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Old 01-17-2013, 03:55 AM   #57
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Let's see if I understand this - suppose I'm looking out an upstairs window and see a mugging in progress, and also notice a cop walking his beat who will momentarily round the corner and come upon this law-breaking in progress. If I call out or flash a light to warn the mugger so he can escape, it's my 1st amendment right to do so???? Somehow I think I would (and should) be charged as an "accessory after the fact" or something like that (I'm not a cop or lawyer).
No, at that point you'd be aiding and abetting at a minimum - but then only if it can be proven that your "warning" was intentional and effective. The difference is that you've seen a crime taking place, and you're helping a known criminal evade prosecution.

A motorist who is traveling northbound on a road has no radar equipment, and no training to give him the ability to determine whether southbound traffic is exceeding the speed limit. Further, the act the driver flashing his headlights does not carry any specific meaning. That is, it could be him testing his equipment, warning of a deer along the side of the road, or an accident ahead. It's not Morse Code indicating police presence.

Thus to compare these two scenarios as even remotely similar shows a considerable lack of observing the obvious.

Should motorists be allowed to communicate? Whether by hand waving, flashing headlights, honking horns, screaming at each other, or smoke signals - the courts have ruled ABSOLUTELY. The content of the message is irrelevant.

BTW, the FL supreme court recently ruled the anti-bass statutes (the one's limiting loud car stereos) were recently struck down on the basis that someone playing loud music is actually protected free speech. Now THAT is a stretch.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:58 AM   #58
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But all too often, the results can be the same - a victim dies!

If that's the yardstick by which we measure acceptable levels of government overreach, then by all means, let's put a cop in every home. After all, imagine how many pedophiles and drug dealers we could catch.

Victims die of all sorts of things - and as sad and tragic as that may be, it cannot be the basis for the erosion of our liberties.
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:17 AM   #59
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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.
Refer to my post (three up from this one) about knowledge of the crime being a necessity to be considered an accessory. If the flasher KNEW that a specific car/driver is/has/was committing a crime, and colluded with him to avoid prosecution, MAYBE...

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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"?
Wow. The logic of your arguments escape me. You shooting someone is a crime in and of itself (murder, I believe). Flashing headlights is an APPROVED method of communication under FL316.083(2) - REQUIRING motorists to signal intent to pass (i.e. communicating) by blinking their headlights when overtaking. Big difference between murder and communicating intent via headlights, don't you think?

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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).
Now you're getting closer. Though to compare a momentary broadcast "heads up" with headlights, to a PA system directed at (and intended to harass) a specific person also fails the apples-to-apples comparison test - for obvious reasons.

I hope you don't take my critique of your posts personally. I've been defending against this defective logic since my suit was filed. I'm simply trying to clear the air - and hopefully embolden other drivers who may get confused about the legality of communicating with others.
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:22 AM   #60
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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).
Very well said, Jim. No different than taking the keys of a buddy who's had too much to drink. Using his same logic, the friend who took the keys is aiding and abetting the drunk because he prevented the cops from catching him a mile down the road. Giving a general "heads up" notice to ALL approaching drivers (whether they're speeding or not) is most certainly the right of any motorist.
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:29 AM   #61
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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.
It's unfortunate, but there will be many who will want this feature implemented. Without a doubt, there are a growing number of Americans who believe perceived safety trumps liberty. You see it with red light cameras, the TSA searches, random "safety" checkpoints/roadblocks on roads, etc. "Well, you don't have anything to hide, you shouldn't fear these things..." is the usual retort by people who support this philosophy. I know, this thread is becoming way more political than it should - sorry.
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:03 AM   #62
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Frankly I have a problem with speed traps and unmarked cars on the road. We pay them with our hard earned money. We should be telling them how we want to be treated. I have a right to know where a cop is. He works for us. If they need an unmarked car for a special job, then fine, but it shouldn't be used for traffic control. I grew up in a small town, and we didn't have any unmarked cars back then. Ahhhhhhh the good old days.
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:29 AM   #63
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Drive the speed LIMIT no flashing lights no tickets. Everyone driving speed road was designed for curves etc. I say triple fines slow people down some just have to see how far can push law. Don't break laws and you won't meet the law enforcement.
Arrive safely that's the goal.
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:32 AM   #64
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Drive the speed LIMIT no flashing lights no tickets. Everyone driving speed road was designed for curves etc. I say triple fines slow people down some just have to see how far can push law. Don't break laws and you won't meet the law enforcement.
Arrive safely that's the goal.
Irrelevant. Motorists have the right to communicate.
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:44 AM   #65
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Agreed. We do have a right to communicate.

I never received a speeding ticket in my life. Just don't think cops have a right to hide. Just saying
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:08 AM   #66
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Freedom to communicate is fine to break any law is not. Murder speeding assault it's all breaking laws. Someone can get hurt or killed either way. Now flash lights to help someone driving to possibly help stop an accident fine but to break the law isn't.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:13 PM   #67
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A few years back I was traveling through Virginia and noticed a motorhome in the middle of the medium on one of the interstates. When I passed the vehicle I noticed a radar unit hanging out the window. Parked behind the motorhome was a state police chase car. Now that's certainly keeping with the spirit of our forum and the actions of the police in this ongoing post.

Mike
They may have changed recently, but there used to be large signs at the Virginia border warning that radar detectors were illegal in Virginia. And if you ignored those you were more than likely going to get an opportunity to speak to a trooper.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:06 PM   #68
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Frankly I have a problem with speed traps and unmarked cars on the road. We pay them with our hard earned money. We should be telling them how we want to be treated. I have a right to know where a cop is. He works for us. If they need an unmarked car for a special job, then fine, but it shouldn't be used for traffic control. I grew up in a small town, and we didn't have any unmarked cars back then. Ahhhhhhh the good old days.
Some states they have to be in plain sight and at night have thier parking lights on...
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:25 PM   #69
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They may have changed recently, but there used to be large signs at the Virginia border warning that radar detectors were illegal in Virginia. And if you ignored those you were more than likely going to get an opportunity to speak to a trooper.
I believe that is still a "Virginia" law, and a couple other states I think have it. Now it would take a lot of money but if one could they could fight it. You cannot disallow something that is transmitted over the ether from being listened to by the public. However, constitutional law has been changed by congressional members when one was caught (intercepted) talking on a cell phone to his girl friend. Apparently his wife did not like it when she saw it in the newspaper, so he got the law changed that it is illegal to listen to cell phone traffic. I believe there are some amendments at risk here and could be challenged, if one had the money to do so.
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:37 PM   #70
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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"?

Assassination is the extreme form of censorship.
George Bernard Shaw
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