Skip to comments.Suit says Florida Highway Patrol illegally tickets motorists who warn others about speed traps
Posted on 08/26/2011 9:57:59 AM PDT by rawhide
Tampa, Florida -- When the Florida Highway Patrol pulls someone over on the highway, it's usually because they were speeding.
But Eric Campbell was pulled over and ticketed while he was driving the speed limit.
Campbell says, "I was coming up the Veterans Expressway and I notice two Florida Highway Patrol Cars sitting on the side of the road in the median, with lights off."
Campbell says he did what he always does: flashed his lights on and off to warn drivers coming from the other direction that there was speed trap ahead.
According to Campbell, 60 seconds after passing the trooper, "They were on my tail and they pulled me over."
Campbell says the FHP trooper wrote him a ticket for improper flashing of high beams. Campbell says the trooper told him what he had done was illegal.
But later Campbell learned that is not the case. He filed a class action suit which says "Florida Statue 316.2397" -- under which Campbell was cited -- "does not prohibit the flashing of headlights as a means of communications, nor does it in any way reference flashing headlights or the use of high beams."
However, the FHP trooper who wrote the ticket either didn't know or didn't care. "You could tell in his voice he was upset," Campbell says. "He was professional, he wasn't rude... but you could tell he was irritated."
In 2005, a court order was even issued saying the state law doesn't prohibit the flashing of vehicle headlights.
Campbell isn't the only one. Since 2005, FHP records show more than 10,429 drivers have been cited under the statute.
In addition to seeking the refund of the $100 ticket, the lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $15,000.
(Excerpt) Read more at wtsp.com ...
It's considered harrassment of the other motorist.
They’ve been giving tickets to people who warn others of traps in MD *forever*.
Some kind of “interfering with the enforcement of law” jazz.
He was probably ticketed for “improper use of a hazard signalling device”, or the equivalent, which has been an offense for decades in many places in the US.
While the tickets are usually given to drivers that alert other drivers about police traps, it has just enough legitimacy as a rule that police can usually get away with it.
Some police are congenital liars.
Some kind of interfering with the enforcement of law jazz.
What they should call it is "interfering with the revenue collection process."
I was just saying “hi” to a friend of mine.
Prove me wrong.
These LEO are out of control. They are not part of the normal citizenry, they are class of their own. They won’t socialize with anyone that isn’t family or part of the blue clique.
We have a rural stretch of highway in Florida, zipcode: 33523, speed limit has always been 55 and just this week those put up signs for 45. No accidents, no hazards, no reason other than to guarantee that they can ticket for ANY REASON or mood they might be in.
well in FL it is NOT illegal to warn of speed traps.
This is no different than putting up a sign “speed trap ahead.”
the FL highway patrol denies they have quotas HOWEVER ticket volume is a factor in promotions. (for those in rio linda, they do have quotas they just lie about it)
So, when I blink to let the guy waiting to turn left or to pull out of a side street know that I see him and he can go ahead, I'd better not be in Virginia?
Ain’t that the truth.
The irony is that when they changed the speed limit to 65mph like “everybody wanted”, they swore that was IT...do 66 and you get a ticket.
A trooper told us that they don’t even bother with anybody doing under 85mph.
People come down RT 40 doing 65mph, oblivious to the fact that kids, pets, people coming out of driveways and wildlife are *everywhere* on this blind-curve infested mountain back road and no cops care one little bit.
It’s the traffic cameras that -really- nail you, here.
Think it’s also against the law in Virginia to use a radar detection device.
Political speech is the most protected speech under the 1st amendment. Discussing with a fellow taxpayer how ones taxes are being spent is clearly political speech. Doing so with headlight flashes is protected speech.
In our case, it’s always warning oncoming drivers that a big herd of deer is crossing the road.
We consider it a “slow down or you’ll get killed” courtesy.
Everybody here knows what it means and they all slow down.
[because God knows, there’s never gonna be a speed trap on this back road, no matter how much we beg for it]
or is it just cops harrasing people who warn of speed traps.
truckers have been warning for decades.
BTW why hasn’t anyone put out an app which tracks police cars? given how they are all lojacked it is long overdue.
[ We have a rural stretch of highway in Florida, zipcode: 33523, speed limit has always been 55 and just this week those put up signs for 45. No accidents, no hazards, no reason other than to guarantee that they can ticket for ANY REASON or mood they might be in. ]
When they do this crap, I always drive atleast 3mph above the slowest speed legally allowed, which is usually in the 40~47mph in a 55 zone. And I have any passenger in my car wave with a friendly smile and wave to the waiting officer.
Probably already illegal too.
I’ve got that app but it’s only as good as the number of people who also have it where you happen to be *and* who’d bother to risk a crash while tapping in the trap location.
Got one in MD.
Logically of course one is doing exactly what the cops are there for, warning about going too fast.
But something has gone wrong in America. All over. Government is NOT there to help the citizens who pay for it. It is there to EXTORT. It is called leftism, the sinister twisting of purpose.
Tragically there is virtually NO politician who will say this. Thus the Tea Party.
>> “*and* whod bother to risk a crash while tapping in the trap location.” <<
The app might be worthwhile if it tracked your GPS position, and required only one or two strokes to activate.
Go for it!
>> “In Virginia it is unlawful to flash your lights at or behind another motorist for any reason at all.” <<
And you do know that Virginia is a wierd place?
More to the point, hundreds of learned traffic engineering papers have demonstrated that speed limits, beyond the “Basic Speed Law,” that simply prohibits driving faster than you can safely drive, Are counter-productive to safety, and the highest and best use of the highways.
But they do provide “pocket money” to tyrants and their gophers.
>> “I always warn folks to slow down....coyotes ahead.” <<
I call them Rattlesnakes. :o)
Fortunately he didn't have any bulbs out so his car passed the inspection and was allowed to go on his way without a fine, much to the frustration of the cop.
That’s why we stay up in the mountains.
I had to take one of my dogs to Gaithersburg to an eye specialist and we don’t know that area and missed getting into the left turn lane where the clinic is.
Some nice person let us in front of them when the left turn signal changed to green and the traffic camera snapped and we got a ticket for “running a red light”.
We did not, of course, but the camera only catches a split second in time and according to it, we just up and made a left turn from the center when the light was red.
It would’ve cost more to go all the way back down there fight the ticket than pay it.
How convenient is that?
How often does one ever see a speed trap on a dangerous portion of road?
How often does one see a speed trap on a wide, safe portion of road w/ a ridiculously low speed limit?
('can write this w/out any bias, as I have never had a speeding ticket...)
Yes, it would.
Hopefully one of the happy little app makers will invent that, soon.
Pigs...trying to feed at the trough in your wallet.
It's also illegal in Virginia to have a radio receiver in your car that can pick up certain microwave frequencies.
That's sort of the same as in Hitler's Germany when it was illegal to listen to foreign broadcasts.
The Trapster app on my iPhone does precisely that. There's one large blue button at the bottom of the home/map screen labeled "Report". Tap it and your GPS coordinates are transmitted via cellular link and the network gets upgraded in pretty close to real time. Other motorists using the app will get a push notification of the speed trap, if they are within their selected radius of the new threat (phones must be set to accept push notifications or this isn't as immediate). Even if the phone is in your pocket, it'll still sound the warning chime.
I'm sure there's a bit of a lag based on the 3g network's activity, but overall it's pretty slick. It has saved my bacon more than once, and the fact that the revenue collection officers hate it just makes me all the more fond of it.
I saw two unmarked cruisers race through a school zone to pull over a driver who was ... wait for it ... driving too fast in a school zone.
I love living in Florida-
And since I moved here, I have personally witnessed FIVE egregious incidents where Florida Highway Patrol officers FAILED to do their duty. In each case, lives may have been lost because of their negligence.
Also, do you remember the “wrong way drunk driver FBI agent” that killed two members of a family? The ‘good ol boys’ at FHP tried their best alter the facts. They even claimed this innocent family were the ones driving the wrong way.
Some FHP officers might be honest... well, I mean, I suppose that’s possible...
So when you come visit our beautiful state, be safe, and keep these facts in mind.
I have a good friend that is retired from the FHP and I asked if he misses working for them? He says no way would he go back.
Better yet, the money should come personally from their paychecks whether the FHP as a whole or from FHP Management such as Captain and above.
> I’m all for them getting their $100 back plus whatever court costs to stop the FHP from doing this but NO on the $15k. That’s taxpayer money!
As do I whenever I’m on the road.
And it has to be hard to miss the F350 headlights.
The LEOs in Texas call those people the Paul Revere drivers.
My sister in law was parked in a handicapped space long enough to pick up my mother who was coming out from a clinic with her walker once. Mom had the tag in her purse, but my SIL didn't have it hung in the car at that exact moment, so the cop wrote her up even though it was patently obvious she was helping an elderly person to the car.
I guess you are supposed to leave your elders to fend for themselves in rain, wind, sleet or ice while you first run out to hang the government issued tag in the car.
I do too, but the road I drive every day is dangerous with lots of hills and curves. TXDOT repaved it with the pavement that lets water drain through it, not off the surface [which we haven't needed since they did it]. Still, there have been numerous accidents and fatalities - one this week. If I see an idiot racing down the road at a high speed, I will flash my headlights at them to slow them down.
Ticketed for causing others to comply with the law!
I guess I should break down and read the instructions....;D
Well I’ll be dipped.
There’s the button and a whole bunch of other stuff on the side that I never noticed.
Well, just as long as they got their man.
Yeah, what’s the point of speed limit enforcement anyway, officer?
Is it to write tickets or is it to improve safety by encouraging people to drive the speed limit?