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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-04-2008, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Default Using high beams to warn drivers of speed traps

Good read

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TORONTO - It's a universal, unspoken code of the road: a quick flash of the high beams to warn oncoming motorists about a looming police speed trap. But is it illegal?

That act of common courtesy got a Toronto man a $110 ticket and has spurred debate about whether drivers are legally allowed to communicate via their headlights, and whether the police officer in question overstepped his bounds in interpreting the law.

Similar tickets have been fought all the way to the Supreme Court in Alberta and Pennsylvania. A quick web search turns up countless discussions of whether or not flashing the high beams is a crime.

Brad Diamond didn't think he'd done anything wrong when he was pulled over on a Saturday morning last year after flashing his headlights to warn motorists they were heading towards a police radar outpost.

The Toronto police officer told Diamond he'd violated a section of Ontario's Highway Traffic Act, which states "no person shall use high-beam headlamps that produce alternating flashes of white light on any vehicle" other than an emergency vehicle.
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A few weeks ago he got his day in court and before watching two other drivers fight a similar ticket, his charge was dropped after police came forward with no evidence.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-04-2008, 03:21 PM
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Default Re: Using high beams to warn drivers of speed traps

Wow, that would be nice if it was commonly used here. it would be nice to get the heads up. Do the same laws apply here? I guess ill research a bit. Sounds like a good idea.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-04-2008, 03:52 PM
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Default Re: Using high beams to warn drivers of speed traps

I think that the police officer was wrong! Alternating flashes of white lights are know as zig zag, left to right headlights lighting up not both lights on highbeams and then off. If flashing your bright lights is illegal then what use is the flash to pass feature from the factory found on most vehicles today?

I flash my bright lights if someone has their bright lights on at night and fail to dim them within a reasonable time frame. I also try to give people a warning that radar is a head, but most people just don't know what I am trying to do for them.

I also give a quick flash at a 4way stop at night to let the other person know that I want them to go first..........off to jail I go I guess!!!



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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-04-2008, 04:04 PM
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Default Re: Using high beams to warn drivers of speed traps

I know that if you are on a motorcycle and want to advise others of a speed trap you tap your head. I mean Helmet!!!
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-04-2008, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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Default Re: Using high beams to warn drivers of speed traps

That's good to know. I hadn't heard about the helmet tapping thing

I'll flash my high beams if someone doesn't have their lights on, at stop signs and to let people merge or change lanes in front of me... I think on the CHP web site, in their FAQs, there's a mention about the urban myth associating flashing high beams to gang initiations and doesn't say anything about it being remotely illegal...
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-04-2008, 11:20 PM
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Default Re: Using high beams to warn drivers of speed traps

Yep, done both and still do.
When I rode motorcycles we would tap our brainbuckets. In cars we flash high beams. Have to be aware of the po-po. :P
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-05-2008, 05:22 PM
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Default Re: Using high beams to warn drivers of speed traps

I do it all the time! I would be pissed if the cop wrote me a ticket!

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 09:23 AM
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Default Re: Using high beams to warn drivers of speed traps

I do that from time to time.

It is very commonly used in Europe.
Flash once - turn off your high beams
flash twice - speedtrap
flash x3 - block post.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 11:26 AM
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Default Re: Using high beams to warn drivers of speed traps

i used to do it when i drove a private charter coach [greyhound style bus] to let other busses and trucks know they could move over a lane...

i am going to look through the California Vehicle Code and see what i can find...

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Default Re: Using high beams to warn drivers of speed traps

Oh yah, I see big semis flash to let a passing semi know that they're clear & can move back over to the slow lane...
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