The question has been asked and answered, is flashing your headlights to warn another driver to slow down legal or illegal in New York State? According to, it is legal to flash your headlights to warn oncoming traffic that a speed trap is ahead, or for any other reason.

What is illegal however, is an officer stopping a vehicle based upon the driver flashing his or her high beams. Now, what does it mean to see 3 flashes from headlights?

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There are a number of different signals sent as we drive on the roads of New York, some official, some not-so-much. For example, there is the one finger salute, the friendly Jeep wave and the hand signals bikers use to make turns but what does it mean when you see 3 flashes of headlights?

As I was scrolling through Instagram recently I watched a reel by n28trc on this very topic. Some of the guesses were an 'all clear' to enter the lane, thank you for letting me enter the lane and take the next exit. Possible but not what we are looking for.

Getty Images
Getty Images

Let's say that you are in one vehicle and a loved one is in a different vehicle on the same roadway. Flashing your headlights 3 times is to say "I love you" to them. The response? 4 taps of the brake lights to say "I love you too".

Is this urban legend? The latest TikTok trend? As long as it's legal, it doesn't matter. It's just nice to tell someone you love them.

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