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Lawmaker Seeks To ‘Clear Confusion’ on Flashing Headlights

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Drivers might be surprised to hear that the ordinary action of flashing their headlights on the road could be considered illegal. That’s why, as Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, a lawmaker wants to clear the confusion.

Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 5:22 pm

Seeing a driver “flash their brights” is not uncommon on the roads.

While this can be done out of aggravation, it’s also to warn oncoming drivers of a variety of issues, such as construction or a crash. Drivers could also be warning others if law enforcement is waiting around the corner to catch speeders.

But at least one lawmaker says this act could be considered illegal.

“People have been charged with obstruction of justice," said Republican State Rep. John Becker of Cincinnati.

Becker is trying to pass a bill that makes it legal for drivers to use their high beams, whether they’re cautioning others about danger ahead or even to inform them of awaiting police officers. He adds that law enforcement should support his measure.

“The police claim they’re out there on the highways with radar and lasers in the name of public safety to prompt people to slow down," Becker said. "Well, people flashing their headlights warning of police radar has the same effect, so it sounds like a win-win for me.”

Law enforcement groups, such as Ohio’s Fraternal Order of Police, are keeping track of the legislation but haven’t made any formal statements yet.

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