Can you get arrested for warning drivers of a speed trap? Yes.

A Texas man was arrested for alerting oncoming motorists of a speed trap, under a law that aims to curb displaying business signs on public property. 

LM Otero/AP/File
Traffic stacks up on a highway in Dallas. Law enforcement officials in Frisco, Texas arrested a man for alerting oncoming motorists of the discreet enforcement via a 'police ahead' sign.

Is warning of a speed trap ahead—by holding a sign and standing in the median of a highway—a misdemeanor?

That's what Ron Martin was charged with when local law enforcement in Frisco, Texas, arrested him for alerting oncoming motorists of the discreet enforcement via a “police ahead” sign.

A law aims to curb those from holding business signs on public property, although Martin says that doesn't apply to him as he's not operating as a business or aiming to profit from the venture. 

Curiously, the man also says that he's not opposed to the idea of speed traps, and says that his behavior had the same (theoretical) motivations—to get drivers to slow down. 

Most municipalities already warn in a general sense, via signs, usually at city limits, of traffic-law and speed enforcement; and some states have decided that it's legal for motorists to give alerts to others—in primitive form via headlights, for instance, or through more sophisticated electronic information via apps like Trapster.

The man's case is headed to a municipal court. Based on local reports, it's unclear if the motivations of this man and the arresting officers are as straightforward as said. How and to what degree can we inform others about 'hidden' speed enforcement?

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.