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Posted at 12:00 AM ET, 06/21/2009

Lights Out in Montgomery

By Marisa Katz

By Nikki Rouse

There aren't enough adjectives to describe my indignation after reading that Montgomery County police officers can ticket drivers who flash their headlights to warn other motorists of speed enforcement zones. I applaud Mark Zaid -- who was ticketed for blinking "thank you" to a motorist who warned him of an upcoming enforcement zone -- for battling the county on this issue.

When I see someone flash his lights, I slow down. Isn't that the point? I have used this form of communication to warn motorists of an accident around the next bend. I have flashed my lights at a motorist who was driving without his headlights on at night. I have flashed my lights at a teenager in my neighborhood who was driving too fast. He slowed down.

By ticketing drivers who flash their lights to help slow traffic, the police are sending a message that their goals are punishment and meeting ticket quotas, not safety. Every time I see an enforcement zone, I call my husband and sons to tell them to be careful driving there. Will I be ticketed for that? I think police should consider whether they are crossing a line on freedom of speech.

By Forrest L. Miller

The citation issued to Mark Zaid for blinking his lights at a passing car, warning of a speed enforcement zone, worries me. The officer who issued the ticket told Zaid that it was illegal in Maryland to flash headlights while driving. So would I be breaking the law by blinking a "thank you" to people who pull over to let me pass on a narrow street between parked cars? Would it be illegal for me to flash my lights to warn drivers who fail to turn on their headlights in the early evening?

By Marisa Katz  | June 21, 2009; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  police, traffic  
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As far as this activity being "illegal" yes it is. It is NOT a violation of your freedom of speach as one commenter suggests,you were kidding, right ? Did the Officer go over board in writting this violation ? maybe.But as far as the violator demanding an apoloigy from the Police Department, I wouldn't hold your breath, your demand is absurd. We all flash our lights for one reason or another,this time , some one got the ticket that goes along with that action. Move on.

Posted by: bradj60 | June 28, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

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