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Quick flick of high beams costs Alberta man $155
Published Thursday, November 9, 2017 5:21PM MST
Last Updated Thursday, November 9, 2017 6:30PM MST
A High River man says an Alberta sheriff gave him a ticket and a January court date for flashing his high beams as he passed by and believes he should have received a warning as he was just being a good neighbour.
Jeff McLenaghan was on his way home on Monday just after 9:00 p.m. and was driving northbound on Centre Street in the town when he saw a vehicle coming in the opposite direction.
He says he thought the vehicle had its high beams on so he flashed his high beams for a second to let the other driver know.
“There was a vehicle travelling southbound, I didn’t know who it was, what it was, but I thought it looked really bright, really bright, so that they had their high beams on so I did what, probably everybody else and their dog does, I did a quick flick about a tenth of a second, to my calculations, about two feet worth of high beamage and as the vehicle passed me, I realized that it was a sheriff,” said McLenaghan.
He says he continued on and had just turned into his driveway when the police vehicle pulled up behind him.
“He stopped me. I have a dash cam that actually, you can hear him say, ‘I stopped you because you high beamed me’ and then I gave him the reason why, I said, I high beamed you because I thought somebody, I didn’t know who it was, you or anybody else, had your high beams on so I was hoping that if I flashed you, you would shut them off and he said, ‘well those aren’t high beams, those are the low beams.”
McLenaghan says the officer asked for his driver’s licence and then went back to his cruiser.
The officer returned with a ticket and McLenaghan says he tried to explain his actions.
“I begged with him, I said I’ve got some health concerns right now, finances are the way they are, I’ve got some things I’m trying to work through, it’s a month before Christmas, this type of thing, is there anything you can do just to give me a heads up and he seemed bothered that I had flashed him in the beginning,” he said. “He wrote ‘failed to use low beams within 300 metres.’ Well, I had my low beams on, it wasn’t until I got up closer to him that I did a quick flash of the high beams, yet he still thought it was legitimate to give me a ticket.”
McLenaghan admits he broke the law but says education goes a long way and that he believes a warning would have been more appropriate.
“I just think that with a small town like this, that there’s the letter of the law and then there’s the spirit of the law and I think that if you’re really trying to do the community good, you know, with your fundraisers and things, you want the community to be involved and on your side and this type of thing, that you would use a little more discretion and give an opportunity to give someone a break,” he said. “I have a ticket for about a tenth of a second of breaking the law.”
He says he wants to get the word out so others know about the law and that he plans to fight the ticket.
CTV News reached out to Alberta Sheriffs but have not heard back.