proof was silly. I wasn’t making a dubious claim about quantum physics or an obscure argument about texts or statistics found only in locked databases. We’re on the internet. Google is at your fingertips. Like I said, literally thousands of hits in <10 seconds. It's a common, if not universal, practice, and it was well known before Google even existed.

    That said, I think Pastor Heselton's comment @45 if probably the most prudent. Unless, of course, like me, you prize your autonomy, such as it is, and resent that armed government agents intentionally manipulate the laws to make money from me.

  • Cincinnatus

    Dr. Luther@44: Well, I had thought–apparently mistakenly–that most conscious adults were aware that local police departments regularly maintain citation quotas (indeed, in the town in which I grew up, everyone knew not to speed near the end of the month, because that’s when the officers got aggressive about ensuring they met the tally).

    But even if you weren’t aware, demanding proof was silly. I wasn’t making a dubious claim about quantum physics or an obscure argument about texts or statistics found only in locked databases. We’re on the internet. Google is at your fingertips. Like I said, literally thousands of hits in <10 seconds. It's a common, if not universal, practice, and it was well known before Google even existed.

    That said, I think Pastor Heselton's comment @45 if probably the most prudent. Unless, of course, like me, you prize your autonomy, such as it is, and resent that armed government agents intentionally manipulate the laws to make money from me.

  • Jon

    “Armed government agents intentionally manipulate the laws to make money from me.”

    Yes, especially, so it seems this report makes clear, when another citizen interferes with their ability to extract money from other citizens, then they’ll try to extract money from you as reprisal.

    Even to the point of

  • Jon

    “Armed government agents intentionally manipulate the laws to make money from me.”

    Yes, especially, so it seems this report makes clear, when another citizen interferes with their ability to extract money from other citizens, then they’ll try to extract money from you as reprisal.

    Even to the point of

  • formerly just steve

    #36, with regard to speeding, that’s a pretty safe bet.

  • formerly just steve

    #36, with regard to speeding, that’s a pretty safe bet.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @ 47
    As you are the one making the claims it is incumbent upon you to provide the proof. The reader of your claims is not responsible for providing your proof for you. The reader is responsible for verifying your proof and examining your proof in order to see if it does, in fact, support your case. So no it wasn’t silly on my part. It is poor argumentation on your part. You asked us to accept a claim left unsubstantiated. I called you on it.

    BTW, I never confirmed nor denied any belief one way or another concerning quotas. I only asked you to back up your assertions and asked people to not write in such away as to paint all law enforcement as agents of evil only seeking to enrich their employers.

    I also asked that you consider there may be other factors involved, namely “bored” which you responded “Who knows and who cares?” This can apply to whether or not speed traps are revenue earners. Particularly when you look at the so called guidelines some of which actually cost the government money i.e. arrests

    Going by http://www.oregon.gov/CJC/docs/U_of_O_Research_the_Costs_Associated_with_prosecuting_Crime_in_Oreton.pdf?ga=t as an example.

    Prosecution expense (will differ by state, report acknowledges Washington spends way more on felony convictions and less on misdemeanors) is estimated 8,420/felony conviction and 1,679/ misdemeanor conviction that is a lot of money going out particularly if they are asking something similar of their officers as Virginia is.

    If you add in the number of tickets thrown out Washington State estimates nearly 14% you now have court costs of a failed ticket depreciating what is earned in fines. The National Motorist Association estimates almost 58% of contested tickets are dismissed so the numbers could be higher depending on state. It is highly likely that any revenue earned by speeding fines is a wash. Look at it this way by an individual officer let us assume they hand out 22 tickets with the average ticket for 15 miles over the speed limit that is average fine of $90 according to the uniform fee code of Virginia 2010. Each officer would be contributing approximately $3102 in fines and processing fees. If each officer arrests one person who is successfully convicted of a felony that would be a net loss. So it is entirely possible that the memo you cited is nothing more than an attempt to make sure the officers who operate with little oversight during their shifts are doing more than sleeping in their cars between calls.

    Not everything is a nefarious scheme to bilk the average citizen of their money.

    VA Code – http://www.courts.state.va.us/courts/scv/amendments_tracked/rule_3b_2_uniform_fine%20_schedule.pdf

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @ 47
    As you are the one making the claims it is incumbent upon you to provide the proof. The reader of your claims is not responsible for providing your proof for you. The reader is responsible for verifying your proof and examining your proof in order to see if it does, in fact, support your case. So no it wasn’t silly on my part. It is poor argumentation on your part. You asked us to accept a claim left unsubstantiated. I called you on it.

    BTW, I never confirmed nor denied any belief one way or another concerning quotas. I only asked you to back up your assertions and asked people to not write in such away as to paint all law enforcement as agents of evil only seeking to enrich their employers.

    I also asked that you consider there may be other factors involved, namely “bored” which you responded “Who knows and who cares?” This can apply to whether or not speed traps are revenue earners. Particularly when you look at the so called guidelines some of which actually cost the government money i.e. arrests

    Going by http://www.oregon.gov/CJC/docs/U_of_O_Research_the_Costs_Associated_with_prosecuting_Crime_in_Oreton.pdf?ga=t as an example.

    Prosecution expense (will differ by state, report acknowledges Washington spends way more on felony convictions and less on misdemeanors) is estimated 8,420/felony conviction and 1,679/ misdemeanor conviction that is a lot of money going out particularly if they are asking something similar of their officers as Virginia is.

    If you add in the number of tickets thrown out Washington State estimates nearly 14% you now have court costs of a failed ticket depreciating what is earned in fines. The National Motorist Association estimates almost 58% of contested tickets are dismissed so the numbers could be higher depending on state. It is highly likely that any revenue earned by speeding fines is a wash. Look at it this way by an individual officer let us assume they hand out 22 tickets with the average ticket for 15 miles over the speed limit that is average fine of $90 according to the uniform fee code of Virginia 2010. Each officer would be contributing approximately $3102 in fines and processing fees. If each officer arrests one person who is successfully convicted of a felony that would be a net loss. So it is entirely possible that the memo you cited is nothing more than an attempt to make sure the officers who operate with little oversight during their shifts are doing more than sleeping in their cars between calls.

    Not everything is a nefarious scheme to bilk the average citizen of their money.

    VA Code – http://www.courts.state.va.us/courts/scv/amendments_tracked/rule_3b_2_uniform_fine%20_schedule.pdf

  • mikeb

    formerly just steve @ 11

    At least having to turn down the kerosene lamp as we passed an oncoming buggy was well before my time.

    I much preferred the switch on the floor — no one ever simultaneously signaled a left turn, squirted washer fluid, and failed to disengage the high beams when you could one-click with your left foot.

  • mikeb

    formerly just steve @ 11

    At least having to turn down the kerosene lamp as we passed an oncoming buggy was well before my time.

    I much preferred the switch on the floor — no one ever simultaneously signaled a left turn, squirted washer fluid, and failed to disengage the high beams when you could one-click with your left foot.

  • mikeb

    Dr. Luther @ 28 –

    True. My dad hated writing tickets. Writing tickets meant he might have to go to court and court was always on his day off. He would do everything he could to enforce the laws and avoid tickets if at all possible. My guess is there are a good many others like him.

  • mikeb

    Dr. Luther @ 28 –

    True. My dad hated writing tickets. Writing tickets meant he might have to go to court and court was always on his day off. He would do everything he could to enforce the laws and avoid tickets if at all possible. My guess is there are a good many others like him.

  • Cincinnatus

    Dr. Luther@50:

    Regarding evidence, I provided it. And, interesting, you haven’t responded to the now-demonstrated fact that a number of police departments do in fact issue speeding citations (in the manner they do) solely to accrue revenue. What say you?

    In the meantime, let me repeat a caution I made earlier: this isn’t about individual officers. Some (probably most) are nice guys. Some, as mikeb@52 notes, don’t even like writing traffic tickets. Some are on power trips. Some are, as you suggest somewhat idiosyncratically, bored. But two points: 1) The motivations of individual officers is, as I’ve repeated several times, largely irrelevant; police officers working a speed trap are simply following orders; it’s not up to their “discretion” whether to run a speed trap or not, though it is up to them to select whom out of the majority of people speeding they will actually penalize. 2) Boredom? Really? You think police departments are running speed traps to prevent their officers from being bored? Let’s assume that that’s not an absurd suggestion. If so, that would be even worse than my claim. Boredom is the root of many evils, and it would be tyrannically atrocious if our police departments, en masse, were essentially extorting/oppressing their citizen employers just for fun. Fortunately, I think that’s not the case. They’re just behaving like modern Prince Johns.

    Meanwhile, to your other compelling observations regarding cost, etc., let me say this: follow the money. As a matter of logic, it is safe to assume that local police departments are going to do what makes them money–as do most human beings and institutions. It’s probably the case that, once all unpaid citations, court appearances (yes, in VA, if you decide to challenge your citation in court, the officer must appear; otherwise, your citation is voided; nonetheless, most don’t challenge), etc., are accounted for, the police departments still come out in the black. And it just so happens that this is true. First, a lot of speed traps are funded by–get this–federal grants. The VA state police runs checkpoints all the time, and they get paid whether they write the tickets or not. Second, it’s simply a fact that police departments (not to mention insurance companies, lawyers, etc.) do make money from traffic citations. Lots of it. In 1998, Michigan–as a random example that turned up in Google–made $20.5 million (net) from citations, a number that at the time was increasing dramatically by year. There are literally hundreds of other easily accessible examples.

    In the end, I think it’s simply implausible to insist that police departments aren’t making money from speed traps, and to insist as well that speed traps are actually established purely to advance public safety.

    And don’t even get me started on parking tickets…

  • Cincinnatus

    Dr. Luther@50:

    Regarding evidence, I provided it. And, interesting, you haven’t responded to the now-demonstrated fact that a number of police departments do in fact issue speeding citations (in the manner they do) solely to accrue revenue. What say you?

    In the meantime, let me repeat a caution I made earlier: this isn’t about individual officers. Some (probably most) are nice guys. Some, as mikeb@52 notes, don’t even like writing traffic tickets. Some are on power trips. Some are, as you suggest somewhat idiosyncratically, bored. But two points: 1) The motivations of individual officers is, as I’ve repeated several times, largely irrelevant; police officers working a speed trap are simply following orders; it’s not up to their “discretion” whether to run a speed trap or not, though it is up to them to select whom out of the majority of people speeding they will actually penalize. 2) Boredom? Really? You think police departments are running speed traps to prevent their officers from being bored? Let’s assume that that’s not an absurd suggestion. If so, that would be even worse than my claim. Boredom is the root of many evils, and it would be tyrannically atrocious if our police departments, en masse, were essentially extorting/oppressing their citizen employers just for fun. Fortunately, I think that’s not the case. They’re just behaving like modern Prince Johns.

    Meanwhile, to your other compelling observations regarding cost, etc., let me say this: follow the money. As a matter of logic, it is safe to assume that local police departments are going to do what makes them money–as do most human beings and institutions. It’s probably the case that, once all unpaid citations, court appearances (yes, in VA, if you decide to challenge your citation in court, the officer must appear; otherwise, your citation is voided; nonetheless, most don’t challenge), etc., are accounted for, the police departments still come out in the black. And it just so happens that this is true. First, a lot of speed traps are funded by–get this–federal grants. The VA state police runs checkpoints all the time, and they get paid whether they write the tickets or not. Second, it’s simply a fact that police departments (not to mention insurance companies, lawyers, etc.) do make money from traffic citations. Lots of it. In 1998, Michigan–as a random example that turned up in Google–made $20.5 million (net) from citations, a number that at the time was increasing dramatically by year. There are literally hundreds of other easily accessible examples.

    In the end, I think it’s simply implausible to insist that police departments aren’t making money from speed traps, and to insist as well that speed traps are actually established purely to advance public safety.

    And don’t even get me started on parking tickets…

  • WisdomLover

    Is the person flashing his lights warning speeders to slow down in order to help them avoid being punished for lawbreaking?

    Or is he warning speeders to slow down because they shouldn’t be speeding…as a public service.

    I think the latter reason is a morally acceptable reason to flash your lights, but I think in most cases the former is the reason.

    If it were the latter, then one would expect to see flashing lights even when the police aren’t present.

    With that said, I think many of our speed laws are silly. Many of them reflect a mentality that might have made sense for the automotive technology of the 1950s, but make zero sense today in the days of anti-lock brakes, independent suspension, power steering and so forth.

    And it is surely true that many speed laws are enacted for revenue purposes only…which is itself morally questionable.

    I don’t think that gives anyone the moral right to violate them though. I also think the tax code is mostly immoral. But so is tax evasion.

    BTW…full disclosure…I speed a lot, and it is immoral (and illegal) for me to do so.

    And I also liked the dimmer button on the floor. it was a virtually universal means of flashing the brights, so it did not need to be re-learned for every car. And you didn’t accidentally push the button while signalling for a turn (I mean, you did the one with your left foot and the other with your left arm out of the driver-side window, so how could you?).

  • WisdomLover

    Is the person flashing his lights warning speeders to slow down in order to help them avoid being punished for lawbreaking?

    Or is he warning speeders to slow down because they shouldn’t be speeding…as a public service.

    I think the latter reason is a morally acceptable reason to flash your lights, but I think in most cases the former is the reason.

    If it were the latter, then one would expect to see flashing lights even when the police aren’t present.

    With that said, I think many of our speed laws are silly. Many of them reflect a mentality that might have made sense for the automotive technology of the 1950s, but make zero sense today in the days of anti-lock brakes, independent suspension, power steering and so forth.

    And it is surely true that many speed laws are enacted for revenue purposes only…which is itself morally questionable.

    I don’t think that gives anyone the moral right to violate them though. I also think the tax code is mostly immoral. But so is tax evasion.

    BTW…full disclosure…I speed a lot, and it is immoral (and illegal) for me to do so.

    And I also liked the dimmer button on the floor. it was a virtually universal means of flashing the brights, so it did not need to be re-learned for every car. And you didn’t accidentally push the button while signalling for a turn (I mean, you did the one with your left foot and the other with your left arm out of the driver-side window, so how could you?).

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @53 I actually did address it. I falsified your position by showing that it actually costs the state more for Cops to be doing their jobs. I did the math, I provided sources for my numbers and the fact is if an Arlington cop did their job, the state comes out behind by an estimated 5 grand per cop. And how do you respond, more unsubstantiated assertions.

    Michigan’s supposed profit from speeding tickets, provide source or I will assume your source is of questionable repute and ignore it.

    Federal funds for speed traps? Prove it. Sources or you are making it up.

    Claiming a 10 second Google search is all it takes is not proof. Just because you found it on Google don’t make it fact. And again, it isn’t my job to find your proof. Stop being lazy and defend your position properly.

    I am starting to get the feeling, you don’t like having to bear the burden of proof.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @53 I actually did address it. I falsified your position by showing that it actually costs the state more for Cops to be doing their jobs. I did the math, I provided sources for my numbers and the fact is if an Arlington cop did their job, the state comes out behind by an estimated 5 grand per cop. And how do you respond, more unsubstantiated assertions.

    Michigan’s supposed profit from speeding tickets, provide source or I will assume your source is of questionable repute and ignore it.

    Federal funds for speed traps? Prove it. Sources or you are making it up.

    Claiming a 10 second Google search is all it takes is not proof. Just because you found it on Google don’t make it fact. And again, it isn’t my job to find your proof. Stop being lazy and defend your position properly.

    I am starting to get the feeling, you don’t like having to bear the burden of proof.

  • Cincinnatus

    Dr. Luther@55:

    Are you always this demanding of “PROOF,” or only when people disagree with you when you’re waging a losing battle over a trivial matter?

    First, I thought I had provided a link to the Michigan claim (though, really, Dr. Luther, while I understand “THE BURDEN OF PROOF IS ONE ME” to corroborate my claims–caps lock because that’s how you sound at this point when I read your words in my head–again, 10 seconds of Google could have done it for you), I forgot. Here it is: http://www.house.mi.gov/hfa/PDFs/traf.pdf

    Pages 11-13 are the relevant portions. That’s just a random state that happened to appear in the ole’ Google. You’d be surprised by how easy it is to Google basic facts of public record. Here are more interesting links, though not all are entirely rigorous. But since you’re so thirsty for documentation today:

    http://phys.org/news150992952.html
    http://www.flhsmv.gov/html/safety.html
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,490629,00.html
    http://blog.motorists.org/traffic-tickets-are-big-business/

    Or, really, anything on this page: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=traffic+citation+revenue

    And you doubt the existence of federal grants for target traffic enforcement, even though announcements of said grants appear in nearly every major newspaper on a regular basis? Ok: http://www.federalgrantswire.com/state-and-community-highway-safety.html

    That’s just one example. Virginia State Police use the heck out of that example of federal largesse.

    Meanwhile, you most certainly did not provide proof that it costs more for a state to write a ticket than the revenue generated. Absolutely false. You provided several numbers about the prosecution costs associated with felonies and misdemeanors, for example–totally irrelevant, because traffic citations are neither–and actual collection rates on citations. And then you entirely invented the possible connections between those numbers (even using speculative language to do so!). To quote someone else, “Prove it!”

    Now, are police departments funding their entire operations via traffic citations? Of course not. So it’s entirely inapposite to note that it costs a police officer/department X dollars to prosecute an unrelated felony (say, a drug charge) while a traffic citation only brings in a couple hundred bucks. That’s like saying a restaurant isn’t making money selling $2 ice cream cones because it costs them $10 to prepare a steak. Police departments have many sources of revenue: taxes, licensing fees, etc. And traffic citations.

  • Cincinnatus

    Dr. Luther@55:

    Are you always this demanding of “PROOF,” or only when people disagree with you when you’re waging a losing battle over a trivial matter?

    First, I thought I had provided a link to the Michigan claim (though, really, Dr. Luther, while I understand “THE BURDEN OF PROOF IS ONE ME” to corroborate my claims–caps lock because that’s how you sound at this point when I read your words in my head–again, 10 seconds of Google could have done it for you), I forgot. Here it is: http://www.house.mi.gov/hfa/PDFs/traf.pdf

    Pages 11-13 are the relevant portions. That’s just a random state that happened to appear in the ole’ Google. You’d be surprised by how easy it is to Google basic facts of public record. Here are more interesting links, though not all are entirely rigorous. But since you’re so thirsty for documentation today:

    http://phys.org/news150992952.html
    http://www.flhsmv.gov/html/safety.html
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,490629,00.html
    http://blog.motorists.org/traffic-tickets-are-big-business/

    Or, really, anything on this page: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=traffic+citation+revenue

    And you doubt the existence of federal grants for target traffic enforcement, even though announcements of said grants appear in nearly every major newspaper on a regular basis? Ok: http://www.federalgrantswire.com/state-and-community-highway-safety.html

    That’s just one example. Virginia State Police use the heck out of that example of federal largesse.

    Meanwhile, you most certainly did not provide proof that it costs more for a state to write a ticket than the revenue generated. Absolutely false. You provided several numbers about the prosecution costs associated with felonies and misdemeanors, for example–totally irrelevant, because traffic citations are neither–and actual collection rates on citations. And then you entirely invented the possible connections between those numbers (even using speculative language to do so!). To quote someone else, “Prove it!”

    Now, are police departments funding their entire operations via traffic citations? Of course not. So it’s entirely inapposite to note that it costs a police officer/department X dollars to prosecute an unrelated felony (say, a drug charge) while a traffic citation only brings in a couple hundred bucks. That’s like saying a restaurant isn’t making money selling $2 ice cream cones because it costs them $10 to prepare a steak. Police departments have many sources of revenue: taxes, licensing fees, etc. And traffic citations.

  • Cincinnatus

    Dr. Luther: I responded to your most recent comment–with abundant links–but it’s in moderation limbo at the moment, because of the evidence you demanded. Stay tuned.

  • Cincinnatus

    Dr. Luther: I responded to your most recent comment–with abundant links–but it’s in moderation limbo at the moment, because of the evidence you demanded. Stay tuned.

  • helen

    If speeding tickets aren’t money makers, why did a judge restrict one of our little towns in Texas (with about a mile of interstate highway in its jurisdiction) to “earning” no more than 30% of its municipal budget from traffic fines along that highway?

    I got my only “speeding” ticket on I-45 near Corsicana, a known speed trap to all the natives, but I was new to Texas. We were on vacation and had a car top carrier, so it was a safe bet that the ticket would be mailed in, and there would be no “day in court”. The officer’s first words, “Now, if we don’t argue about this, it will go a lot faster.” (Whether his ticket would have held up was indeed debatable, but we didn’t debate it.)

    Thirty years later I turned from a country road marked and driven at 45 mph onto a highway, but also a main street of another small Texas town. I didn’t see the 35 mph marker till a minute after the patrolman had seen me. He took my license information and as he was going back to his car to write the ticket, he asked, “when did you get your last speeding ticket?” “Thirty years ago, in Corsicana.” The ticket came to me with WARNING
    overwritten; I keep it in my wallet, to remember to slow down in that town. :)
    [If you have time to stop, the barbeque there is pretty good, too.] ;)

  • helen

    If speeding tickets aren’t money makers, why did a judge restrict one of our little towns in Texas (with about a mile of interstate highway in its jurisdiction) to “earning” no more than 30% of its municipal budget from traffic fines along that highway?

    I got my only “speeding” ticket on I-45 near Corsicana, a known speed trap to all the natives, but I was new to Texas. We were on vacation and had a car top carrier, so it was a safe bet that the ticket would be mailed in, and there would be no “day in court”. The officer’s first words, “Now, if we don’t argue about this, it will go a lot faster.” (Whether his ticket would have held up was indeed debatable, but we didn’t debate it.)

    Thirty years later I turned from a country road marked and driven at 45 mph onto a highway, but also a main street of another small Texas town. I didn’t see the 35 mph marker till a minute after the patrolman had seen me. He took my license information and as he was going back to his car to write the ticket, he asked, “when did you get your last speeding ticket?” “Thirty years ago, in Corsicana.” The ticket came to me with WARNING
    overwritten; I keep it in my wallet, to remember to slow down in that town. :)
    [If you have time to stop, the barbeque there is pretty good, too.] ;)

  • mikeb

    The assertions that all cops / all police departments have quotas doesn’t sit well with me. We are talking about the government. Do you really think the 20,000 or so city police and county sheriff’s departments are that closely managed?

    Also — perhaps this skews my thinking — in Missouri, circuit court fines are split between the school district where an offense occurs and the state general revenue. Municipal fines are much less costly, and though they are retained by the city, the city governments are restricted from relying heavily on them.

  • mikeb

    The assertions that all cops / all police departments have quotas doesn’t sit well with me. We are talking about the government. Do you really think the 20,000 or so city police and county sheriff’s departments are that closely managed?

    Also — perhaps this skews my thinking — in Missouri, circuit court fines are split between the school district where an offense occurs and the state general revenue. Municipal fines are much less costly, and though they are retained by the city, the city governments are restricted from relying heavily on them.

  • Grace

    The same people you might be “flashing” could very be the very ones who have been drinking too much, or speed most of the time. Your flashing isn’t going to save anyones life after they pass the police, they can just speed right back up.

    How many of you have lost loved ones to auto accidents?

    Those who drive to fast, speeding along the way, or drive while DUI, alerting them to a possible ticket, or arrest due to DUI – are allowing that person to continue, perhaps hurting someone down the highway, after the police are behind them.

    I don’t feel badly when anyone receives a ticket or arrested if they are speeding, or DUI – they know better.

  • Grace

    The same people you might be “flashing” could very be the very ones who have been drinking too much, or speed most of the time. Your flashing isn’t going to save anyones life after they pass the police, they can just speed right back up.

    How many of you have lost loved ones to auto accidents?

    Those who drive to fast, speeding along the way, or drive while DUI, alerting them to a possible ticket, or arrest due to DUI – are allowing that person to continue, perhaps hurting someone down the highway, after the police are behind them.

    I don’t feel badly when anyone receives a ticket or arrested if they are speeding, or DUI – they know better.

  • Grace

    As for “revenue generation” – an individual who is speeding is taking a chance, not just with his/her life, but that of others.

    Saving lives through strong laws, high dollar tickets when caught speeding or DUI are in order – better yet, after a few tickets for speeding losing their license, confiscating their car for 30 days, might help the offender from hitting the pedal to the ground. They can take the bus, or walk.

  • Grace

    As for “revenue generation” – an individual who is speeding is taking a chance, not just with his/her life, but that of others.

    Saving lives through strong laws, high dollar tickets when caught speeding or DUI are in order – better yet, after a few tickets for speeding losing their license, confiscating their car for 30 days, might help the offender from hitting the pedal to the ground. They can take the bus, or walk.

  • SKPeterson

    My parents live outside Corsicana down toward Streetman. Never really had a problem there. The towns along 287 between Wichita Falls and Amarillo are the worst by far. Childress, Memphis, Clarendon, Estelline and Claude. The one ticket I had in 20+ years of driving I got in Claude. My wife got hers in Memphis – it was the most galling – we were coming back to visit family and were in a large pack of vehicles, essentially moving with the flow about 5 miles over the limit – but we were the only ones with out of state license plates. My only consolation was telling the judge that I thought the deputy was a complete jackass who appeared to be going out of his way to pick on the interstate travelers who brought money to the businesses of his town and that it shouldn’t cost $50 dollars for going 5 mph over the speed limit as that is indicative of using the speed limit as a revenue mechanism and not for reasons of safety (in Memphis, the speed limit drops precipitously in the span of about 500 yards through 3 posted speeds, or at least it did 8 years ago making it very hard to actually see the signage in the middle of highway traffic) and that I would endeavor in the future to always tell people traveling on 287 to never, ever stop or patronize any business in Memphis. Thanks helen for reminding me of that, so that I could honor that promise in this forum.

  • SKPeterson

    My parents live outside Corsicana down toward Streetman. Never really had a problem there. The towns along 287 between Wichita Falls and Amarillo are the worst by far. Childress, Memphis, Clarendon, Estelline and Claude. The one ticket I had in 20+ years of driving I got in Claude. My wife got hers in Memphis – it was the most galling – we were coming back to visit family and were in a large pack of vehicles, essentially moving with the flow about 5 miles over the limit – but we were the only ones with out of state license plates. My only consolation was telling the judge that I thought the deputy was a complete jackass who appeared to be going out of his way to pick on the interstate travelers who brought money to the businesses of his town and that it shouldn’t cost $50 dollars for going 5 mph over the speed limit as that is indicative of using the speed limit as a revenue mechanism and not for reasons of safety (in Memphis, the speed limit drops precipitously in the span of about 500 yards through 3 posted speeds, or at least it did 8 years ago making it very hard to actually see the signage in the middle of highway traffic) and that I would endeavor in the future to always tell people traveling on 287 to never, ever stop or patronize any business in Memphis. Thanks helen for reminding me of that, so that I could honor that promise in this forum.

  • Grace

    SKPeterson

    I have to admitt 5 miles over the speed limit, with an out of state license is a bit severe, writing a ticket.

  • Grace

    SKPeterson

    I have to admitt 5 miles over the speed limit, with an out of state license is a bit severe, writing a ticket.

  • BS in Texas

    @61 Great post. I travel up and down 287 regularly between DFW and Amarillo. By far, Estelline and yes, Memphis, are the worst speedtraps I’ve encountered in all my travels throughout Texas. In fact, my last citation was in Memphis some 9 years ago or so. I called the “judge” and I was offered the chance to pay $125 and walk away on “deferred adjudication”, which did mean the ticket never showed up on my driving record. Every time I drive through Memphis now, which is pretty often during the year, I always wonder what my $125 bought for the city of Memphis. Not to mention all the other folks who have been tagged along that particular stretch of US 287 that passes through the dusty old cotton town of Memphis, Texas!

  • BS in Texas

    @61 Great post. I travel up and down 287 regularly between DFW and Amarillo. By far, Estelline and yes, Memphis, are the worst speedtraps I’ve encountered in all my travels throughout Texas. In fact, my last citation was in Memphis some 9 years ago or so. I called the “judge” and I was offered the chance to pay $125 and walk away on “deferred adjudication”, which did mean the ticket never showed up on my driving record. Every time I drive through Memphis now, which is pretty often during the year, I always wonder what my $125 bought for the city of Memphis. Not to mention all the other folks who have been tagged along that particular stretch of US 287 that passes through the dusty old cotton town of Memphis, Texas!

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @56 Took you long enough. Uh I used your own memo. You remember the one you gave as proof of quotas. If you want to use that as proof you better be ready for somebody to look at the whole picture, not just a part.

    1) Michigan’s supposed profit. “Precise information is not available as to what portion of this figure is attributable to traffic fines” (pg12) So much for proof being found here. Also this doesnot prove profit, what it is is how monies are routed, in other words this is not a balance sheet, nor does it provide the detail needed to determine net loss or gain.

    2) phys.org, closer but the actual study would be nice. But contrary to the research author’s claim a .32% change is statistically insignificant when one consider the horribly small sample size and the fact it was only one state.

    3) flsmv.gov Did you even read this one? If you wanted to prove Fl makes money via taxes, whatever; but no proof of revenue through tickets.

    4) foxnews – Ah so now the reason behind the study covered on phys.org comes out. I wouldn’t put too much weight on the study. The research lead was mad about getting a ticket. Also uncorroborated source is involved in the article. At least with the memo a police spokesperson confirmed it.

    5) blog.motorist- Again where is the proof the state is profiting. This article is about how others are profiting.

    6) Thank you for confirming you only copy pasted links. I get the feeling the only one you actually looked at was the Michigan one. Even then you missed that key sentence.

    7) federal grants – how is this proof the feds are subsidizing speed traps? The language is too broad. Heck, it even talks about pupil transportation safety, yeah that sounds like speed traps.

    I didn’t have to speculate. I pulled my numbers from government reports on costs. I made a very conservative extrapolation to estimate costs in Va. Since I have already cited my sources you can go back and look at them. But in short it would seem the more logical explanation for your original source is the more innocent idea they just want to make sure their cops aren’t sleeping on the job. It isn’t proof they are trying to make money. Oh and btw you made my analysis relevant by citing the memo and the memo included expected number of arrests. Care to guess what arrests result in?

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @56 Took you long enough. Uh I used your own memo. You remember the one you gave as proof of quotas. If you want to use that as proof you better be ready for somebody to look at the whole picture, not just a part.

    1) Michigan’s supposed profit. “Precise information is not available as to what portion of this figure is attributable to traffic fines” (pg12) So much for proof being found here. Also this doesnot prove profit, what it is is how monies are routed, in other words this is not a balance sheet, nor does it provide the detail needed to determine net loss or gain.

    2) phys.org, closer but the actual study would be nice. But contrary to the research author’s claim a .32% change is statistically insignificant when one consider the horribly small sample size and the fact it was only one state.

    3) flsmv.gov Did you even read this one? If you wanted to prove Fl makes money via taxes, whatever; but no proof of revenue through tickets.

    4) foxnews – Ah so now the reason behind the study covered on phys.org comes out. I wouldn’t put too much weight on the study. The research lead was mad about getting a ticket. Also uncorroborated source is involved in the article. At least with the memo a police spokesperson confirmed it.

    5) blog.motorist- Again where is the proof the state is profiting. This article is about how others are profiting.

    6) Thank you for confirming you only copy pasted links. I get the feeling the only one you actually looked at was the Michigan one. Even then you missed that key sentence.

    7) federal grants – how is this proof the feds are subsidizing speed traps? The language is too broad. Heck, it even talks about pupil transportation safety, yeah that sounds like speed traps.

    I didn’t have to speculate. I pulled my numbers from government reports on costs. I made a very conservative extrapolation to estimate costs in Va. Since I have already cited my sources you can go back and look at them. But in short it would seem the more logical explanation for your original source is the more innocent idea they just want to make sure their cops aren’t sleeping on the job. It isn’t proof they are trying to make money. Oh and btw you made my analysis relevant by citing the memo and the memo included expected number of arrests. Care to guess what arrests result in?

  • JunkerGeorg

    Surprised none of our constitutionally-minded folk here have mentioned the 14th Amendment relative to whether or not Speed Limits are even constitutional. Don’t get me wrong, I of course realize that you can plead the 14th before the traffic court judge all you want and he’ll at best laugh at you. Still, if the government is so concerned about safety, then why don’t they just impose a chip upon car engines with a certain speed limit, perhaps one that self-adjusts to the given speed limit in the particular area one is driving? I mean, if they can fly drones over our heads, they certainly would be able to do that. I’m not for this btw, just pushing the envelope.

  • JunkerGeorg

    Surprised none of our constitutionally-minded folk here have mentioned the 14th Amendment relative to whether or not Speed Limits are even constitutional. Don’t get me wrong, I of course realize that you can plead the 14th before the traffic court judge all you want and he’ll at best laugh at you. Still, if the government is so concerned about safety, then why don’t they just impose a chip upon car engines with a certain speed limit, perhaps one that self-adjusts to the given speed limit in the particular area one is driving? I mean, if they can fly drones over our heads, they certainly would be able to do that. I’m not for this btw, just pushing the envelope.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    JG @66, they already have “guv’nors” on school buses.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    JG @66, they already have “guv’nors” on school buses.

  • JunkerGeorg

    @J.Dean, #67,

    Yes, this is true. And again, if it is ‘really’ all about safety and has nothing to do with revenue, then why hasn’t government at least ‘attempted’ to impose this on all vehicles, ala emissions standards/controls? Given the constitution hasn’t stood in its way from imposing certain things, then what stands in their way from regulating travel? Why wouldn’t government on state/federal levels want to, that is, if it is really all about safety? Again, I’m not for such controls, just asking why there is no proof in the pudding if it really is all about safety.

  • JunkerGeorg

    @J.Dean, #67,

    Yes, this is true. And again, if it is ‘really’ all about safety and has nothing to do with revenue, then why hasn’t government at least ‘attempted’ to impose this on all vehicles, ala emissions standards/controls? Given the constitution hasn’t stood in its way from imposing certain things, then what stands in their way from regulating travel? Why wouldn’t government on state/federal levels want to, that is, if it is really all about safety? Again, I’m not for such controls, just asking why there is no proof in the pudding if it really is all about safety.

  • Michael B.

    One understands why the founding fathers were against high fines for any crimes — because the state then has an interest in prosecuting people.

  • Michael B.

    One understands why the founding fathers were against high fines for any crimes — because the state then has an interest in prosecuting people.

  • helen

    SK @ 62
    My parents live outside Corsicana down toward Streetman. Never really had a problem there.

    Don’t your “traveling” stories underline mine? Why take money from the local citizens, when the Houstonians are driving right by? ;) [Should I have said that everyone in Houston considered it a speed trap? But not the only one, I agree. I had a whole list at one time.]

  • helen

    SK @ 62
    My parents live outside Corsicana down toward Streetman. Never really had a problem there.

    Don’t your “traveling” stories underline mine? Why take money from the local citizens, when the Houstonians are driving right by? ;) [Should I have said that everyone in Houston considered it a speed trap? But not the only one, I agree. I had a whole list at one time.]

  • helen

    JunkerGeorg @ 68
    The guv’mint has forced me off airplanes with their cat scans and TSA.
    Let me drive, please, (until I can’t afford the tolls, of course).

  • helen

    JunkerGeorg @ 68
    The guv’mint has forced me off airplanes with their cat scans and TSA.
    Let me drive, please, (until I can’t afford the tolls, of course).

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  • David

    Am I missing something here? The law is the law, isn’t it? I can understand being frustrated if you get a ticket for speeding, but it really bothers me when people try to say that they didn’t deserve the ticket or that it was unfair. In my experience speed limit signs are large and easy to read. I once got a ticket and went to court with the intention of fighting it. Once I got there and heard all the pathetic excuses that people were giving, I decided to just pay the fine. The fact is that I was speeding. I deserved the punishment that I received. In my opinion, warning oncoming drivers of patrol cars running radar is wrong because the person who slows down due to such a warning will likely not change their driving habits. On the other hand, multiple speeding tickets and the subsequent increase in the cost of auto insurance might actually work.

  • David

    Am I missing something here? The law is the law, isn’t it? I can understand being frustrated if you get a ticket for speeding, but it really bothers me when people try to say that they didn’t deserve the ticket or that it was unfair. In my experience speed limit signs are large and easy to read. I once got a ticket and went to court with the intention of fighting it. Once I got there and heard all the pathetic excuses that people were giving, I decided to just pay the fine. The fact is that I was speeding. I deserved the punishment that I received. In my opinion, warning oncoming drivers of patrol cars running radar is wrong because the person who slows down due to such a warning will likely not change their driving habits. On the other hand, multiple speeding tickets and the subsequent increase in the cost of auto insurance might actually work.

  • Justus Bible

    i would argue that it is both legal and moral, and would take a step further and suggest it a desirable attribute of all drivers. in reference to the assumption that the drivers on the other side of the road are actually breaking the law by speeding, which there is no means by which you can quantifiably measure. you are merely suggesting a ‘caution’. don’t miss the point here people. the police have the constitutional right, and duty i might add, to enforce the law. no argument from me on that fact. i commend them for their service. but just as equally, we have constitutional rights as citizens to freedom of expression and speech. my conclusion: flashing high beam headlights as a ‘caution’ to other drivers doesn’t violate my conscience or any other absolute moral laws. thus, in my mind, i am committing no sin. has your aunt ever been accused of being a legalist?

  • Justus Bible

    i would argue that it is both legal and moral, and would take a step further and suggest it a desirable attribute of all drivers. in reference to the assumption that the drivers on the other side of the road are actually breaking the law by speeding, which there is no means by which you can quantifiably measure. you are merely suggesting a ‘caution’. don’t miss the point here people. the police have the constitutional right, and duty i might add, to enforce the law. no argument from me on that fact. i commend them for their service. but just as equally, we have constitutional rights as citizens to freedom of expression and speech. my conclusion: flashing high beam headlights as a ‘caution’ to other drivers doesn’t violate my conscience or any other absolute moral laws. thus, in my mind, i am committing no sin. has your aunt ever been accused of being a legalist?

  • Justus Bible

    one more comment: i’d be leary of the ‘once an officer sees you brake, you’re ticket free’ mentality. i’ve heard of officers using this as ‘evidence’ in the court room, along with witnessing the nose dive of the vehicle as further proof of speeding. and talk about safety. what could be more unsafe than sudden brakes on an interstate highway at speeds of 70+ mph?

  • Justus Bible

    one more comment: i’d be leary of the ‘once an officer sees you brake, you’re ticket free’ mentality. i’ve heard of officers using this as ‘evidence’ in the court room, along with witnessing the nose dive of the vehicle as further proof of speeding. and talk about safety. what could be more unsafe than sudden brakes on an interstate highway at speeds of 70+ mph?


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