The law on drivers flashing their headlights to warn other motorists of police
The ‘secret code’ Aussies use to warn other drivers about police patrols and speed cameras – so is it legal?
- Australians have revealed ‘secret code’ motorists use to alert police
- Concerns drivers who flash their car headlights on oncoming traffic
- Law firm says flashing other drivers can arguably result in a conviction as an example of hindering a police officer from performing their duty
Australians have unveiled the ‘secret code’ used by motorists to warn each other that the police are nearby.
The ‘secret code’ means that motorists flash their car headlights at oncoming traffic.
A Sydney woman recently revealed that another motorist had used the ‘secret code’ to warn her that a mobile speed camera was nearby.
“For the first time in what seems like years, a car flashed their headlights at me to warn me of a mobile speed camera ahead,” she wrote on Reddit.
“I wasn’t speeding, but I appreciated the gesture.”
There has been a lively discussion online about the code motorists use to warn each other that the police are nearby
An Australian motorist posted on social media that an oncoming car had flashed their headlights at her to warn that a mobile speed camera was in front of her
While there is no law against warning drivers that police patrols or speed cameras are nearby, there are clear laws against using high beams in traffic, including flashing them.
It is against the law to drive on the road with high beams if a vehicle in front is driving in the same direction within 200 meters.
It is also an offense to flash the high beam if another oncoming vehicle is within 200 meters.
In New South Wales, flashing high beams in traffic carries a fine of up to $2,200. But the police usually only fines $112.
That penalty would also result in one penalty point, although the same offense in Victoria could mean three penalty points off your license.
Law firm Astor Legal also states that flashing other drivers could arguably result in a conviction as an example of obstructing a police officer from performing their duty, or even disrupting justice, a serious offense with a maximum prison term of 14 years. .
But it is considered difficult to prove in court that a car with flashing headlights was actually an attempt to hinder the police or distort the course of justice.
One Aussie pointed out a simple loophole to get around the rule: turning your low beam on and off briefly instead of flashing your high beam.
It is not against the law to test your headlights by turning them on and off, no matter how close other cars are.
Motorists revealed that the ‘secret code’ is common across Australia.
“Everyone in western Sydney is doing this,” one Aussie said on Reddit.
The Reddit debate revealed that the blinking of fellow drivers to alert the police is happening all over Australia – and beyond
Speeding is the leading cause of fatal road accidents in Australia
A Queensland driver claimed he had flashed his lights at other drivers for 25 years and had personal experience with the police response.
“I remember everyone doing this. But then the police stopped people for flashing. But it was mostly intimidation of the police so that they could stop people from warning others,” they claimed.
Aussies discussing the “secret code” were overwhelmingly in favor of the insurrectionary act, as long as it applies to speed cameras and not to surveillance of other matters.
‘I think it’s a great thing. It represents a kind of camaraderie between motorists,” said one commentator.
“Everyone is flashing around where I live. [Police are] always hiding behind a bush,’ said another.
‘An Auspost employee on a motorbike did it to me recently. Absolute legend.’
Another claimed it was “unAustralian” not to warn other drivers about speed cameras.
The reactions on reddit have been overwhelming in favor of the act of rebellion – as long as it applies to speed cameras and not to police surveillance of other matters
But a few commentators said they would never warn other motorists that police were doing random breath tests beforehand
But a few said they would never warn other motorists that police were conducting random breath tests beforehand.
“Yeah, I’m not warning RBTs, if they’re stupid enough to drive drunk, they deserve to get caught.”