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Signalling for speed trap
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 1:18 pm 
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Hi,
I'm a newbie, so be kind if I'm messing up. Question: is it illegal to signal oncoming traffic that they are approaching a speed trap by flashing one's lights?

I ask because I was stopped for doing that yesterday evening, but did not end up with a ticket. The officer spend 5-10 minutes n his car, then sent me on my way. I'm wondering if he changed his mind or found out it was legal.

If it is illegal, where will I find it?

Thanks,

Michael


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Warning of speed traps perfectly legal
PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 5:54 pm 
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I believe there was an incident where a TO man was charged for signaling other drivers about a speed trap..

The charge was for "alternating flashing headlights typically used by emergency vehicles."

According to official police statements it is not illegal!

Here is a good article about such a case:

http://www.wheels.ca/Article%20Category/article/173244

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 9:09 pm 
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I know people flash lights but does not make sense what so ever.

Most often the "traps" are in areas where there is a high number of collisions, high number of fatalities, residential and school zones. Flashing someone lets them slow down and not get a ticket....so what's wrong with that? I would ask back, your family and your neighbourhood and people are ripping through your neighbourhood 20km plus over the limit....harder for you to get out of your driveway, less time for the driver to stop should a kid run out in front, less time to avoid a collision when someone is slowing to turn....all for what...a couple extra seconds quicker on their arrival to their destination.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:23 pm 
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Thanks very much. Sp either he didn't know it was legal and found out, or he knew and wanted me to sweat a bit. And there I was, all ready to fight it on Freedom of Speech grounds!

Cheers,
Michael


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:38 am 
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Location: In YOUR rearview mirror!
Most times I do not know exactly where the next cruiser is so I would stop someone that has their lights flashing and inquire the reason for the flashing lights. This is to check the mechanical fitness of the vehicle. Would not want a short in the wiring to start a fire or the vehicle to have intermittent lights once night came.

The last person/vehicle I saw with flashing lights ended up with several tickets including "speeding". Guess the person never thought about a unmarked cruiser coming towards them :)

5-15 minutes in the cruiser is common. It is time the officer would take checking the vehicle and driver with dispatch and writes all that info down.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:15 am 
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Interesting, and thanks some more. I only flassh when it is in an area where I think it is somewhat unfair. That is, where the street configuration is wide and broad, but the speed limit is quite low. Davisville between Mount Pleasant and Yonge is a good example. Another is the Eastern Avenue iverpass over the Don Valley. there's no parks or anything, and you feel like it's a highway, but thee's a 50 K limit and its frequently trapped.

cheers,
Michael


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 9:18 pm 
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There is nothing Illegal about warning other drivers about speed traps. If the officer wants to get into the whole "interfering with police"...etc, it's a long road for him. I personally don't warn people, if you're dumb enough not to see the officer in his big bright car then you should probably be paying more attention to the road anyway. Thats my 3 cents.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:02 pm 
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There are also legitimate reasons to flash your lights. Truckers do this when overtaking each other. It's a long way to the back of the truck and not always easy to see when you are clear of the vehicle you are passing. The passed truck will flash when the passing truck has cleared them.

When a semi, large truck or Greyhound bus is passing me, I flash my lights to signal that I see them, they have passed me and it's safe to come into my lane. As a thank you, they flash their emergency lights.

I also agree with Gilbert1111. In Toronto most of the "permanent" traps seem to be exactly where the road opens up, there are no parked cars, houses or schools: Gerrard west of Broadview, Lakeshore east of the Gardiner, Cawthra south of Dundas, Eglinton between Don Mills and Leslie, Queensway east of Dixie, Bloor St. Viaduct...


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:19 pm 
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hwybear wrote:
I know people flash lights but does not make sense what so ever.

Most often the "traps" are in areas where there is a high number of collisions, high number of fatalities, residential and school zones.


OK, it took me 2 whole days to stop laughing long enough to reply to this (slight exaggeration). I have NEVER seen a local speed trap (and I know where ALL of them are) that was anywhere NEAR the places you described above. It's plain as day that our traps are setup in the most "productive" spots, quite removed from residential, school OR park zones. In fact, one of the well known spots is operated by an officer who lost his dog to a speeder, So now he runs radar regularly within a few hundred feet of his house! (edge of town rural setting comprising maybe 3 or 4 houses set back quite far from the road). Just a tad self-serving don't ya think?

There's very few ways for drivers to communicate with each other (aside from hand gestures, LOL). Flashing high beams IS one of them, though. When I see oncoming traffic flashing, my first thought is maybe there's something wrong with my headlights (perhaps my highbeams are on, etc.). If my lights are fine, I immediately expect to see a speed trap and make any necessary adjustments. It makes me feel good that there's still a sort of "comradery" between the motoring public. This is just how people treated each other back in the good ol' days ;) I don't care how politically incorrect it becomes to warn others by flashing my lights, I will always do it, and I will always appreciate others who warn me. Should I ever see a speed trap near a school, I'll probably NOT warn.

Don't think I don't try to help the police with problem drivers, though. My wife and I were eye-witnesses to a serious case of road rage that could have easily resulted in tragedy (between two OTHER motorists). I promptly phoned the police with a full description of the vehicle and driver (including lisence no.) and stressed that I would be more than willing to assist with the laying of charges (the guy was a freekin' nut-job). The receptionist said she'd pass on my complaint to an officer. I received NO call and it's been about 10 months.

So I take it very personally when it's suggested that these speed traps get "problem" drivers off the road, when I see absolutely NO interest in what I would describe as an incident 20X more serious than 20 klicks over.

ticketcombat wrote:
When a semi, large truck or Greyhound bus is passing me, I flash my lights to signal that I see them, they have passed me and it's safe to come into my lane. As a thank you, they flash their emergency lights.


Wow! If you're being passed by a bus or Big-Rig, you're drivin' way too slow!! LOL (JK) ;)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 1:03 am 
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Quote:
If you're being passed by a bus or Big-Rig, you're drivin' way too slow!!


On a snowy, slippery drive, I'd rather be behind a big rig than in front of it. :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 10:09 am 
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ticketcombat wrote:
Quote:
If you're being passed by a bus or Big-Rig, you're drivin' way too slow!!


On a snowy, slippery drive, I'd rather be behind a big rig than in front of it. :wink:


or under it! :wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:35 am 
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Quote:
If you're being passed by a bus or Big-Rig, you're drivin' way too slow!!


Have you seen the busses going to Rama. They ain't just taking up space. :shock:

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 11:29 am 
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I drive regularly in Mexico. There, especially in the country, you take flashing lights seriously. It often means there's a cow or horse on the road or an accident up ahead. So, when you see them you pay attention.

Michael


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