Malcolm Flynn | May 25, 2012

In what we might hope may catch on in local jurisdictions, a Florida judge has ruled that warning oncoming motorists of speed traps by flashing the headlights is legal - at least in that state.

US motorist Ryan Kitner argued in court that the act of warning oncoming traffic of speed traps falls within his constitutional right to free speech.

Judge Alan Dickey agreed, ruling the practice as protected under the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

Kitner’s actions went beyond a simple flash as he carried on his way, however.

Observing from his home that a police officer had set up a speed trap nearby, Kitner moved his car some distance up the road, parking to warn oncoming traffic with his high-beam lights.

Judge Dickey ruled that the penalty ticket issued to Mr Kitner was issued in a misapplication of a state law, which bans motorists from flashing after-market emergency lights.

On Australian roads, such an act of automotive camaraderie may earn popularity with oncoming traffic, but will do no favours for your relationship with the constabulary.

In NSW and Victoria at least, the practice of warning motorists of roadside speed cameras is not strictly illegal - but the use of your high-beam lights within 200 metres of oncoming traffic is, and that's what will get you pinged.

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