It is the mantra of Texas Driving. "Drive Friendly, It's the Texas Way". So, where does flashing your headlights or driving with your emergency flashing lights on in bad weather fit into this?

Let's start with flashing headlights. Some people flash headlights at oncoming traffic to warn them of an upcoming speed trap. Others use flashing headlights to let an oncoming driver at night know that they still have not dimmed their high beams.

Technically, if you are warning other drivers of a speed trap, you could get pulled over by an over-zealous officer and accused of obstruction of justice" By definition, if you interrupt, disrupt, impede, or otherwise interfere with an official performing in their official capacity then technically you could be accused of obstruction.

However, there is a First Amendment Defense. Your speech is protected, even if it interferes with public duties. In fact, Texas law specifically states that it is a valid defense to prosecution if interrupting, disrupting, impeding, or otherwise interfering with an official performing in their official capacity is by speech only.

Car in autumn

Flashing your headlights is also defendable if the interference was intended to warn a motorist of the presence of a peace officer that is enforcing Subtitle C, Title 7 of the Texas Transportation Code, which includes speed traps.

So is it always legal to flash your headlights? The answer is "no". If you are flashing your lights at oncoming traffic within 500 feet, it is illegal. Many of us let an ongoing driver with high beams un-dimmed get as close as possible before flashing out high beams at them for maximum effect. As maddening as it can be when an inconsiderate oncoming driver does not dim their high beams, flashing your high beams at them at close range could cause a hazard and is against the law.

Confused young man


Is driving with your hazard lights flashing in bad weather illegal in Texas? You see it often when things are really intense, especially in the Houston area.

The answer is "no".

Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash
Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash

Hazard lights exist to make your car more visible to other drivers in any unsafe situation. This includes whether your car is parked by the side of the road or moving.  While some states only allow hazard lights to be used while a vehicle is stopped, this is NOT the case in Texas.


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