Flashing headlights ruled free speech

04/10/2014 // West Palm Beach, Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)

Oregon – An Oregon judge has ruled that motorists’ flashing their headlights, which is what some do to alert other drivers to the presence of police patrol, is free speech. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), Jackson County Justice Court Judge Joseph Carter made the ruling in the case of a driver who was issued a citation for flashing his lights at a UPS driver.

The driver, Chris Hill, was issued a $260 ticket for what the sheriff’s deputy who pulled him over said was improperly using his headlights. The judge dismissed the citation on Wednesday determining that the action of motorists flashing their headlights was protected as free speech under the Oregon Constitution.

Judge Carter is quoted as writing in his ruling, “The citation was clearly given to punish the Defendant for that expression… The government certainly can and should enforce the traffic laws for the safety of all drivers on the road. However, the government cannot enforce the traffic laws, or any other laws, to punish drivers for their expressive conduct.”

This report is provided by Justice News Flash – Oregon Legal News

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