While driving a truck hauling logs on a Southern Oregon highway, Chris Hill noticed a Sheriff's Deputy behind his truck. When he saw a UPS truck approaching in the opposite direction he flashed his headlights to warn the driver of the Sheriff's Deputy. The Sheriff's Deputy pulled over Hill and gave him a $260 ticket for improperly using his headlights. Hill was outraged that he received the ticket and put up a fight in court. Last week an Oregon judge ruled that Oregon's law regarding the improper use of headlights was valid when it comes to high beams but invalid in the way it was applied in Hill's case because what he did was speech protected by the Oregon Constitution. Hill represented himself in court. After he received the ticket he did his own research and found other cases in other parts of the country that ruled that police cannot pull over and ticket drivers just for flashing their headlights. Hill made the arguments to the trial court which agreed with him. The court ruled that the police can enforce laws to protect the public but cannot issue tickets just because people are exercising their right to express themselves. Not only did Hill represent himself, but the court hearing was conducted over the telephone.
This case illustrates that we should not be afraid to stand up for our rights in the face of a clear violation of our rights.
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