Most of the time it is considered pretty rude to have your headlights flashing in another driver's face. While it can be dangerous if done improperly, it can sometimes be a helpful way to communicate with other people out on the road.

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We previously shared that it's generally illegal to keep your brights on when coming across oncoming traffic. You can dive deeper into the specifics of that right here.

What about in an instance when I'm trying to warn another driver of danger or a speed trap? To be honest, finding the correct answer to this question is straight up confusing.

Car in autumn

Let's break this down a bit...

It IS in fact illegal to flash headlights in Iowa.

It is NOT illegal to flash headlights as a warning to other drivers of oncoming speed traps.

According to IOWA CODE CHAPTER 321.415

"Whenever the driver of a vehicle follows another vehicle within four hundred feet to the rear, except when engaged in the act of overtaking and passing, the driver shall use a distribution of light permissible under this chapter other than the uppermost distribution of light..."

There is no official ruling on the usage of headlights for the specific reason of alerting other drivers of speed traps or police officers.

Judges Gavel

However, over the past decade this has become such a hotly contested issue all across the country that it has been taken to court multiple times, and the American Civil Liberties Union has even had to step in.

In 2014, a Delaware driver flashed his brights to warn of a speed trap. The Delaware branch of the ACLU said"The First Amendment gives people the right to flash their lights to send a message."

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