I'm on my way in to work this AM, and as I approach the crest of a hill just before a known school zone, the radar detector starts going mad on Ka. In rare occasions there will be a speed sign there setting it off but regardless, it's a 20mph Zone while school is in session. I normally do the speed limit through it anyway because the cops are brutal. I tap my brakes and jump into the slower lane and keep it right at 20mph which is a painful crawl on Rt 114.
As I come closer to the school I see a white car off in the distance on the left side. Then I notice an actual officer sitting in the diner right across from the school itself. Unfortunately, when I saw the second white car, and confirmed it was an officer, I (kind of) forgot about the first one. As I cleared the officer in the diner parking lot, I started flashing my lights (as I always do) to warn oncoming cars.
SIDE NOTE: This school zone (Portsmouth, RI) I received a ticket for 10mph over last year (i.e. (30mph) when the school lights weren't flashing) that was $90 and a big hit to my insurance monthly. That was when I decided to buy a real detector.
Back to the situation. As I'm flashing my lights at oncoming cars, I notice (as I pass) that the 2nd white car was also an officer and I was hitting him with the flashers the whole way towards him (nice). We made eye contact as I passed, and I figured it must have pissed him off. As I clear the next hill my radar starts going off again and I knew he'd pulled out somewhere behind me. At the next light he pull up behind me and hit his lights. I continued on and waved him to where there was an area to pull off. I've seen to many videos of them getting nailed while on the side of the road.
When he came up to the window and asked for my license and registration, I handed it over and asked if I was speeding.
He said no, and then proceeded to ask if I had a problem with my headlights.
LEO: "where are you headed?"
LEO: "what's going on with your headlights? Are you having a problem with them?"
ME: "no, not that I know if."
LEO: "what's with all the flashing on and off"
ME: "that was me."
ME: "to warn speeders that you two were sitting there"
LEO: (half smiles) "can you see why that'd be a problem?"
ME: "not really to be honest. I thought the purpose of you being there was to deter speeders so that it was a safer area near the kids"
LEO: "not necessarily" (long pause like he's thinking since that comment made this stop look like it was out of spite instead of real reason) "for instance, last week we were looking for an abductor, and you could've warned him so he turned around"
ME: "sounds like a pretty rare situation"
LEO: "I'll be back with you in a minute. By the way, I noticed your blue line sticker. What's that about? You know someone?"
ME: "No, I just thought it was in support of Law Enforcement Officers"
LEO: (half smile again) "You don't strike me as the kind of guy that supports Law Enforcement Officers"
ME: "I do, I just don't support my insurance going through the roof. I know this looks like an impressive piece of machinery, but I do drive a station wagon. and I'm not exactly a speeder."
LEO: "I'll be with you in a minute"
10minute wait.....text Melissa tell her the fun news (takes her an hour to respond as always)......then he returns
LEO: "We can write you a ticket for the light flashing. OK...it's not against the law...but if you weren't honest with me, I would've written you up for malfunctioning headlights. That’s the way we play that game"
ME: "OK, thanks.....have a good weekend"
SO........the morals to that story is (at least in RI) it's NOT against the law, avoid doing it while driving TOWARDS an officer, and if you do get pulled over for it TELL THE TRUTH so he can't worm you into a BS fine. I for one will continue to do it, because I appreciate it any other time that someone else has given me fair warning the same way.