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Warning drivers of speed traps could lead to a £1000 fine

Peter Kelly
Feb 5, 2020

On the road we all try to help our fellow drivers. However sometimes by trying to help, you could in fact be breaking the law. 

Flashing your lights to alert a fellow road user of a speed trap is a criminal offence - and could land you with a fine of up to £1000.

The Highway Code states clearly that the only time you should use your headlights is 'only to let other road users know that you are there', rather than 'to convey any other message'.

The Department of Transport have explained that flashing your headlights to warn of a speed camera or roadside police speed check would be breaching Rule 110 and 111 of the Code.

In doing so, you would be breaking Section 89 of the Police Act 1996- it is an offence to "wilfully obstruct a constable in the execution of his/her duty". Therefore by giving your fellow drivers a hint of a speed trap is a criminal offence.

As stated in The Sun, 'Obstructing a police officer is an offence capped at level three on the fine scale, with a maximum penalty of £1,000. In the most extreme cases, obstructing a police officer can attract a maximum of one month's imprisonment, however it is highly unlikely a driver would ever be given a prison sentence for flashing their lights.'

Motoring law expert Laura Newton, at Rothera Sharp, told The Sun: "I've certainly seen several notable cases of this type recently and drivers should be paying particular attention to those cases that have been challenged in the High Court.

"The Court made it clear that it will be only classed as an offence if the prosecution can actually prove that those being warned were speeding or were likely to be speeding.

"But I think people need to realise just how serious this can be treated in terms of the maximum penalty though.

"The headlight warning flash has become commonplace in driving but motorists need to think twice and consider the consequences. Is it really worth the risk?"


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