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National Motorists Association Blog Roundup: July 30, 2014

Posted on July 30th, 2014 in , , , , , , , | No Comments » Roundup: July 30, 2014
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, July 30, 2014
US Senate Rejects Diminished Federal Transportation Role
The US Senate on Tuesday voted 79 to 18 to pass a modified version of the stop-gap measure providing funding for federal transportation projects that cleared the House earlier this month. The upper chamber rejected a plan offered by Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) with a 28 to 69 vote that would have phased out the system where gas tax funds collected at the state level are sent to Washington and then redistributed to the states with strings attached.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Illinois: Chicago Red-Light Camera Spotlight Expands
The world’s largest municipal red-light camera, beset by a $2 million bribery scandal, is facing renewed scrutiny from the public and investigators. On Friday, the inspector general for the city of Chicago, Illinois announced a formal inquiry into the photo ticketing program in the wake of blockbuster reporting from the Chicago Tribune newspaper. Read the rest of this article »

NMA Speed Trap Spotlight: Michigan

Posted on July 29th, 2014 in , , | No Comments »

NMA Speed Trap Spotlight: Michigan
Michigan boasts one of the most notorious speed trap hot spots in the country: the area immediately surrounding the Detroit Municipal Wayne County Airport. In fact, three of the top five speed traps in the state, all in the city of Romulus, ring the airport. Also note that the city’s ex-police chief, Michael St. Andre, recently pleaded guilty to charges of embezzlement, misconduct in office and conducting a criminal enterprise. One wonders if the predatory traffic enforcement will subside.

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 »

Inflation and Oil Changes

Posted on July 28th, 2014 in | 2 Comments

Inflation and Oil Changes
By Eric Peters, Automotive Columnist

They tell us inflation — the benign-sounding word used to euphemize the deliberate devaluation of our money by simply creating new money (pieces of paper) out of thin air and flooding the economy with it — is “only” running about 2 percent of so annually.

If so, why has the cost of a quart of oil gone up by, oh several hundred percent? Read the rest of this article »

2014 Toyota RAV4 Review

Posted on July 25th, 2014 in , | No Comments »

2014 Toyota RAV4 Review
By Eric Peters, Automotive Columnist

Toyota’s got these TV commercials featuring the Muppets, who assert the vehicles aren’t boring.

But is boring bad?

What if boring works? Read the rest of this article »

Devaluing Probable Cause

Posted on July 24th, 2014 in | No Comments »

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

Editor’s Note: In June 2010, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that an officer standing roadside could visually estimate the speed of a moving vehicle with enough accuracy that said observation could be used as evidence to convict the driver of speeding. The reaction by the NMA—articulated by our national email alert (shown in its entirety below)—and other civil rights groups was swift and pointed. Within weeks, Ohio legislators drafted a bill to prohibit the unproven ability to visually estimate vehicle speed as the basis for a traffic ticket. The legislation nullifying the state supreme court ruling was subsequently enacted and added to Section 4511.091 of Ohio’s Revised Code.  

Four years later, we now have another example of a deeply flawed enforcement “tool” that can be used to scan passing vehicles for evidence of alcohol content in the cabin air. This smells of probable cause manufactured literally out of thin air. This NMA Driving News story notes that the development of laser technology to do just that is in its early stages. False readings can be introduced by open or tinted windows, air conditioning running in the car, or even the breathing of a passenger. If state courts move toward giving judicial notice—instant validity—to laser detection of airborne alcohol content in vehicles, expect a similar response to that mounted in Ohio in 2010.  Read the rest of this article »

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