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Is it illegal to flash your headlights to warn oncoming drivers of a speedtrap?
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Is it illegal to flash your headlights to warn oncoming drivers of a speedtrap?

I live in Virginia. I have heard that there is no such regulation in the Virginia Code. I got pulled over for doing it once, but not ticketed.



Sure they can pull you over, and give you all kinds of hell for it, and they may even have a local ordinance against it, but it would be up to the cop to prove why you flashed your head lights. "Sorry officer, it was an accident. I accidently pulled it while trying to use my blinker to make a safe lane change, sir."

I do it to warn motorists of ANYthing. If there's a traffic stall, or something on the road for oncomming traffic. Anything that makes them wake up and start paying attention for a second, and possibly slow down.

BTW, the official statement as to why the police give out tickets is to slow traffic down. If by flashing your lights you are achieving the same goal, then why should the cops care? Because tickets are a money making enterprise, and I'm very glad that Texas has legislated out the old speed trap towns. I wish other states would follow.

Call your local DPS office or a local Sheriffs Dept.... tell them you are new to the area, just moved from ...(snother state or overseas) and it was custom to do such a thing and wanted to knkow ifthe custom was local as well or if it was frowned up/against the law....

FYI - we do it here in Texas ALL THE TIME

Have you ever heard of "interfering with governmental operations"

That's what the police could charge you with if they really wanted to.

i live in london, ontario, canada... it isn't illegal here.. i do it all the time

Yes, its obstruction of government operations. They can ticket you but you could probably talk your way out of it in court.

Vikki Nicole
In Illinois it is.

Allan W
It is in Tennesse, Kentucky and both Carolinas. But it's safe to say even if it is legal somewhere the cops get real upset about it.

In california it's not illegal, but it's kind of a moot point, because no one would know why you were doing it! Also for those answers that say it's a rite of passage for a gang member to murder someone who blinks their brights, well that's a really old tall tale... It's been around for years, here's the website with the origins and the reality.:

lindsay s
Yeah.. becareful!! Don't let em see you do it!

It's not illegal. An incident actually went before the Supreme Court--involving the same matter. The court decided it is no different than going into the local store and telling the clerk there is a cop running radar down the street.
It is a violation of freedom of speech.

Marty K
How can anyone prove what you're flashing your lights for?

John G
In some states it is.Not everywhere though.

ronnie b
i dont think any state has a law thats its illegal, but how they manage it is by ticketing you for obstruction of justice..i say continue doing it just dont do it infront of the cop....truckers are pretty good about flashing their lights

You are helping the guilty to evade the law. Many places look on that as being an accomplice actively trying to help lawbreakers.

While it may not be in the Traffic Code an officer would have the option of arresting you for obstruction of justice. It is unlikely but possible so try to give your warnings (and DO keep giving them!) after you are out of the officers sight.

Well it's no illegal ... it's just a sign ... no1 can tell you u can't do it ... drivers of the whole world do it ... it's considered a friendly gesture

if u do it to a cop, u can get pulled over and warned possibly even ticketed. but and if a cop sees u do it oncomers im sure u can get ticketed. but each legislature is different.

Illegal or not, it's very nice of you to do that.

I have always done and will keep on doing it. I call it courtesy. I also have done it for a heads up about a wreck or danger ahead.

I heard it was. I know they will stop you for it.

I,m not sure if it is legal or not but think of it like this

a) the cop is obviously waiting to pull someone over for speeding
and you prevented him from doing that and he didn't make his
quota for the month


b) he could be setup waiting for a criminal from a another county
trying to escape and you just warned that person that a cop is
up ahead and then the criminal gets away....

so if you flash your lights to let someone know that their headlights aren't on or you flash them because you can't see the road at night then that's okay but if you flash them to warn that cops are ahead you are taking a risk of messing up a sting and that's not cool, the cops are here for our protection and if we get in the way of doing their jobs how are they going to protects us...you have to look at it both ways...

i don't know how other drivers would even know what your trying to signal them by flashing yuor lights but i'm pretty sure it is not illegal

Connie H
TN - I am not sure if it is illegal but I do it all the time, but my Honda can flash the highbeams with out affecting the break lights. I think it would be hard to prove.

Sorry I don't know this answer- but I have often wondered the same thing myself- I will be keeping an eye on the answers to see if anyone knows for sure- and especially in New Jersey. I do this all the time and don't want to get into trouble simply by trying to help someone else out.

Common Sense
It would be tough to prove the reason you flashed your headlights.
I'm sure the cops don't like it but I doubt that it is illegal...

i never heard it was illegal.......won't stop me though.....and i always appreciate a heads up.....

It is not illegal to warn other drivers but it is illegal to turn you headlights off while the vehicle is in motion.

♀Mañana♥^¥ ♪☺↕♫©⢠size=
I do it,good question...I don't no.

negative---not against the law; however, beware that an officer of the law can make your life hell if he wants to

The truth is that it is illegal to flash your headlights at drivers period. It is considered distractive driving.

here in new mexico...i dont think so ...but, you will get stopped and you could possibly get into trouble here...

It apparently is illegal in Kansas. A highway patrol pulled my husband over this morning because he flashed his headlights at oncoming traffic because the knothead cop was barely off the road on the shoulder without lights on and it was dark. So he was very rude and handed my husband a $130 ticket. And they wonder why they have such an unfavorable reputation with the public.

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