Saturday, 1 August 2009

Don't Flash Your Headlights

This is one of the most common urban legends, and has been going around for quite some time. Every town in America has had this tale in circulation at one time or another.

One such example of this is an e-mail collected around 2005:

Subject: FW: Read & Heed

A police officer who works with the DARE Program has asked that this warning be passed on to anyone who drives: If you are driving after dark and see an oncoming car with NO headlights on -- DO NOT flash y our lights at them!!! This is a new GANG MEMBER INITIATION game!

The new member drives along with no headlights and the first car to flash their headlights at them is the "TARGET". The new member is required to chase the car and do whatever is required by the gang to complete the initiation requirements...


But is it true?

Gang initiations are very real, and crime is the major element, whether it's breaking into somewhere or assaulting a police officer (which happens quite frequently in initiation cases). The stories surrounding this particular urban legend started in the 1980's after it was claimed that Hell's Angels used this method of gang initiation. Since then, it's taken a life of its own and is now the stories usually involve black or hispanic gang members chasing down cars and shooting the occupants inside dead.

Is it true?

Fortunately, it's not. It's a bogus story which probably started off as a 'good intentions gone bad' fable, and quickly made its way across the world. So even though it's not true, I know lots of people still won't flash their headlights... just in case...

So take it from us...

This is an Urban Legend Revealed.