Do you flash your high beams at passing drivers to warn them?
Do you flash your high beams at passing drivers to warn them?

Radar alerts put others in more danger

IT'S one thing we're probably all guilty of, as courteous road users, yet police warn we could be letting dangerous drivers off the hook doing it.

The age old tradition of flashing your high beams at oncoming road users to alert them to a nearby speed camera or radar gun is usually done out of care for fellow motorists.

Coast police, however, say it's not the wisest move, as potentially dangerous drivers slip through the cracks.

Officer-in-charge of the Sunshine Coast Road Policing Unit acting Senior Sergeant Michael Warren warned drivers of the implications.

"People need to consider that a speeding driver could be a drink or drug-driver or unlicensed and you're helping them get away scot-free," he said.

"They may well be someone who the police should be catching... if someone's silly enough to speed, let them cop it."

The comments came after the RACQ revealed statistics showing 44% of the 1000 drivers surveyed admitted to flashing their lights to alert fellow motorists to speed cameras.

More concerning were the findings that over a quarter of drivers took to the phones to call family and friends to sound the warning, RACQ executive manager insurance communications Mike Sopinski said.

"More than one quarter (27.9%) of motorists say they regularly phone friends, family and colleagues to let them know about the location of speed cameras," he said.

"Many motorists may not realise flashing high beam lights at traffic is an offence and dangerous."

Act Snr Sgt Warren said there were a range of quirky offences related to obstructing police operations like speeding detection.

"It is an offence to use high beam when other vehicles are within 200m," he said.

"Using high beams when 200m behind another vehicle, or 200m from oncoming vehicles, or using high beam to dazzle another motorist are also offences."

Quirky Crimes

  •  Using a horn other than as permitted can result in a $68 fine, as it is deemed improper use of a warning device.
  •  Sending an SMS to warn of a police operation ie speeding detection is also a criminal offence.
  •  Blocking the view of a police radar camera is also deemed obstructing police.

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