View Poll Results: Flashing Brights to Pass: Acceptable or Aggressive?

Voters
15. You may not vote on this poll
  • Acceptable

    13 86.67%
  • Agressive

    2 13.33%
Results 1 to 22 of 22

Thread: Flashing Brights to Pass: Acceptable or Agressive Behavior?

  1. #1

    Flashing Brights to Pass: Acceptable or Agressive Behavior?

    Had an experience this morning coming to work. I was on the Legacy Freeway at 6:00 am in the left lane following a newere VW Jetta. He was going a little slower than I like, but was passing some cars on the right, so I didn't worry. After he passed the cars, there were no cars in either lanes in front of him for about a quarter mile. However, after he was well past the last car, he didn't get over into the right lane.

    I don't like passing on the right, it is not safe, and I think it may be against the law. So I did what I have always considered the acceptable sign for "I'd like to pass you", I briefly flashed my brights (less than a second).

    The guy in the Jetta didn't like that, so what did he decide to do? Slam on his brakes, in the middle of the freeway! I obviously did not expect that, so I had to slam on my brakes and move into the shoulder to avoid rear ending him.

    After I avoided the crash, they guy sped up, and got over into the right lane. It made me start to question if flashing brights to pass is percieved by most people as a normal signal, or a sign of aggressiveness.

    I followed the guy to his work and had a conversation with him. I was not agressive in following or as I parked and dismounted to talk to him. He came at me, and got in my face. All I asked was why he felt like slamming on the brakes was the best thing to do. He had no answer, and blamed me for following too close. I told him that slamming on the brakes put my life in danger, and I was contemplating calling the police. However, I'm not sure if I will, or if it would do any good.

  2. #2
    I've no problem with flashing brights as a way to ask that a slower vehicle move out of the left lane. That he wouldn't move out of the faster lane after he had passed the other cars tells me that he is the kind of driver who believes he is the only vehicle on the road. However, I'd say that it probably would have been better had you not followed him to his work and just let it go. I understand why you did it - too many folks think the rider on a motorcycle (I'm assuming you were on a bike) are responsible for ensuring their own safety at all times, but those folks will never be convinced that they are to blame because in their mind, "it's just a motorcycle".

    That's my thoughts anyway. Glad you didn't get hurt and I hope that karma causes the engine in his car to blow a head gasket on the way home from work.
    "Ninety feet between home plate and first base may be the closest man has ever come to perfection." - Red Smith

  3. #3
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    15,873
    Maybe I am just L.A. freeway-jaded but I always stay away from people who behave oddly or crazily or dangerously on the road. You never know if they're sane, have a gun, etc. Brights flashing at me don't bother me (as long as that is done reasonably, e.g., not repeatedly or for an extended period so that it blinds me). I don't flash brights myself (again, because I know nothing about the person in front of me). I just give the person a decent chance to see me and do the right thing (get out of the way) then I give up and pass on the right.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  4. #4
    Flashing bights is acceptable inter-vehicle communication.

    He was the offender for slamming the breaks, however that pales in comparison to his more severe offense which is being a man and driving a Jetta.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Twin Falls, Idaho
    Posts
    3,015
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Maybe I am just L.A. freeway-jaded but I always stay away from people who behave oddly or crazily or dangerously on the road. You never know if they're sane, have a gun, etc. Brights flashing at me don't bother me (as long as that is done reasonably, e.g., not repeatedly or for an extended period so that it blinds me). I don't flash brights myself (again, because I know nothing about the person in front of me). I just give the person a decent chance to see me and do the right thing (get out of the way) then I give up and pass on the right.
    Having lived in California for 8 years, I followed likewise. I gave up on turning on/off my lights (I rarely flashed them because there might be traffic headed the other way and it's not fair to them.). Who knows what nutjob you'll encounter.

    Outside of California, I rarely have to flash my lights because people know better and get in the right lane as soon as they've passed.

    I can't blame chrisrenrut for being angry -- hitting the breaks like that is extremely dangerous. It's not justification for someone following too close -- under any circumstance. Move over already if you're being tailed. And while you can be ticketed for passing on the right, had someone followed me to work like you did, I'd be swinging as soon as I got out of the car.

  6. #6
    I was driving to SLC from Southern California in the summer. I was just past St. George after I-15 drops to 2 lanes at about 9 at night, so it was completely dark out. There was a semi in the right lane going at a pretty good clip, probably just under the speed limit, so there were 5 or 6 cars in the left lane lined up, slowly passing the truck, probably going a couple of miles over the speed limit. I was at the end of the line, and had not quite come up even to the back of the truck. Suddenly a car comes flying up behind me gets extremely close to my bumper, and starts flashing its lights repeatedly. I tapped my brakes extremely lightly; I don't think it even slowed my car at all. I would like to know if anyone thinks the guy behind me was acting appropriately, and if I was in the wrong for tapping my brakes.





    So anyway, as soon as I tap my brakes, the guy behinds me lights up his bars and pulls me over. The cop proceeds to yell at me for not getting over when he came up behind me and flashed me, saying that you have to move over for faster traffic. I told him that I was lined up to pass, and asked him if he wanted a merry-go-round where I get over and then slide in behind him so he has to get over. I also told him that if he had flashed his bars for half a second I would have gotten over, but he said he was chasing down a truck up ahead that had supposedly been driving erratically and he didn't want to tip off the truck that he was a cop (apparently he had no problem pulling me over and giving up on his chase). I assume my tapping my brakes is what set him off, but like I said it was extremely soft and he didn't really even say anything about it. I'd be curious to know if people think I was in the wrong there.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Scratch View Post
    I was driving to SLC from Southern California in the summer. I was just past St. George after I-15 drops to 2 lanes at about 9 at night, so it was completely dark out. There was a semi in the right lane going at a pretty good clip, probably just under the speed limit, so there were 5 or 6 cars in the left lane lined up, slowly passing the truck, probably going a couple of miles over the speed limit. I was at the end of the line, and had not quite come up even to the back of the truck. Suddenly a car comes flying up behind me gets extremely close to my bumper, and starts flashing its lights repeatedly. I tapped my brakes extremely lightly; I don't think it even slowed my car at all. I would like to know if anyone thinks the guy behind me was acting appropriately, and if I was in the wrong for tapping my brakes.

    So anyway, as soon as I tap my brakes, the guy behinds me lights up his bars and pulls me over. The cop proceeds to yell at me for not getting over when he came up behind me and flashed me, saying that you have to move over for faster traffic. I told him that I was lined up to pass, and asked him if he wanted a merry-go-round where I get over and then slide in behind him so he has to get over. I also told him that if he had flashed his bars for half a second I would have gotten over, but he said he was chasing down a truck up ahead that had supposedly been driving erratically and he didn't want to tip off the truck that he was a cop (apparently he had no problem pulling me over and giving up on his chase). I assume my tapping my brakes is what set him off, but like I said it was extremely soft and he didn't really even say anything about it. I'd be curious to know if people think I was in the wrong there.
    I think you handled yourself appropriately, and the cop did not. I'd be interested to hear Diehard's take on the situation.

    I worried about following the guy. I didn't want a physical confrontation, and I was going to keep my voice calm and reasonable when asking him why he slammed on his breaks (he didn't just tap them like Scratch). Like Pat says he would, this guy came at me verbally "swinging". He may have wanted to physically swing, but it's tough to land effective punches on someone with a motorcycle helmet and gear on.

    If he would have been apologetic, or had some reason for hitting his brakes, I would have been fine. But his response was in line with what his actions were. I don't think I'll pursue this with the police. Hopefully me threatening to do so will at least ruin his day.

  8. #8
    I pass on the right lanes without ever thinking twice about it.

    I guess seeing people doing stupid, ignorant & inconsiderate things on the freeways puts them about 0-3 on a 10 a$$#ole scale. Blinking lights or honking or the slightest passive-aggressive behavior just escalates their inner a$$#oleness to a 7-10 and is really not worth the effort or risk.
    "But I tried didn't I? ... at least I did that."

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by chrisrenrut View Post
    I think you handled yourself appropriately, and the cop did not. I'd be interested to hear Diehard's take on the situation.

    I worried about following the guy. I didn't want a physical confrontation, and I was going to keep my voice calm and reasonable when asking him why he slammed on his breaks (he didn't just tap them like Scratch). Like Pat says he would, this guy came at me verbally "swinging". He may have wanted to physically swing, but it's tough to land effective punches on someone with a motorcycle helmet and gear on.

    If he would have been apologetic, or had some reason for hitting his brakes, I would have been fine. But his response was in line with what his actions were. I don't think I'll pursue this with the police. Hopefully me threatening to do so will at least ruin his day.
    You drive in Utah and expect people to get out of the fast lane when you are driving faster?! You were not in the wrong for flashing. He was an idiot for slamming on his brakes. You were crazy for following him to his work (then again as Wally pointed out, he was driving a jetta). Unless you were wearing a gopro camera or have a witness, not sure what the police are going to do as it would just be your word against his.

    In regards to Scratch's predicament, even though I have done the same thing as him (tapping brakes to let an idiot know he is driving to fast or close) it was probably not a smart thing to do. I also wonder if the cop, by speeding and tailgating, made an unsafe environment for those around him. Just because you are driving recklessly at 90 miles an hour, doesn't mean that i have to endanger my life to get out of your way.

    Diehard's views would be helpful on this.

  10. #10
    Educating Cyrus wuapinmon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    499
    No problem briefly flashing lights or lightly tapping the brake for a tailgater.

    But, following me to work? I'm calling 911 and driving to the police station. That's some crazy shit right there.
    "This culture doesn't sell modesty. It sells "I am more modest than you" modesty." -- Two Utes

  11. #11
    It's not illegal to pass on the right as long as you're passing in a lane of travel.

    I have no issues with people flashing their brights, although know your local laws. For instance within the corporate boundaries of SLC proper any use of bright lights is illegal (would someone pull you over for that? No)

    You shouldn't follow anyone. It's stupid and not worth the risk you're taking.

    Not going to get into the whole being pulled over scenario...cause all I can comment is on what I would or wouldn't do.

    I will say it surprises me how many people will tailgate or pass a marked police car that's traveling above the speed limit.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Diehard Ute View Post
    It's not illegal to pass on the right as long as you're passing in a lane of travel.

    I have no issues with people flashing their brights, although know your local laws. For instance within the corporate boundaries of SLC proper any use of bright lights is illegal (would someone pull you over for that? No)

    You shouldn't follow anyone. It's stupid and not worth the risk you're taking.

    Not going to get into the whole being pulled over scenario...cause all I can comment is on what I would or wouldn't do.

    I will say it surprises me how many people will tailgate or pass a marked police car that's traveling above the speed limit.

    Well, you're no fun for not chiming in on the being pulled over scenario. That said, if you feel like you can answer this, do you agree that it's illegal not to get over for someone who pulls up behind you when you're in a long-ish line of cars gradually passing a slower-moving vehicle to the right?

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Scratch View Post
    Well, you're no fun for not chiming in on the being pulled over scenario. That said, if you feel like you can answer this, do you agree that it's illegal not to get over for someone who pulls up behind you when you're in a long-ish line of cars gradually passing a slower-moving vehicle to the right?
    Depending in which version of the left lane travel law was in effect at the time, probably.

    The latest version provides a reference of two vehicles passing said vehicle on the right. The old version basically said if you were moving slower and obstructing traffic you were in the wrong, or something to that effect. Not being a trooper it's something I rarely deal with and am not an expert on

  14. #14
    Educating Cyrus wuapinmon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    499
    I'll pass a marked cop car going faster than the speed limit if it's from another jurisdiction. No problem. If it's from the one I'm in, cruise control, baby.
    "This culture doesn't sell modesty. It sells "I am more modest than you" modesty." -- Two Utes

  15. #15
    I don't flash, but don't mind if someone flashes me. Usually just pass on the right, and never tail someone home or to work. Imagine if you made it a habit and followed a woman home or to work. Not a good habit to develop. It's over. Relax. Let it go.
    “Children and dogs are as necessary to the welfare of the country as Wall Street and the railroads.” -- Harry S. Truman

    "You never soar so high as when you stoop down to help a child or an animal." -- Jewish Proverb

    "Three-time Pro Bowler Eric Weddle the most versatile, and maybe most intelligent, safety in the game." -- SI, 9/7/15, p. 107.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by wuapinmon View Post
    I'll pass a marked cop car going faster than the speed limit if it's from another jurisdiction. No problem. If it's from the one I'm in, cruise control, baby.
    Not a wise choice in Utah, officers have state wide jurisdiction

  17. #17
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    15,873
    Quote Originally Posted by Diehard Ute View Post
    Not a wise choice in Utah, officers have state wide jurisdiction
    This is what I love about this board. Nuggets of information that are pure gold.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  18. #18
    1) Should have just passed on the right in the first place. It's not illegal.
    2) After living in Memphis, I just ask myself "Would this potentially get me shot in Memphis?" to define being too aggressive. Flashing the lights is definitely too aggressive. If you also drive a truck with a lift package or have full blackout tint see part 3.
    3) After living in Memphis, I just ask myself "Would this without doubt get me shot?" to define being crazy aggressive. Following the person was crazy aggressive.

    After my next door neighbor had a gun pulled on him for honking at someone stopped at a green light and having my wife followed and called a white devil bitch for honking at a car stopped at a green light, I adjusted my driving habits.
    Last edited by jrj84105; 10-11-2013 at 05:06 PM.

  19. #19
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    15,873
    Quote Originally Posted by jrj84105 View Post
    1) Should have just passed on the right in the first place. It's not illegal.
    2) After living in Memphis, I just ask myself "Would this potentially get me shot in Memphis?" to define being too aggressive. Flashing the lights is definitely too aggressive. If you also drive a truck with a lift package or have full blackout tint see part 3.
    3) After living in Memphis, I just ask myself "Would this without doubt get me shot?" to define being crazy aggressive. Following the person was crazy aggressive.

    After my next door neighbor had a gun pulled on him for honking at someone stopped at a green light and having my wife followed and called a white devil bitch for honking at a car stopped at a green light, I adjusted my driving habits.
    Lol. Wise standards. Driving-wise, is your current state working out better than Tennessee did?

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  20. #20
    Educating Cyrus wuapinmon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    499
    Quote Originally Posted by Diehard Ute View Post
    Not a wise choice in Utah, officers have state wide jurisdiction
    I'll keep that in mind. I'll also have to find out what the law is in the Carolinas. I'm not a fan of state-wide jurisdiction.
    "This culture doesn't sell modesty. It sells "I am more modest than you" modesty." -- Two Utes

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by wuapinmon View Post
    I'll keep that in mind. I'll also have to find out what the law is in the Carolinas. I'm not a fan of state-wide jurisdiction.
    Any state who doesn't have that these days is silly.

    In Utah you're trained and certified by the state, not your individual agency, so it makes sense. It also makes no sense to tell someone "Go ahead, commit a crime, that cop is standing ok the wrong side of the road"

    Now, reality is it's very rare for an officer to issue a citation outside of their employees jurisdiction, but it is possible.

  22. #22
    Educating Cyrus wuapinmon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    499
    Quote Originally Posted by Diehard Ute View Post
    Any state who doesn't have that these days is silly.

    In Utah you're trained and certified by the state, not your individual agency, so it makes sense. It also makes no sense to tell someone "Go ahead, commit a crime, that cop is standing ok the wrong side of the road"

    Now, reality is it's very rare for an officer to issue a citation outside of their employees jurisdiction, but it is possible.
    From what I can tell, county mounties don't have statewide jurisdiction, and can only pursue someone for three miles after a jurisdiction limit ends in South Carolina. I am a fan of limiting police powers. Statewide authority should be reserved to those entities requiring that kind of authority, and no one else. Cops have too much power.
    "This culture doesn't sell modesty. It sells "I am more modest than you" modesty." -- Two Utes

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •