When I was a kid, before getting my drivers license, I noticed oncoming cars occasionally flashing their headlights at my mom as they passed by. My mother told me that those drivers were warning her that there was a cop ahead. This tradition has carried on for decades BUT is it legal?

Is warning another driver that a cop is ahead legal or illegal in New York State? The act alone can't be illegal right? If you use the Waze app, you know there are constant reports of where a patrol car might be located. Maybe it's the flashing of headlights that's illegal? Let's investigate.

94.3 Lite FM logo
Get our free mobile app

Legal or illegal, I suppose the flashing of headlights can indicate several things such as accident ahead, debris in the road or a way to let another motorist know that you are letting them go ahead of you at an intersection. The main use however is to warn of speed traps.

Keep in mind that this week is Speed Week in New York State! From today until Sunday August 21st, New York State Police will be using marked and unmarked patrol cars, looking for speed infractions. Before you start warning others by flashing your headlights let's see if it's legal or illegal.

Photo by Zac Gudakov on Unsplash
Photo by Zac Gudakov on Unsplash

According to TrafficTickets.com, it is not illegal to flash your headlights to warn oncoming traffic that a speed trap is ahead, or for any other reason. What IS illegal however, is an officer stopping a vehicle based upon the driver flashing his or her high beams.

This Is How Many Driver's License Points Speeding Costs In New York

Here's how many points speeding and other tickets will add to your driver's license.

Found! Legendary 1980's Muscle Car

This 1982 Pontiac Trans Am sat in a garage in Upstate New York, untouched for 27 years. See what it looks like now!

Which Capital Region Police Unit Gives Out the Most Tickets?

You're driving in the Capital Region, and all of a sudden, the blue and red lights flash. How many people like you in your community got a ticket recently?

More From 94.3 Lite FM