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NMA Speed Trap Spotlight: Iowa

Posted on April 28th, 2015 in , , | No Comments »

In March, the Iowa Department of Transportation shut down 10 of 34 speed cameras on or near Iowa’s major highways because they had no positive safety impact. Communities affected include Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Muscatine and Sioux City, and several have filed appeals to keep the cameras flashing. This is just the latest scuffle in what has become a lengthy battle over automated speed enforcement in the Hawkeye State. Note that many of the comments below from the highlighted speed trap towns reference abusive speed camera practices.

This information comes from the NMA’s National Speed Trap Exchange (, a unique website that gives drivers an opportunity to report on and exchange comments about predatory speed traps they have encountered on their travels. Read the rest of this article »

The Last Thunderbird

Posted on April 27th, 2015 in , | 3 Comments

By Eric Peters, Automotive Columnist

All of us know — or have heard about — the apparently healthy, successful person who one day just drops dead unexpectedly.

In a way, this is the story of the Thunderbird. For decades, it was one of Ford’s most successful models and the name remains an automotive icon.

But the car’s as dead as Rudolph Valentino. Read the rest of this article »

2015 Nissan Altima Review

Posted on April 24th, 2015 in , | No Comments »

By Eric Peters, Automotive Columnist

I’ve written before about the fact that federal fuel-economy mandates are subtly but significantly eroding away the choices available to consumers — and increasing the cost of the diminishing choices that remain. The ’15 Altima being a case in point.

At first glance, it’s what they call in the car biz a carryover — the same basic car as it was last year.

With one big (and expensive) exception. Read the rest of this article »

NMA Reboot: How Smart are “Smart Highways?”

Posted on April 23rd, 2015 in , , , , , | 2 Comments

This weekly post features recent news stories that highlight and update themes previously covered throughout NMA E-Newsletters and Alerts.

Editor’s Note: “Smart highways” that continually adapt to changing traffic conditions are taking hold across the globe. Such highways seek to optimize traffic flow by manipulating the operating parameters of the highway in real time. For example, speed limits can be lowered on the fly to adjust for a downstream accident. Shoulder lanes can be opened and closed to handle varying levels of congestion. But how well do they work? According to this first-hand account, they’re great for bogging down traffic but not much else. No surprise, since the point of smart highways has less to do with efficiency and more to do with command-and-control, as we described in this 2012 newsletter.   Read the rest of this article » Roundup: April 22, 2015

Posted on April 22nd, 2015 in , , , , , | No Comments »

Each Wednesday, we’ll publish quick summaries of the articles from the last week on We’re doing this because these articles are often strongly connected to the issues that National Motorists Association members are interested in.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
US Supreme Court Limits Drug Dog Use In Traffic Stops
Police may not drag out a traffic stop just to give a drug dog extra time to sniff a vehicle. Tuesday’s US Supreme Court decision rolled back lower court precedents that have afforded law enforcement greater flexibility in performing warrantless searches. Here, some of the court’s most liberal justices joined with conservatives in tightening the rules.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Federal Judge Finds No Injury From Redflex Bribery
Motorists in Chicago, Illinois cannot cite the federal bribery charges against top Redflex officials as a way to get out of paying a red-light camera ticket. US District Court Judge Amy J. St. Eve came to that tentative conclusion earlier this month after Matthew G. Falkner challenged the automated ticket he received in the mail based on a photograph of his Infiniti taken on January 19, 2013. Falkner argued that paying the fine would reward the illegal activities of Redflex. Read the rest of this article »

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