Just What You Suspect – Police Make Up Laws To Ticket You, Just For The Money…

Posted: September 14, 2011 by smallmouth63 in Bad Cops, Police Misconduct, Prosecutorial Misconduct, Terrible Wrongs - Other Cases
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Readers will love this news item! We have all experienced having been pulled over on the road by the traffic cop and being told some information that we find questionable. Most of us (as in 10,429 of these Floridia drivers) meekly accept what the traffic cop tells us or cites us for. Not this one guy, Eric Campbell, who was ticketed for attempting to warn other motorists of hidden speed traps by the Florida traffic cop. He took Florida to court and it looks like he might win a class-action lawsuit against the state!

Some organization out there needs to give Campbell, the “consumer hero of the year” award…since it appears that there has been a state-wide conspiracy among the traffic cops in Florida for years to misapply the Florida law below and wrongly cite drivers who flash their headlights  to warn other drivers of speed traps. Florida traffic cops have been raking in the bucks doing this and apparently having fun citing drivers who behave in this manner which they do not like.

Gosh, it must be fun to have the power to compel obedience and ticket folks! The power can go to your head and lead you to make up laws. How else can all these cops in Florida explain how they somehow individually came to misread the state statute below to find that it somehow applies to private motorists flashing WHITE headlights?

Talk about the stupidity of criminals! In retrospect, someone in charge in Florida, should have been able to foresee that the cat would get out of the bag at some point and that someone with an attorney would make the most of such a blatant disregard for the legal niceties.  Here’s hoping that Campbell wins his class-action and that Florida has to pay more than reimbursement to thousands of drivers…

Florida sued for ticketing motorists who warn others of speed traps

Florida Laws: FL Statutes – Title XXIII Motor Vehicles Section 316.001 Short title.

316.2397  Certain lights prohibited; exceptions.

(1)  No person shall drive or move or cause to be moved any vehicle or equipment upon any highway within this state with any lamp or device thereon showing or displaying a red or blue light visible from directly in front thereof except for certain vehicles hereinafter provided.

(2)  It is expressly prohibited for any vehicle or equipment, except police vehicles, to show or display blue lights. However, vehicles owned, operated, or leased by the Department of Corrections or any county correctional agency may show or display blue lights when responding to emergencies.

(3)  Vehicles of the fire department and fire patrol, including vehicles of volunteer firefighters as permitted under s. 316.2398, vehicles of medical staff physicians or technicians of medical facilities licensed by the state as authorized under s. 316.2398, ambulances as authorized under this chapter, and buses and taxicabs as authorized under s. 316.2399 are permitted to show or display red lights. Vehicles of the fire department, fire patrol, police vehicles, and such ambulances and emergency vehicles of municipal and county departments, public service corporations operated by private corporations, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Department of Corrections as are designated or authorized by their respective department or the chief of police of an incorporated city or any sheriff of any county are hereby authorized to operate emergency lights and sirens in an emergency. Wreckers, mosquito control fog and spray vehicles, and emergency vehicles of governmental departments or public service corporations may show or display amber lights when in actual operation or when a hazard exists provided they are not used going to and from the scene of operation or hazard without specific authorization of a law enforcement officer or law enforcement agency. Wreckers must use amber rotating or flashing lights while performing recoveries and loading on the roadside day or night, and may use such lights while towing a vehicle on wheel lifts, slings, or under reach if the operator of the wrecker deems such lights necessary. A flatbed, car carrier, or rollback may not use amber rotating or flashing lights when hauling a vehicle on the bed unless it creates a hazard to other motorists because of protruding objects. Further, escort vehicles may show or display amber lights when in the actual process of escorting overdimensioned equipment, material, or buildings as authorized by law. Vehicles owned or leased by private security agencies may show or display green and amber lights, with either color being no greater than 50 percent of the lights displayed, while the security personnel are engaged in security duties on private or public property.

(4)  Road or street maintenance equipment, road or street maintenance vehicles, road service vehicles, refuse collection vehicles, petroleum tankers, and mail carrier vehicles may show or display amber lights when in operation or a hazard exists.

(5)  Road maintenance and construction equipment and vehicles may display flashing white lights or flashing white strobe lights when in operation and where a hazard exists. Additionally, school buses and vehicles that are used to transport farm workers may display flashing white strobe lights.

(6)  All lighting equipment heretofore referred to shall meet all requirements as set forth in s. 316.241.

(7)  Flashing lights are prohibited on vehicles except as a means of indicating a right or left turn, to change lanes, or to indicate that the vehicle is lawfully stopped or disabled upon the highway or except that the lamps authorized in subsections (1), (2), (3), (4), and (9) and s. 316.235(5) are permitted to flash.

(8)  Subsections (1) and (7) do not apply to police, fire, or authorized emergency vehicles while in the performance of their necessary duties.

(9)  Flashing red lights may be used by emergency response vehicles of the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Health when responding to an emergency in the line of duty.

(10)  A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation as provided in chapter 318.

History.–s. 1, ch. 71-135; ss. 1, 23, ch. 76-31; s. 2, ch. 80-176; s. 1, ch. 84-49; s. 4, ch. 86-23; s. 1, ch. 87-157; s. 1, ch. 89-49; s. 58, ch. 93-164; s. 23, ch. 94-306; s. 900, ch. 95-148; s. 17, ch. 96-263; s. 2, ch. 96-312; s. 7, ch. 97-280; s. 17, ch. 97-300; s. 192, ch. 99-248; s. 134, ch. 2002-20; s. 3, ch. 2002-217; s. 1, ch. 2004-20; s. 1, ch. 2007-52; s. 2, ch. 2007-210; s. 1, ch. 2009-220.

Note.–Former s. 316.223.

Sections:  Previous  316.235  316.237  316.238  316.2385  316.239  316.2395  316.2396  316.2397  316.2398  316.2399  316.240  316.241  316.242  316.251  316.252  Next

Last modified: March 26, 2010

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