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Old 01-15-2013, 01:02 AM   #43
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Our state has far fewer state patrol than the neighboring state. The state patrol is really under funded in our state. Each time they attempt to increase funding through ballot initiatives, it fails. I think that is due to public perception that state patrol is only about pulling over speeders and folks prefer to speed.

For me, I work to be within the law and also not impede traffic. I am glad to see patrols on our highways. I've been nearly run off the road on several occasions on I-5 in our area by folks driving at excessive speed. Some - even driving in the shoulder to pass and narrowly missing overpass barriers. It's certainly in those situations that I wish to see more patrols. I've called on drivers behaving erratically and have had success with helping get folks pulled over that were a danger to themselves and others. Other times, help was much too far away.
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:17 AM   #44
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It seems to me that there is a difference between driving dangerously and driving 10mph above the speed limit. I accept that sometimes they are the same but not always. On a motorway (no oncoming traffic) or a nearly empty road, the danger is not necessarily in proportion to the speeding fine. How many of us have NEVER travelled slightly over the limit by accident or design. If we flash our lights to indicate a potential trouble spot- stock on the road, an accident, flooding or a traffic officer, who are we hurting? We are warning fellow drivers that it is not safe ahead, speed or not. Perhaps we should flash our lights whenever we see someone speeding, whether there is a cop car there or not, to make them reduce their speed. Roads would be safer, and we would all be happy?!
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:54 AM   #45
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I used to reside in a rural California mountainous area that was used for open range grazing for cattle. While traveling on the hills and curves of the highways and roads through this open cattle country, motorists always flashed their headlights at oncomming traffic to warn of cattle in the road. You don't want to top a hill or round a curve and find a 2000 pound bull standing in your lane of traffic. Common sense and courtesy prevails. I don't believe this practice is unlawful at all.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:55 AM   #46
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If slowing down traffic were the prime objective, then all cop cruisers would be brilliantly marked so that people could see them coming for miles and check their driving accordingly. Any way you can assist in controlling the speed of traffic seems to me to be an admirable thing to do, so flash the lights and have drivers check what they are doing.
Unfortunately, current police patrols have no interest in controlling traffic, speed or anything else which is why they use speed traps, unmarked highway cars, etc. Their primary purpose is income generation which is why they are faster to give a ticket than to drive i n traffic and be a pace car.
Please don't paint everyone with the same brush. I certainly have found police officers who seem genuinely interested in safety and give warning tickets when it seems appropriate. I have even had one stop and talk to me about something he perceived as hazardous, without giving a citation.

As a deterrent to speeding and reckless driving, two things are effective. One works only momentarily, i.e. seeing a police car. I have seen many sites where that very thing was done and it was an effective deterrent for the hazard ahead (construction, accident or whatever.) The other deterrent is knowing there may be police officers anyplace in unmarked vehicles, hopefully causing a person to be circumspect if nothing else.

Of course there are people who really don't care that much and will drive too fast or recklessly regardless.
But the best deterrence of all is self deterrence, also know as self-control, doing what is right because it is right. This involves driving safely (and within the law) and also warning others of hazards ahead if possible.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:47 AM   #47
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And when it comes to deterrents, fines are probably the biggest deterrent there is, well it is in my mind. When one has to pay $160+ (Texas) for violations it gives one thought as to whether they want to take the chance to speed. I am the typical do the speed limit driver. I posted earlier pertaining to the amendments.

So, although I personally recognize the right to flash, I don't do it. I figure if the person is speeding he deserves to be stopped and ticketed and pay the fine. Maybe next time he/she will think twice before speeding. I really don't think that it is much of a revenue incentive for cities. Let's face it, if they technically wanted to they could give tickets to all those just doing 2 miles, under 5, over the speed limit and that usually does not happen - well maybe in a school zone and it should there.

So back to the question: Is it covered under the 1st amendment? Depends.
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:21 PM   #48
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And when it comes to deterrents, fines are probably the biggest deterrent there is, well it is in my mind. When one has to pay $160+ (Texas) for violations it gives one thought as to whether they want to take the chance to speed. I am the typical do the speed limit driver. I posted earlier pertaining to the amendments.

So, although I personally recognize the right to flash, I don't do it. I figure if the person is speeding he deserves to be stopped and ticketed and pay the fine. Maybe next time he/she will think twice before speeding. I really don't think that it is much of a revenue incentive for cities. Let's face it, if they technically wanted to they could give tickets to all those just doing 2 miles, under 5, over the speed limit and that usually does not happen - well maybe in a school zone and it should there.

So back to the question: Is it covered under the 1st amendment? Depends.
I disagree that it "depends". I believe it's clear cut - "aiding and abetting" the breaking of a law is not 1st amendment "protected" speech, and shouldn't be considered "speech" at all under any useful definition.

Suppose I shoot someone - that clearly conveys the message that I don't like him, but does that mean the act of shooting someone would be "speech"?

Or imagine a young man who falls head-over-heals" for someone who does not return those feelings. If then, in an effort to force her to, sets up a powerful PA system aimed at her house and blares day and night the phrase "I love you"? It's an intelligible sentence, but, just repeated over and over, would that still be speech? I think at that point it would be harassment not speech (much less 1st amendment protected speech).

Speech implies an actual attempt at communication, and if you don't like a speeding law, or how it's being enforced, you get on a soapbox, write a letter to the editor, get on radio, run for office, write your congressman... - that's speech and it is protected under the 1st amendment. Aiding and abetting lawbreakers is not.
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:08 PM   #49
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I disagree that it "depends". I believe it's clear cut - "aiding and abetting" the breaking of a law is not 1st amendment "protected" speech, and shouldn't be considered "speech" at all under any useful definition.

Suppose I shoot someone - that clearly conveys the message that I don't like him, but does that mean the act of shooting someone would be "speech"?

Or imagine a young man who falls head-over-heals" for someone who does not return those feelings. If then, in an effort to force her to, sets up a powerful PA system aimed at her house and blares day and night the phrase "I love you"? It's an intelligible sentence, but, just repeated over and over, would that still be speech? I think at that point it would be harassment not speech (much less 1st amendment protected speech).

Speech implies an actual attempt at communication, and if you don't like a speeding law, or how it's being enforced, you get on a soapbox, write a letter to the editor, get on radio, run for office, write your congressman... - that's speech and it is protected under the 1st amendment. Aiding and abetting lawbreakers is not.
If you go back to the first post and read the entire thread you'll find that there are any number of judges that have ruled that the practice of flashing one's lights does not violate the law. Now, it may not be the right thing to do, and you may not agree with them, but it's not illegal.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:51 PM   #50
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I disagree that it "depends". I believe it's clear cut - "aiding and abetting" the breaking of a law is not 1st amendment "protected" speech, and shouldn't be considered "speech" at all under any useful definition.

Suppose I shoot someone - that clearly conveys the message that I don't like him, but does that mean the act of shooting someone would be "speech"?

Or imagine a young man who falls head-over-heals" for someone who does not return those feelings. If then, in an effort to force her to, sets up a powerful PA system aimed at her house and blares day and night the phrase "I love you"? It's an intelligible sentence, but, just repeated over and over, would that still be speech? I think at that point it would be harassment not speech (much less 1st amendment protected speech).

Speech implies an actual attempt at communication, and if you don't like a speeding law, or how it's being enforced, you get on a soapbox, write a letter to the editor, get on radio, run for office, write your congressman... - that's speech and it is protected under the 1st amendment. Aiding and abetting lawbreakers is not.
Trying to visually tell someone to slow down there is a cop ahead is NOT "aiding and abetting" speeding. It's telling them to slow down. Slowing down to the speed limit isn't abetting speeding - its just the opposite - abetting law keeping (at least until they get past the cop then their sins be upon their own head).

Flashing lights isn't "speech" anyway. It's an action. Speech is oral. To sign is not to speak. While many signs my transmit ideas, they aren't speech.

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Old 01-15-2013, 07:34 PM   #51
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The biggest problem is the overzealous officer that only wants to write tickets or the area that uses the tickets as a form of revenue. I have no problem with an officer that sits in the open running radar and gets speeders, thats his job, I do have a problem with the ones that hide, especially at the bottom of a big hill, where every vehile has a tendency to speed up a little. That is a form of entrapment. Also, the officer that makes up a charge to justify his stop, I have had this happen multiple times. It is just as wrong for them to lie as it is for me to speed. Which I try my best not to.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:58 PM   #52
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Flashing lights isn't "speech" anyway. It's an action. Speech is oral. To sign is not to speak. While many signs my transmit ideas, they aren't speech.
Well I think the Supreme court has ruled against this position like, a zillion times. Are you serious? Even the finger is considered speech.

Incidentally, the law that allows you to use radar detectors is the communications act of 1934. It prohibits the government from establishing frequencies illegal for the public to receive. That's why it's perfectly legal to own a radio that can eavesdrop on Air Force 1. That's also why AF1 encrypts the info, but if you get your jollys listening to static, then it's perfectly lawful.

Got to admit that Virginia and a couple of other states have found a way around that, don't know if their laws have survived the appropriate higher court challenge.

The CHP frequently parks a car in the slowdown areas prior to construction zones. Much more effective than RADAR.

The only thing that pisses me off is when cops employ tactics that are as dangerous as the behavior they are trying to "change". I once got pulled over on two-lane 395 - a road so dangerous the center line has rumble strip and a 20 mile no passing zone - by a cop who was tailgating a semi, pulling into oncoming traffic to hit his instant-on.

I had a local town cop "bumper pace" me from a stoplight - so close that when I looked in the rear-view I couldn't tell it was a cop - all I could see was his windshield. I couldn't see his lights, he had to "whoop" me. Next time he'll be explaining how he rear-ended someone...Oh - and he lost in court.

File those under the "two wrongs don't make a right" heading...... Seems to me that an underlying tenet of law enforcement should be to ensure the public maintains their respect for law enforcement, by not only doing things "right", but by doing the "right' things.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:10 AM   #53
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I disagree that it "depends". I believe it's clear cut - "aiding and abetting" the breaking of a law is not 1st amendment "protected" speech, and shouldn't be considered "speech" at all under any useful definition.

Suppose I shoot someone - that clearly conveys the message that I don't like him, but does that mean the act of shooting someone would be "speech"?

Or imagine a young man who falls head-over-heals" for someone who does not return those feelings. If then, in an effort to force her to, sets up a powerful PA system aimed at her house and blares day and night the phrase "I love you"? It's an intelligible sentence, but, just repeated over and over, would that still be speech? I think at that point it would be harassment not speech (much less 1st amendment protected speech).

Speech implies an actual attempt at communication, and if you don't like a speeding law, or how it's being enforced, you get on a soapbox, write a letter to the editor, get on radio, run for office, write your congressman... - that's speech and it is protected under the 1st amendment. Aiding and abetting lawbreakers is not.


niether one of your examples has anything to to do with a traffic issue. Trying to compare to felonies just doesnt get it...
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:57 AM   #54
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OK guys and girls a bit of information. In BC it is now a requirement of law that you slow down and move over when you pass an emergency vehicle (including tow trucks) that have their lights flashing. The newest RCMP trick is to sit and unmarked car in front of a tow truck (with lights flashing) and await people ignoring the law. Be aware that the fine is quite expensive.

When I was a teen I got nailed by a Georgia Trooper for speeding on a two lane country highway. I was driving at 60 mph the posted limit and went over a slight hill and saw a sign indicating 30 mph ahead and a cop and a 30 MPH sign all within a few feet of one another. The cop had his ticket book out and all he had to do was stop you, put the drivers name in and the make model license of the speeding car. Great scam because I don't know anyone past or present who could react fast enough to get on the brakes hard enough, to slow successfully. Great trick there.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:40 AM   #55
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Hey Possum, same, or similar, laws in many states regarding emergency vehicles. In Texas it is required to pull over to the next left hand lane, if there is one. If there isn't a lane, or the lane is occupied, it is required to slow down to 20 mph under the speed limit.

Way back in the day, sometimes in the 60's or 70's there was an incident that was reported in one of the newspapers. I don't remember the state, and I sure wish I could. Here is the scenario as I remember the article.

A person was traveling along at the posted speed of 35 mph. They saw the sign for a speed of 55 mph so they increased their speed. They got stopped and ticketed for doing 50 in a 35.

In court the person brought up the fact that when traveling at a speed of 55 mph and there is a sign reducing speed to 35 mph that the operator is required to be at 35 mph when the reach the sign. Therefore, why isn't the reverse true, if traveling at 35 mph and a sign ahead indicates 55 mph, then upon reaching that sign one can be doing 55 mph. He won in court.

Now-a-days, with GPS, when I pass a speed limit sign my GPS instantly goes to the new speed limit. My argument for the above situation, should it ever happen to me, would be the same, and I sure would like to know where that case was so precedent could be established. I believe it was in the Midwest somewhere.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:35 AM   #56
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The next question is how soon before our cars tattle on us for speeding, upload the results at intervals and we are automatically mailed a fine? Or better yet, it is deducted from our bank accounts automatically.

All the technology exists today to easily do this. It may not be a question of "if" but rather' "when" it will be employed.

If they are wanting revenue anyway, perhaps they will employ a "access fee" in rural areas to exceed the posted limit by 15 mph in the left lane.

Not making a political statement, just noting that this is already easy to implement.

In this case, flashing lights becomes irrelevant.
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