You're cruising down the road and spot a police officer parked just waiting to catch someone speeding. Trying to be a good samaritan, you flash your headlight to oncoming traffic to signal the speed trap ahead. Sound familiar? Most Michiganders view this as simply being courteous, but could this harmless act actually be illegal?

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It seems when you grab the little lever that turns your brights on and off and use it to "flash" those other drivers on the road you could actually be breaking the law, but only in some cases. Since the whole thing is based on an "it depends" kinda thing, we went right to the source for what's right and what's wrong...the Michigan Secretary of State.

Each year the SOS puts out the "bible" for driving in the state of Michigan. Inside the  "What Every Driver Must Know" booklet, the SOS addresses the basic guidelines of driving within the state including laws and restrictions. According to the SOS,

"It is illegal to use or even flash high-beam headlights within 500 feet of an oncoming vehicle. Also, dim your lights for pedestrians and cyclists."

Also, if you happen to be one of those who gives the lights a little flash when the person ahead of you in the passing lane is driving like a grandma on her way to church, you may want to hold back.

"Do not use your high beams when behind other vehicles", per the SOS.

Is There a Penalty for Flashing Your Headlights in Michigan?

So, if in fact you are pulled over for flashing your lights and violating Michigan law regarding the 500-foot distance rule you may have a penalty coming your way if it is deemed you were using your high beams inappropriately. Some people just forget their high beams are on, and you may be able t talk your way out of a ticket with a solid explanation. If not, the violation, which is considered a civil infraction, will carry a 2-point penalty for "improper use of lights/failure to dim".

To be honest, I don't know anyone that has ever received a ticket for driving with their high beams on or flashing their brights at another driver, but just to be safe you may want to "power down" from now on.

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Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

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