NMA Article: Driving News Roundup: June 16, 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: Trading Fuel Taxes for Mileage Charges
Since well before the Beach Boys dreamed up their classic driving anthem “I Get Around,” Americans have been paying extra at the pump to help maintain public roads. Now California—a favored state for road-trippers and freight-haulers—wants to raise more money for its roads. In July, it will launch a pilot program called California Road Charge, in which 5,000 volunteer drivers will test out a system that simulates charging fees based on mileage instead of fuel.
North Carolina: Transportation secretary says canceling I-77 toll project, finishing lanes could cost $800M
A bill to kill the I-77 toll lane project is currently in a Senate transportation committee. House Bill 954 passed the house with overwhelming support. It would command state transportation officials to cancel the contract for the I-77 tolls. It could cost $800 million to cancel the Interstate 77 toll lane contract and to finish the road project. That’s $500 million more than state auditor’s original estimate in 2015.
Florida: Taking a toll
Viewed from above, the traffic builds throughout the morning like ants drawn to sugar. Commuters travel to work. Visitors explore beaches. Toll collectors pleasantly snatch dollar bills, or overhead scanners silently debit funds from drivers’ accounts. The trail of cars moves along. One transaction at a time, millions of dollars become county funds.
New Hampshire Backs Down On Driver Privacy
New Hampshire once had the strongest protections in the nation for the privacy of its drivers. State officials were explicitly prohibited from participating in any way with national licensing databases, and neither photo enforcement nor automated license plate readers (ALPR, also known as ANPR) could be used, with the exception of license plate readers on toll roads. Governor Maggie Hassan (D) set a different course last month as she signed legislation eliminating these protections.
Michigan: Detroit is America’s most dangerous city for drivers
No doubt about it, city driving is a pain–and it can be dangerous, too. Which U.S. cities are the most dangerous? We’re glad you asked. And so, without further ado, America’s most dangerous cities for drivers are:
California: LAPD Unable to Enforce Speed Limits Due to Budget Cuts
By law, the Department of Transportation must survey city streets to determine what the speed limit should be and if they have been surveyed, then officers are able to use laser guns to enforce that limit. If there is no survey, it renders the radar useless. Police say that 75 percent of the streets in the entire city are now expired.
Florida: New red-light cameras costing more for city of Orlando
Orlando will soon start citing drivers who are caught running red lights with the help of new cameras and the new red light program is forcing the city to add more resources. Orange County also approved a plan to expand its red-light camera program. However, county officials said that’s on hold for now because of pending litigation in court.
Texas: Appeals Court Rejects Challenge To Implied Consent Law
Requiring motorists to undergo a breath test at a police officer’s request does not offend due process or the constitution, according to a ruling handed down last week by the Texas Court of Appeals. A three-judge panel weighed five arguments John Andrew Rankin posed in a failed attempt to strike down the state’s implied consent statute.
Illinois: Towing abuse bill under review by Rauner
A state bill that has passed both the House and the Senate would, among other things, make it a felony punishable by prison time for a tow truck driver to stop at the scene of a damaged or broken-down car to solicit business unless called by the vehicle’s owner, the police or an insurer or motor club. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is reviewing the bill.
Texas: Houston students must wear seatbelts on buses that provide them
HISD announced on Twitter Thursday evening students will be required to wear 3-point seatbelts on buses that provide them. The new rule will be added to HISD’s Code of Student Conduct. It is not clear what consequences students may face for not wearing the cross-body belts. However, a majority of Houston school buses that do have safety belts only have lap belts and students would only be “encouraged” to use them.
Iowa: Grassley proposes widespread civil forfeiture reform
A system that allows the government to seize personal property without proving it was obtained through criminal activity would face a massive overhaul under a bill to be introduced Thursday by Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley.
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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