Yesterday something happened to me that hasn't happened in years. While I was driving along the 290 near the Big Blue Water Tower, a car on the opposite side of the road flashed its headlights at me.

As most of us know, this is a sign that there are police and a speed trap up ahead. And if you have ever been on the 290, you know that police like to wait in the turnaround area near the Main Street exits. So after seeing the other car flash, its lights, I slowed down.

Sure enough, there were two State Troopers sitting at that turnaround using radar.

Now, I want to thank that person that flashed their lights since I always thought that doing it was illegal. But, here in Western New York, it is not.

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According to the website,, the New York State Supreme Court ruled that police cannot ticket a person for flashing their lights.

In 2009, the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division (Fourth Department) held that the flashing of lights alone is not a violation of New York Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 375 [3], that stopping a vehicle based upon that is illegal, and all evidence gathered as a result of the illegal stop should be suppressed.

So next time you are driving along the 290 or the 90 or anywhere in New York and see a speed trap, know that flashing your lights could save a fellow New Yorker from a speeding ticket and that you are not doing anything illegal.

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