NMA Article: Driving News Roundup: July 21, 2016
This is a regular feature on the NMA Blog, where we highlight some of the most interesting driving news stories of the week.
Texas: City of Richardson Suspends Issuance of Red-Light Camera Violations Until Courts Provide Clarification on Program
The City of Richardson has suspended its “red-light camera” photo enforcement program effective immediately. The suspension will last until such time that clarification can be provided by a district court judge who ruled a red light violator was not liable for the civil penalty issued after a photographed violation.
Florida: 9 Investigates attorney general involvement in local red-light camera case
Attorney General Pam Bondi has entered the fight over Central Florida’s red-light camera program. A local driver, who is fighting a red-light camera ticket, said he was shocked when the highest law enforcement official in the state took an interest in his case. But court documents show that, in part, the motivation for Bondi is money.
California: Cerritos Abandons Red-Light Cameras
Red-light cameras have fallen on hard times in California. On Thursday the Cerritos city council decided in a 4 to 1 vote to join the growing ranks of municipalities that have pulled the plug on photo enforcement.
California: Solano residents can expect roads to decline
There are plenty of potholes and other problems scarring the local streets and roads – especially in the urban centers. With the wetter winter and spring, as well as a substantial decrease in maintenance funding, Solano County residents should expect to see more in the near future, transportation officials said. In fact, the general deterioration of area streets is expected to be significant.
Pennsylvania: Lawmakers move to expand, extend use of automated tickets
A bill on the governor’s desk would expand and extend the state’s red-light camera program. House lawmakers voted 146-43 on Monday, July 11, to advance a bill to Gov. Tom Wolf that covers traffic signals and the use of automated enforcement in the state. The Senate already approved the bill by a 45-5 vote.
Pennsylvania: Local police hope to use radar
Legislators backing a bill to allow local police to use radar to catch speeders hope it will be approved this year. Pennsylvania is the only state banning municipal police from using radar. Tom McCarey, a member of the National Motorists Association, a grassroots group advocating for fair traffic laws, says the bills have nothing to do with highway safety and believes special interest groups representing insurance carriers and radar and camera manufacturers are driving the bills.
Ohio: Judge Refuses To Garnish Speed Cameras From Scofflaw Town
New Miami, Ohio broke the law, but it will not have to face the sort of consequences that an ordinary motorist might face. Butler County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael A. Oster Jr on Thursday rejected an attempt to use garnishment to force the village to repay the cash it collected under an unlawful speed camera program.
New Jersey: Does it cost $2 million or $212K a mile to build roads
As the shutdown of New Jersey’s road, bridge and transit construction projects goes into a second week, readers continue to ask questions about how the state spends money from the Transportation Trust Fund. The money trail has brought more questions from readers than queries about the idled projects themselves.
Illinois: Driver’s ed classes could include traffic stop training
A traffic stop may seem simple. But it can sometimes be the most dangerous part of being an officer. That’s why lawmakers want to teach students how to talk to police if they’re stopped. A proposal would make it mandatory to learn in drivers education.
VW’s dirty diesels won’t meet U.S. air standards even after recall
Volkswagen Group’s $15.3 billion U.S. settlement for cheating on emissions tests fell short in one key respect: even after the cars are recalled and repaired they won’t be fully compliant with clean-air laws.
Texas: Speed limit dropped on US 281 through Marble Falls
Drivers on Highway 281 will need to watch their speed after some changes were made to the road. The speed limit decrease was approved in October 2015 by the Marble Falls City Council. The Texas Department of Transportation has installed new signs indicating the speed changes from the U.S. 281 bridge south to State Highway 71.
California: Targets, Indebts Poor People of Color for Big Profit
Not everyone who goes through traffic court is there for drunk driving or other dangerous behavior. Many are there for simply being too poor. A report by the civil legal aid group Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR) shows that rates of driver’s license suspensions due to unpaid traffic fines are significantly higher for Blacks and Latinos, particularly those in lower-income neighborhoods.
The Virginia Scheme That Punishes Poor People for Being Unable to Pay Petty Fines
In Virginia, more than 900,00 people have lost their driver’s licenses because they couldn’t pay the court fees associated with having them restored. That means that indigent people who may have been pulled over for the most minor of infractions can lose their license unless they pay stiff penalties.
New York: Litter Cameras Approved for Yorktown
The Town Board unanimously approved an amendment to the town code that will penalize motorists who are caught on camera littering. Under the amendment, cameras will be installed at littering “hot spots” throughout town. If the camera catches the license plate number of an offender, the owner of the vehicle will be fined, similar to the red-light camera laws used in some towns to detect speeding and failure to stop at right lights.
Takata Airbag Recall Worse Than Believed: 1 In 8 US Vehicles Affected, Report Finds
Far more people in the U.S. are affected by a massive recall of Takata airbags than Americans believe. Recalls of cars with the faulty Japanese airbags affect one in eight vehicles nationwide. The recall thus far has affected some 32 million vehicles from dozens of car brands. Yet very few people in the U.S. are aware their vehicle could be involved in the recall.
DC Restaurant Turns Rapidly Rising Speed Camera Tickets Into Free Meals
Washington, D.C., is issuing over half a million speed camera tickets a year, but a restaurant owner is turning the bureaucratic nightmare into discounts and free meals for frustrated drivers. The owner of the restaurant Caribbean Citations in southeast D.C. offers diners with a speed camera ticket a price discount on each menu item.
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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