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Friendly Driver Gesture Leads to Class Action Lawsuit

September 6, 2011
Colson Hicks Eidson

A common driver-to-driver gesture warning of upcoming speed traps is the basis of a class action lawsuit against the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), as reported at wtsp.com. When an oncoming vehicle flashes its headlights it usually means there is a parked state trooper waiting to catch speeders. According to the lawsuit, the FHP is ticketing drivers who warn others of the speed traps.

The lead plaintiff said he flashed his headlights at approaching vehicles after passing a speed trap on the Veterans Expressway. About a minute later, an FHP officer pulled him over and ticketed him for improper flashing of high beams, citing Florida Statute 316.2397. The lawsuit says the statute does not prohibit flashing of headlights in any manner.

In addition, the class action suit says the FHP knows the citations are invalid and does it to make money. Since 2005, the FHP has ticketed over 10,000 drivers under the statute. The lawsuit asks for $15,000 in damages in addition to refunding each $100.00 ticket.

For its part, the FHP says it cannot comment on a pending lawsuit. It appears that the plaintiffs have a valid point. A 2005 court order said that state law does not prohibit flashing of headlights.

Colson Hicks Eidson – Florida class action lawyers