In Ellisville, Missouri, Michael Elli was given a $1,000 citation because he flashed his headlights at other motorists to warn them of a speed trap.
In answer to Elli's lawsuit, a Federal judge ruled that flashing one's lights at other motorists is a protected right under the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment's right to free speech. (See report from fellow BLOGGER George Mathis)
I am unapologetic when I admit that I also flash my lights at other motorists to warn them of the presence of cops.
One time, I flashed my lights at a cop's car because it was after dark and everyone should have his headlights on, including law enforcement. The cop turned his car around--unsafely-- in the middle of the road and came racing after me, with blue lights flashing and siren blaring, but did not turn on his headlights.
"License and registration!", the cop demanded. I started to open my car door and he shreiked, "Stay in the car!" I said, "My purse is in the back seat." He said, "You can reach it from there." Knowing full well that I couldn't, but I unbuckled my seat belt and I admit, I made exaggerated motions to try to reach my purse, even rolling over to the passenger seat, but I could not retrieve my purse from the back seat.
He said, "I'll get it." I said, "Oh, I don't think you should do that." He said, "OK, get out!"
I got out of the car, retrieved my purse, and got back in the car. I deliberately took plenty of time to fish through my purse to locate my driver's license. When I handed my driver's license to him, I had with it a copy of the U. S. Constitution, which family and friends will attest, I always have in my purse. He said, snidely, "What's this for?" I answered, "I thought you might like it to read." I then leaned over and took out the registration and insurance card from the glove box. He said, sarcastically, "You should keep all that stuff together." I asked, "Then how could I identify myself outside the car if I did that?"
He asked snottily, "Do you know why I stopped you, ma'am?" I answered, "No, officer, I have no idea." He asked, "Because you were flashing your lights." I answered, quite coyly, "Oh, officer, I thought that was the international symbol to let other people know when they don't have their lights on; you do know it's the law to have one's lights on AFTER DARK, don't you?"
He begrudgingly let me go.