Federal judge sides with "Honk for Peace" activists

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

A federal judge agrees with anti-war protesters that having passing motorists honk their horns is a protected form of free speech.

U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood ruled Thursday that the city of Ferndale must stop its practice of arresting peace protesters who encourage passing motorists to honk in support, and of ticketing motorists who honk.

Police started cracking down on the honking in 2006. They say it creates a distraction for motorists and could put pedestrians in harm's way.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan filed the federal lawsuit in April 2007 on behalf of five individuals, three of whom were ticketed or arrested by Ferndale police.

Calls to Ferndale officials weren't answered after business hours Friday.

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