VERIFY: Can you flash your lights to warn drivers of police?

The Fourth of July is a busy night. Not just for those celebrating our country's independence, but also for cops on the road looking for speeders and drunk drivers.

Almost as if it's a driving courtesy, drivers will flash their lights to warn others of officers nearby. A First Coast News viewer, Mike Brooks, reached out to our Verify Team, wanting to know: Is this legal in Georgia and Florida?

In Georgia, there is Code 40-8-31, which deals with the use of multiple-beam road lighting equipment. It doesn't specifically say you cannot flash your lights at oncoming drivers. Instead, the law says drivers must turn down their high beams within 500 feet of another driver.

"Just a momentary flash of the lights, I don't think can constitute failure to dim, so it's not against the law to flash your lights," said Captain Brad Wolfe who oversees patrol operations for the Bibb County Sheriff's Office in Georgia.

In Florida, Code 316-238 says a similar thing, which was confirmed by a representative from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

VERIFIED: You can legally flash your headlights to warn your fellow drivers about police or obstructions in the area.

Wolfe also said flashing lights is an old-school tactic. He said now many people know where officers are because of Facebook or driving apps like Waze. The apps show drivers where police and road hazards have been spotted because other users report them.

If there's something you'd like for us to Verify, fill out the form below or send us an email at verify@firstcoastnews.com.

 

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