Is Flashing Your Headlights At Another Car Illegal In Washington?
It's a puzzlement. I fail to understand why some people respond to certain situations so carelessly, rudely, and foolishly. Especially when their responses are both dangerous and illegal, it's hard to understand what motivates someone to behave so idiotically.
I've written before about pesky and foolish tailgaters. While frequently traveling on Summitview Avenue, these speed demons seem to think that I and other responsible drivers will respond favorably to their riding of our bumpers. They, these seemingly mindless motorists not only reject the notion of driving within the legal speed limit, but they also want to travel 10 or 15 miles per hour faster than the posted 30 MPH limit, and more curiously, they want us to do the same. When we don't, they get more agitated and follow more closely. Of course, that's when I go slower.
Here's another telltale sign of someone who's either utterly oblivious or terribly mistaken in a belief that their dangerous and illegal action of turning their headlights on high-beam when following or coming toward another vehicle is acceptable and effective.
I experienced a situation just the other day while exiting the radio station parking lot. Looking both ways, I determined that I had plenty of time to pull into the lane and proceed - as the only car coming in my direction was sufficiently far enough back. What I couldn't have surmised, is that that car was traveling far faster than the 35 MPH speed limit for that section of road, and more likely going 50 MPH. So, as the speeding pickup, complete with the requisite jacked-up frame, over-sized tires, gun rack, vicious dog, and a curious assortment of flags flying - got right behind me, tailgated, and turned on the high beams.
It was as if to say, hey, you're impinging upon my desire to go 15 MPH over the speed limit so I'm going to show you -- I'll tailgate you and turn my bright lights on. Of course, this was a foolish decision because the speeding and the tailgating and the high-beam hijinks were illegal and because this kind of inexcusable behavior is dangerous.
Just so you know, In Washington State it is, in fact, illegal to have your high-beams on, whether it's a result of you being oblivious or deliberate, when any closer than 300 feet behind a vehicle you're following or 500 feet of a vehicle coming toward you. The ticket for flashing your 'brights' is $124. Lights are not intended to send messages or signal ships but to illuminate your path.
Let's take a deep breath, be kind to one another and be careful out there. It's a jungle.