Van driver protests WV state code in favor of free speech - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Van driver protests WV state code in favor of free speech

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Wherever Lynda Farley goes, she gets the same reaction: an expression between shock and amusement.

Farley drives the "Liberty Van"--it's traveled to 48 states over the past 7 years. Her ornate decorations detail her every political opinion (she describes herself as a conservatarian).

On Wednesday, her vehicle brought her to some place very new.

"They took me over to the jail, made me take my boot off, so they could put a shackle around my leg, they shackled me to a cot," Farley said.

According to the criminal complaint, Farley appeared in Preston County Court on Wednesday after receiving a ticket in February. Deputies said they pulled her over in Kingwood on three different occasions because of the pink lights draped around the vehicle.

A West Virginia code states that drivers on the highway can only display white and amber lights that can be seen from the front center of the vehicle.

Farley said she's received at least a dozen other related tickets in various states.

"I detest turning off my lights," Farley said. "I feel like I'm giving up my freedom of speech."

Deputies said when Farley appeared in magistrate court on Wednesday, she refused to comply with a signature bond that required her to keep the pink lights turned off. That's when they took her to jail, holding her in custody on $2,500 bond.

Farley posted bond Wednesday. On Thursday, she was traveling through Charleston on her way to Kentucky, where she lives.

She said she feels like this state code violates her freedom of speech--especially when she claims her van gives people across the country so much joy.

"Golly, some of them are really enthusiastic, I made their day, I made their week, thank you for doing this, thank you for your work, "Farley said.

Some people gawking at the 'Liberty Van' on Thursday said they think the vehicle only presents on hazard: a distraction.

"People might get distracted when they're driving down the interstate, but we have enough distractions we need to learn to get over," said Leslie Gallian, of Charleston.

Deputies said they expect Farley to reappear in court in June to face other misdemeanor charges.