Driver upset after ticketed for flashing headlights
Published Wednesday, January 30, 2008 5:56PM EST
A Toronto man is upset he was ticketed for flashing his headlights to tip off oncoming drivers of a radar speed trap, especially since police admit the act is not illegal.
Brad Diamond was recently driving in the city's east end when he noticed a speed trap nailing drivers heading in the other direction. After he flashed his high beams to warn oncoming vehicles, a police officer pulled him over.
"I said, 'I wasn't speeding,' and he said, 'You were flicking your lights,'" Diamond, producer of TSN's Motoring 2008, told CTV Toronto.
"I said, 'So? What's the problem?' and he said, 'It's against the law.'"
Diamond was fined $110 for the "prohibited use of high beams contrary to the Highway Traffic Act section 169 (2)," his ticket read.
The section actually reads "No person shall use highbeam headlamps that produce alternating flashes of white light on any vehicle other than a vehicle referred to in subsection 1 (emergency vehicles)."
Diamond went to court to fight the ticket. On his second appearance, the prosecutor withdrew the charge, saying police had no evidence.
Sgt. Brian Bowman isn't sure why the officer laid the charge because the act isn't illegal.
"There is no law against warning about police operating a radar location," he told CTV Toronto.
Bowman said even flashing your lights at other drivers isn't necessarily a bad thing. "If a motorist is warning another motorist to slow down, really, we're on the same team, so I don't find that problematic," he said.
A police superintendent told CTV Toronto no officer should be issuing tickets for this act, but until the service receives a formal complaint, no investigation will be launched.
Diamond, meanwhile, is still upset because he saw other drivers in court charged with the same offence. He said the ordeal cost him both time and money.
"Our officers should be out there in their cruisers serving and protecting, rather than, in this case, harassing and fleecing Torontonians," he said.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Paul Bliss