NMA Article: Driving News Roundup: July 28, 2016
This is a regular feature on the NMA Blog, where we highlight some of the most interesting driving news stories of the week.
Illinois: Cars seized in crimes generate lucrative income for police, governments
When a Plainfield man was convicted earlier this year of DUI in Naperville, authorities sought to seize the 2007 Infinity G35 he was driving at the time and award it to the Naperville Police Department. While ultimately unsuccessful – the car’s title was in his wife’s name – some might be surprised the effort was made at all, mistakenly believing the state’s forfeiture law applies only to vehicles seized in drug cases.
Blacks are more likely to be killed by police, but that’s because they’re more likely to be stopped, study says
When African Americans and Latinos are stopped and questioned by police, they are no more likely to be killed or seriously injured than are white people drawn into similar encounters with the police, says a new study. But African Americans and Latinos — especially men — are far more likely than are non-Latino whites to be stopped and questioned by police, the new research finds.
VW diesel emissions settlement approved by U.S. judge
A federal judge on Tuesday granted preliminary approval for a $10 billion settlement in which Volkswagen AG will offer to buy back up to 475,000 polluting 2.0 liter diesel-powered vehicles.
To Reduce Bias, Some Police Departments Are Rethinking Traffic Stops
Though it’s his job to enforce the law, the police chief of Hamden, Conn. is not so sure about the laws on defective equipment. Officers can use these stops to look for things like guns and drugs, but if an officer finds one illegal gun in 20 stops, is that effective? There’s also another question: Are they fair?
NMA Discovers Virginia Town Destroyed Required Red-Light Camera Records
Virginia law requires that municipalities formally consider alternatives to red-light cameras before they are allowed to install the devices. When Joe Bahen, a licensed traffic engineer representing the National Motorists Association, asked the city of Virginia Beach if he could take a look at the formal documentation of these engineering reviews, he was shocked to learn that the evidence had been deleted.
Florida: Express lane tolls: The sky’s the limit
In 2008, the state opened 7 miles of express lanes on Interstate 95 near Miami, and drivers paid as little as 25 cents and as much as $7 to use them. But in 2014, the maximum price rose to its current $10.50 because of more traffic on the road.
Idaho: Eliminating the ‘trap’
Is it a speed trap if you know where the cops will be waiting? It’s the “trap” part of that question that led the Coeur d’Alene Police Department to change its approach to monitoring traffic infractions. As of July 13, officers’ locations are posted in advance on the department’s Facebook page.
Pennsylvania: Senate bills would expand use of automated ticketing, radar
Is high-tech enforcement on the roads a boost for safety or just a way for Pennsylvania to raise revenues? The question was once again raised Wednesday when Gov. Tom Wolf signed Senate Bill 1267, which extends the state’s red-light camera program to 2027.
Are traffic enforcement cameras worth the effort? (NMA featured)
While law enforcement officials say that the cameras take pressure off of police, opponents view them as little more than revenue generators for municipalities, and dangerous ones at that.
Wisconsin: Red-Light and Speed Cameras Proposed for Milwaukee
A Milwaukee Alderman is hoping to reduce accidents, and increase city revenue, by installing red light cameras across the city.
Government abandons 54.5-mpg CAFE standard
Not for lack of trying, but the US auto industry isn’t going to hit the government’s 54.5-mile-per-gallon fleet average fuel economy target. While the industry has made dramatic strides to improve its fleet-wide efficiency, it’s the American consumer’s infatuation with pickups, SUVs, and crossovers in the face of affordable gas that’s sinking fuel-sipping efforts.
California: Traffic Amnesty License Suspension Program Up 20%
California courts have resolved 132,879 delinquent infraction and misdemeanor accounts and sent 104,105 requests to the state Department of Motor Vehicles to lift holds on driver’s licenses since the traffic amnesty program began in October 2015. The latest reporting period—ending April 30, 2016—shows a 20 percent increase from the first report ending December 31, 2015. The latest figures come from 56 of the state’s 58 courts.
Car-hacking has the industry’s highest level of attention, conference shows
If the 500-strong crowd at the Billington Global Automotive Cybersecurity Summit is any indication, cybersecurity now has the automobile industry’s undivided attention. The message from speaker after speaker was simple: Global security threats are rising, and if industry, government and law enforcement don’t combine forces to counter those threats, the advances being made in connected and autonomous vehicles could be set back years.
Maryland: Slow drivers in left lane could get ticketed
Driving slowly in the left lane isn’t just annoying, it may be illegal. It’s the height of the summer travel season, with millions of people heading to vacation destinations, and most of them are in a hurry to get there. So it can be frustrating if a slow driver in the left lane impedes progress.
Florida: Business owners believe toll bridge keeps employees away
The Mid-bay Bridge is the quickest route from north Okaloosa County to Destin. If you take the toll road too, the cost balloons from $4 to $6 dollars each way. That is quite literally taking its toll on merchants and their employees.
Minnesota: Study Finds No Benefit To Work Zone Speed Cams
Several states, including Maryland and Illinois, deploy speed cameras in highway “work zones” claiming that their use will reduce accidents. A Minnesota Department of Transportation (DOT) study released at the beginning of the year found no evidence that speed cameras had any positive impact on driver behavior and awareness.
To see more stories like the ones above, check out our NMA Driving News site. Each weekday we update the site with news stories that are interesting and/or informative for drivers like you.
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