Is It Illegal to Flash High Beams to Warn About Speed Traps in Maine?
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions, or personal experiences.
If you haven't done it yourself, chances are you've been the recipient of someone flashing their high beams at you on the highway or a back road to let you know that around that pesky corner is a police officer checking your speed. Most drivers with experience clearly understand and willfully accept the signal and immediately check their speed. But is that piece of driver-to-driver courtesy actually an illegal gesture in Maine?
It is NOT Illegal to Flash Your Lights to Warn Other Drivers in Maine
The good news is that it's not against the law to flash your high beams at other drivers to warn them of an impending speed trap from police. According to the Portland Press Herald, it took a landmark case ruling in Oregon in 2014 to settle this as law around the country. In that case, a truck driver was pulled over by police after he was spotted flashing his light to alert other drivers of an impending speed trap. The truck driver was given a ticket for improperly using his headlights for that incident. But after fighting the citation, a judge ruled in the truck driver's favor, stating that flashing your headlights or high beams is an act of free speech. After the ruling, many states made adjustments to their laws to avoid a similar fate in court.
There Are Some Rules When It Comes to Lights in Maine
There are other headlight violations that do exist in Maine. As detailed here, having colored headlights (like red or blue) is prohibited in Maine, as is a neon or colored under-glow as a customization on your car. Both of those violations carry fines.