Is It Illegal To Flash Your Lights To Warn For Deer in New York?
On my way into work this morning, I got a little bit shaken because I saw a police officer was following me. And, I was at that point where I was nervous I had done something wrong.
I saw about seven deer next to the Whitesboro Middle/High School on my drive, and there was a car coming towards me in the opposite direction. So, naturally, I flashed my lights at them. To my surprise, it was a police officer.
I think what caused me to panic a bit was the fact that I vividly, for some reason, have this thought in my head (I'm pretty confident someone told me) that flashing your lights, no matter what the situation is, is illegal,
So, upon my arrival to work, I googled the question: is it illegal to flash your lights to warn for deer in New York?
Thank god I did and now I can relax a little bit knowing the cop wasn't following me to pull me over for doing something illegal.
According to Rosenblum Law, New York Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 375 (3) states that headlamps "shall be operated so that dazzling light does not interfere with the driver of the approaching vehicle."
In a 1994 decision, the Appellate Division, Second Department held that flickering high beams do not amount to "dazzling lights." People v. Lauber, 162 Misc.2d 19, 617 N.Y.S.2d 419 (2d. Dept. 1994). In 2009, the Fourth Department declared more directly that the flashing of lights by itself is not a violation of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law Code, and that stopping a vehicle based upon the driver flashing his or her high beams is illegal.
It's not illegal to flash your lights at night, or during the daytime to warn drivers of situations mentioned above. As long as you don't interfere with the police doing their job, it's totally legal in New York to warn drivers of police ahead. So, in his particular case, that means I wasn't breaking the law.
However, it's possible that I could have broken the law in another state. It varies based on the state.
I know I'm not the only one who gets nervous whenever a cop is driving behind them, thinking they did something wrong. Have you ever gotten pulled over? Let us know the story inside our station app.