Constitutional Law

Fla. Lawyer Pursues Class Action for Drivers Ticketed After Warning Others of Speed Traps


Ever flash your lights at an oncoming driver to warn him or her of a speed trap on the other side of the road? Hundreds of those who did so in Florida in recent years reportedly were ticketed.

But the statute cited on the tickets had a dubious connection to the purported offense, and at least some motorists who challenged the tickets were able to get them dismissed, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Now a lawyer who helped a medical student beat the rap is seeking to pursue a class action on behalf of all the ticketed motorists. In addition, presumably, to arguing that the statute, which seemingly may be directed to motorists impersonating law enforcement officers with flashing lights, is inapposite, attorney J. Marc Jones of Oviedo expects to argue against the tickets as a constitutional free-speech issue, according to the newspaper.

“Most people don’t fight it,” said Jones of the Florida motorists ticketed for flashing their lights at oncoming vehicles. “They’ve got to take a day off of work, or hire an attorney. And some actually believe it is against the law.”

For a while, however, many apparently won’t have to worry about the issue: A spokesman for the state highway patrol says it is directing officers to stop ticketing drivers for flashing their lights to warn others of speed traps while the issue is being resolved in court.

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