A man fed up with small town cops issuing tickets to people who warn fellow motorists about upcoming speed traps on Friday asked a federal judge to issue an injunction against the practice. Michael J. Elli filed a class action suit in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri claiming the traffic stops in Ellisville amounted to a violation of their First Amendment right to free speech.
On November 17, 2012, Elli noticed a speed trap on Kiefer Creek Road around 2:50pm. He flashed his lights at oncoming traffic to ensure they would adjust their speeds to avoid receving a citation. The American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri's legal director, Anthony E. Rothert, is arguing the on Elli's behalf that this represents expressive conduct that is protected by the Constitution.
"The flashing of headlamps is commonly understood as conveying the message to slow down and proceed with caution," Rothert explained.