No, this is not a commentary on folk who like to discard clothing, it’s a gripe about the way 4-way flashers are used in public.
First, so you understand my point of view, understand that I’m on the opinion that flashers were put on cars to say, “hey I’m on the highway, but for some reason I’ve come to stop, so you best be real careful around me!” I also agree that a school bus or large truck carrying hazardous materials should be able to use flashers near rail crossings to say, “hey, I need to come to a complete stop, to protect my load”.
This first major issue we have with flashers is that every state, province, country has the right to write different laws about 4-way flashers. Example: in Pennsylvania it’s the law that if you drop 15 miles below the posted limit you can put your flashers on as to say, “watch me, I’m not doingi the normal thing here!” I’ve also heard that other states have laws which state, the only usage of flashers is for stopped or emergency reasons. Ha! Then you get a whole boat load of folk that want to argue, “what’s an emergency!” (As this seems then to be abused as well).
My gripe is simply founded on 2 issues:
1) If flashers are suppose to be for stopped vehicles, then what is the meaning of people using flashers when they have just slowed down due to a rough conditions? To me this is a contraction. Are you stopped or are you slowing down? It would seem in other parts of legal code, we don’t allow for such double meanings. A stop sign is a stop sign, and you don’t perform a rolling stop or you can count on getting pulled over by the police.
2) My most grievous item on flashers, is that in rain storms, placing one’s flashers into a flashing mode for mile after mile, is fairly dangerous. I don’t know about you, but in a tough rain storm, flashing lights reduce my vision ability, as it is a constant distraction from the norm. Now here I would be willing to give an inch and say if you drop your vehicle suddenly down below the posted limit, it would a good thing to announce that by either pressing repeatedly on your brakes to flash vehicles behind you, or for a small amount of time until the car behind you catches up it would be o.k. to temporarily use flashers for a small period.
I do think FLASHERS are a good candidate for the country or the world to come out with a common usage policy and end the local laws, that may be unknown to others.
In practice I will not be using my flashers unless I’m stopped on the side of the roadway, in the possible path of on coming traffic, as I want others to know I have a situation that has me stopped or coming to a near stop. I will continue to use my brake lights to warn vehicles behind me that I’m slowing down.
I know this is a small item in life considered to bigger problems, I’m just exhausted by those who are driving mile after mile with flashers on when the vehicle behind them has already understood and has slowed themselves.
I believe in the age old inspiration which says: THINK