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Tuesday, June 25, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

More Green Lights for Speed-Trap Warnings

DALLAS (CN) - Days after a federal judge enjoined a Missouri community's ban on flashing headlights to warn drivers about speed traps, a north Texas city dropped charges against a man who gave the same warning with a sign.

A municipal judge in Frisco dismissed a Class C misdemeanor against Ron Martin, 33, on Wednesday, KDFW reported.

Martin was arrested in October after police claim he was warned about holding signs in the center median of traffic on a busy roadway.

The judge ruled it was not clear which part of the city's ordinance against human signs was violated. Police cited Martin for holding or wearing a sign for advertising, which is only allowed on private property.

In fighting the citation, Martin argued he was not advertising anything while on the median strip, ABC News reported.

Martin contends he was doing "the same thing as a speed limit sign."

The dismissal comes two days after a St. Louis federal judge enjoined a Missouri town's ordinance that ticketed drivers for flashing headlights to warn of speed traps on free speech grounds.

The ordinance was "clearly inapplicable" to the driver's actions "from the beginning," U.S. District Judge Henry Autrey ruled Monday.

"Even assuming, arguendo, that plaintiff or another driver is communicating a message that one should slow down because a speed trap is ahead and discovery or apprehension is impending, that conduct is not illegal," Autrey wrote.

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