NMA Article: Driving News Roundup: July 7, 2016
This is a regular feature on the NMA Blog, where we highlight some of the most interesting driving news stories of the week.
California: Judge Finds Yellow Times Too Short At Camera Intersection
Officials in Los Alamitos, California will soon have to decide whether they will refund red-light camera tickets illegally issued in the city. Last week, Orange County Superior Court Commissioner Lyle J. Robertson dismissed nineteen red-light camera tickets because the city was caught shortchanging motorists on yellow signal timing.
New Jersey: Will Christie reveal which road projects will shut down?
Motorists who traveled in New Jersey over the holiday weekend were spared a sharp increase in gas prices because Gov. Chris Christie and the state Senate have yet to agree on a plan to raise the state’s gas tax to pay for transportation projects.
Ruling on blood, Breathalyzer splits the Fourth Amendment
As drivers were warned numerous times over the July 4 holiday weekend, driving drunk not only is dangerous and could kill people, but also brings severe penalties. Just before the holiday, the U.S. Supreme Court cleared up what penalties can be imposed on those suspected of drunk driving.
Caltrans: pay by the mile program seeks to balance enforcement, privacy, equity
Roughly 5,000 drivers became the state’s first guinea pigs on Friday to test out a new revenue pilot program meant to replace the gas tax. Rather than paying at the pump, the pay-by-the-mile program offers volunteers six different ways to report their mileage and pay for using state roads. Though no actual money will be exchanged between the volunteers and the state, the pilot will give Caltrans valuable insight into whether a road charge program is a viable way to generate revenue.
Texas: TxDOT takes first step toward paying off toll roads
In between legislatures, the state is working to see what it would take to pay off all of its toll roads as defined in HB 2612. TxDOT will not only look at which tolls can be bought out, but the effects of doing so. They’ll be talking with multiple planning organizations to see if any of their future road projects would be affected.
Michigan: MDOT hopes to make roads safer for older drivers
The Michigan Department of Transportation and Western Michigan University collaborated on experimenting with different ways to improve roads and road signs for older drivers. One thing they’ve done to help those drivers, officials said, are trying different fonts on signs to make them easier to read while driving. They’ve also added timers to crosswalk crossing signals and directional arrows to each lane so drivers know where each lane will take them.
North Carolina: Some speed limits in Elizabeth City improperly set
More than 400 streets in Elizabeth City have speed limits of 25 mph that weren’t properly set under state law. The Daily Advance of Elizabeth City reports that officials discovered the problem after City Council asked if the citywide speed limit could be lowered to 25 mph.
Texas: Houston-area residents mobilize against new $165 million toll road
Nearly 100 Grimes County residents and landowners gathered in the gymnasium at Navasota Junior High School last week to voice their displeasure with a proposed 15-mile toll road that would cut through the county and disturb numerous properties.
NHTSA projects 7.7% increase in 2015 fatalities; large truck fatalities forecast to be up 4%
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday that a statistical projection of traffic fatalities shows that an estimated 35,200 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2015, representing an increase of about 7.7 percent as compared to the 32,675 fatalities that were reported to have occurred in 2014. Although it did not give sub-category predictions in raw numbers, NHTSA said it is projecting that fatalities involving large trucks will show an increase of 4 percent in 2015.
California: S.F. Officials Backpedal on ‘New’ Traffic Safety Initiatives
San Francisco’s top transportation official is conceding that dozens of “new” traffic safety initiatives — measures Mayor Ed Lee announced amid demands for action after two cyclists died in hit-and-run crashes last week — are not so new after all.
Tesla Autopilot death highlights autonomous risks
The first reported death involving Tesla’s Autopilot feature raises troubling questions about how much more progress proponents of self-driving cars must achieve before they can be operated without constant driver awareness.
Are self-driving cars the next crime frontier?
While autonomous vehicle enthusiasts gush about the technology’s positive potential, Russian experts are raising fears that self-driving cars will be used to commit crime.
U.S. tells certain 2001-03 Honda owners to stop driving
U.S. officials warned owners of certain 2001-03 Honda and Acura vehicles to stop driving their cars, citing new data showing the vehicles’ Takata airbag inflators have as much as a 50 percent chance of exploding in a crash.
Happy birthday, Interstate Highway System!
This week marks the 60th anniversary of the Interstate Highway System, the network of major federally-funded roadways approved by President Dwight D. Eisenhower back on June 29, 1956. Since then, the system has expanded to be 46,876 miles long, linking nearly every sizable town or city in the country.
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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