Universal symbol for TURN YOUR LIGHTS ON

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 30, 2010 8:03 PM GMT
    How many of you don't know that when someone in a car passes by you and flips their headlights on and off, that means you should probably put your lights on too? Snowy conditions out there and overcast now and surprised how many people just don't get it. Maybe it's a North/South thing.

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    Jan 30, 2010 8:21 PM GMT
    nah its pretty much universal.... i've seen it used on 3 continents....
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    Jan 30, 2010 8:29 PM GMT
    Actually, it can also be a warning about a road hazard ahead, or a police speed trap. I had a guy flash his headlights at me during the day last week, and it was to signal me to turn around because the road was blocked ahead.

    Nice gesture, except I had no idea which of several messages he might be sending me. I certainly wasn't going to reverse direction at that point, seeing no problem at the moment. So I drove on, until road signs gave me ample warning, and I did have to stop and turn around.

    But if someone flashes their headlights at me at night, I will check mine. And I'll flash at others, but they rarely get the message and keep driving with their lights off.

    BTW, as Military Police directing traffic in the US Army, we sometimes had to signal to the drivers of tactical vehicles, like tanks, to turn on their headlights as a standard safety precaution when operating on public roads. And we'd point to their headlights with one arm, and gesture to our eyes with our other hand, since the engine & track noise usually made verbal commands impossible. And interestingly that was always understood, despite some of the drivers being novices, and to my knowledge that gesture wasn't taught in tactical driver courses at the time.
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    Jan 31, 2010 3:11 AM GMT
    I blame it on the damn 'daytime driving lights' where the car has some small light out front and the dashboard lights are on, making the driver think he has his headlights on. Shouldn't be allowed. Make the dash lights stay off until the switch is flipped on
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    Been flipped the bird before for pointing out by the above method the lights are off. So what. No skin off my ass.

    "Told" a guy the other day with a legal pad and magic marker that he had no brake lights at all (this was daytime) and his passenger flipped me the finger. I blew him a kiss.
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    Jan 31, 2010 3:16 AM GMT
    urban legend or no?

    if u flash ur lights at an unlit car it may run u off the road due to gang initiations?
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    Jan 31, 2010 3:16 AM GMT
    Haven't any of you ever heard of the urban legend involving flashing headlights and gang initiations. Here it is:


    A group or gang members either new or preparing to become full members have to prove themselves by beating the crap out of someone or killing them. So the group will drive around at night with their headlights turned off. The first person to flash them to signal to turn on their lights has now become their target.

    The group will follow that car and when given the chance run them off the road or follow them out and beat/rob/kill them.


    So maybe you want to be careful who you flashing your lights too!!!
    Part of the legend points out specific dates, but I can't remember what they are.




    Of course this is just an urban legend. I don't think it's really happened anywhere
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    Jan 31, 2010 3:19 AM GMT
    Forget people having the lights off, how about those that like to use their brights when they are right behind you.
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    Jan 31, 2010 3:19 AM GMT
    I knew that was going to come up. so.....


    www.Snopes.com for all things Urban Bullsh....um legends.


    http://www.snopes.com/crime/gangs/lightsout.asp
  • ScotXY

    Posts: 117

    Jan 31, 2010 3:32 AM GMT
    whosyourpaddy saidurban legend or no?

    if u flash ur lights at an unlit car it may run u off the road due to gang initiations?


    Its actually nota urban legend this was actually happening in Colorado LA SFO and Chicago in mid 90's to early 2000.

    When Bloods Cripts and few other gangs were prominent.

    So i think its funny you call it an urban legend. When its happened to uc police and gang units thru out that time period.

    I really do appreciate your opinion. Because normally I don't see you call stuff out. Normally you are spot on.

    Further people know if their lights are not on. So really you dont have to tell them. They cant see they turn them on lol. Its really nice gesture.

  • jrs1

    Posts: 4388

    Jan 31, 2010 3:34 AM GMT
    Fable saidnah its pretty much universal.... i've seen it used on 3 continents....


    well, are not you special? also: repeated flashes more than likely means to slow down, a police officer is nearby.
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    Jan 31, 2010 3:43 AM GMT
    I hate day-time running lights. I think they've helped with the dummification of the automobile driver.

    I see cars all the time in heavy rainstorms driving along with nothing but their DRL's, which typically means, they have low-low front beams on and no tailights. Same thing in heavy fog and the few times we get snow in these parts.

    I recently bought my Mom a new car without DRL's. Her previous car had them and she is telling me now that several times she's had cars "blink their lights" @ her to remind her she's driving without her lights on.

    However, there is one feature in my new truck, I really thought was a good idea....you can program your front/tail lights to come on automatically if you turn on your wipers.
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    Jan 31, 2010 3:44 AM GMT
    SCOTXY said
    whosyourpaddy saidurban legend or no?

    if u flash ur lights at an unlit car it may run u off the road due to gang initiations?


    Its actually nota urban legend this was actually happening in Colorado LA SFO and Chicago in mid 90's to early 2000.

    When Bloods Cripts and few other gangs were prominent.

    So i think its funny you call it an urban legend. When its happened to uc police and gang units thru out that time period.

    I really do appreciate your opinion. Because normally I don't see you call stuff out. Normally you are spot on.

    Further people know if their lights are not on. So really you dont have to tell them. They cant see they turn them on lol. Its really nice gesture.



    Read the snopes post dude


    It's just an urban legend. It has never really happened anywhere or at least that notion cannot be verified. I heard this happened in the city I grew up in as well...but it didn't, it's just an urban myth like Heidi Montag
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    Jan 31, 2010 3:45 AM GMT
    smalltownboy said
    ..you can program your front/tail lights to come on automatically if you turn on your wipers.


    THAT should be mandatory! Not an option.Too many morons are allowed to drive. icon_wink.gif
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    Jan 31, 2010 3:58 AM GMT
    Buffyfan84 saidForget people having the lights off, how about those that like to use their brights when they are right behind you.


    or on front of you! I HATE it when that happens. I flash my lights at them at first, then keep my brights on too till we pass each other. If they're unaware that their brights are on it's fine. But if they're just putting their brights on just so they can see better and don't care about oncoming traffic or any vehicle in front of them, that's just very insensitive. Argh!
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    Jan 31, 2010 4:04 AM GMT
    I thought the universal symbol for turn your lights on was a ticket ... icon_wink.gif
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    Jan 31, 2010 4:08 AM GMT
    jrs1 said
    Fable saidnah its pretty much universal.... i've seen it used on 3 continents....


    well, are not you special? also: repeated flashes more than likely means to slow down, a police officer is nearby.


    well, are you not bitchy today spence. What's got up your fanny? A gerbil?
  • barriehomeboy

    Posts: 2475

    Jan 31, 2010 4:12 AM GMT
    When I flash my highbeams at some asshoe coming at me, it means they have their highbeams on. That's the universal Canadian headlight flash. The seondary flash is, there's a radar trap up ahead. Depends how stupid you are how you make use of that information.
  • Celticmusl

    Posts: 4330

    Jan 31, 2010 4:15 AM GMT
    When another car flashes their lights at me I always figured they were hitting on me. This statement may belong in another thread.
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    Jan 31, 2010 4:16 AM GMT
    I knew thaticon_biggrin.gif

    But it also means when big rig trucks want to change lanes in front of you, you flash your head lights giving them the ok to do so. My dad was an independant operator for a few years and he taught me both reasons to flash someone(head lights I meanicon_biggrin.gif)

    ps: I live in L.A., we don't have snow to worry abouticon_smile.gif
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    Jan 31, 2010 4:25 AM GMT
    here, it means speed traps/cop with speed gun ahead