SEEING an on-coming vehicle flash its lights causes a knee-jerk reaction in most motorists, making them hit their brakes or check their speedo.
Flashing your lights to warn other road users a police car is coming up is illegal, and can result in a court appearance.
However it's not uncommon to see a sneaky flash amongst Mackay's drivers.
The to-flash-or-not-to-flash debate ignited discussion on the Daily Mercury's Facebook page.
Some tagged it as un-Australian not to flash, while others posted they wanted the speedsters to get caught, so why would you warn them?
Mackay District Road Policing Unit Senior Constable Simon Robinson said marked police cars on the side of the road with speed cameras not only caught people speeding but indicated where the high-crash zones were around Mackay.
"The areas where we are set up are where there have been major accidents or fatals," he said.
"We want people to slow down in those spots."
Flash fellow drivers and prepare to cop a fine.
"The actual offence is flashing your lights on high beam within 200 metres of oncoming traffic," he said.
This offence only resulted in losing one demerit point and a $44 fine. However motorists could also be charged with obstructing police, which can result in a court appearance.
But if you see a speed camera, there are no fines for warning your friends on social media, he said.
Some motorists flashed their lights because they felt they were alerting people who were just speeding a couple kilometres over the limit.
But Snr Cost Robinson said this was rarely the people they caught.
"They are (usually) exceeding the speed by such a considerable amount they don't have time to slow down when they see the marked vehicle," he said.
To avoid speeding fines, Snr Cost Robinson's advice is simple.
"Don't speed and you won't get caught," he said. "If you don't speed, you won't have anything to worry about."
- Flashing lights at high beam within 200 metres of oncoming traffic can lead to the loss of one demerit point and a $44 fine
- Drivers who deliberately flash their lights to warn motorists can be charged with obstructing police
Do you flash your lights to warn others?
This poll ended on 28 February 2014.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
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