"Smoking Granny" Beats Traffic Ticket - NBC 10 Philadelphia

"Smoking Granny" Beats Traffic Ticket



    "Smoking Granny" Beats Traffic Ticket
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    Flower power lives on for a Kentucky woman. 

    A New Jersey state trooper issued 62-year-old Lynda Farley with a $56 ticket as she drove through Warren County, N.J. last year.  The self-proclaimed  "Smoking Granny" was driving her minivan covered with political signs on Sept. 12, 2012 to her Edmonton, Ky. home from New York City's Sept. 11 ceremonies when she was cited for an obstructed view. 

    But New Jersey Judge Ann Bartlett dismissed the ticket Tuesday, saying a string of flowers bordering the windshield had not unduly intefered with Farley's vision. 

    However, Bartlett added, she wouldn't want her grandchildren walking behind Farley's so-called Liberty Van because of its blind spots and lack of view out the rearview mirror.

    Only the front windows and windshield of the Kentucky woman's 2004 Nissan Quest are free of signs and trinkets.  The rest of the vehicle is layered with stickers, snow globes, flowers, eagles and countless other decorations. 

    "This thing obviously makes a great billboard," she said.

    The Kentucky woman made the 800-mile drive back to northwestern New Jersey several times to fight the fine.  She tells Easton, Pa. newspaper The Express-Times it was worth it to protect her free speech rights.

    "If that isn't freedom of spech, we have no such thing," she said after the ruling.  "Besides that, my heart and soul is in it and I will defend that to the death."

    Farley said she has been issued tickets all over the country, including a seperate Pennsylvania incident for outfitting her van with Christmas lights. According to her attorney, she was also recently successfuly in appealing more than $3,000 worth of Pennsylvania fines regarding the lights.

    The Smoking Granny adds, she has never received a driving-infraction related ticket or been in an accident. 

    She says, "I'm not going to quit driving (the van)."