This is a weekly feature on the NMA Blog, running each Friday, where we highlight seven of the most interesting driving news stories of the week.
California: Woman files $1.7 billion parking meter lawsuit
The City of Santa Monica, California began installing the next generation of “smart” parking meters in April of this year. Using cellular networks and mobile phone technology, drivers can locate open spaces to park. A local resident has now filed a $1.7 billion lawsuit claiming the cell network the parking meters use to operate, are making her ill. Specifically, she got an ear infection back in May, just after the “smart” meters went in.
Washington D.C.: Stop sign cameras in D.C.’s future?
D.C. already snaps photos of drivers going over the speed limit and running red lights. Now, the city could become one of the first places in the country using cameras at stop signs. A D.C. council task force is reviewing city plans to extend automated traffic cameras — and camera fines — to several more circumstances that would raise a total of $80 million per year beginning late next year.
Nationwide poll reveals top U.S. and Canadian speed traps
In the spirit of election season, the National Motorists Association (NMA) has conducted its own public polling to identify the worst speed trap locations across the United States and Canada. The NMA analyzed the most recent five years of data from its website The National Speed Trap Exchange, which lists tens of thousands of chronic speed traps in the United States and Canada and includes descriptive commentary about each listing.
License plates scanned at border, data shared with car insurance group
As public scrutiny continues to mount against the use of license plate readers (LPRs) across the country, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has now released government documents showing that such data, which includes precise GPS location, date, and timestamps, in addition to the plate in question, are shared with an auto insurance umbrella organization.
US: Photo enforcement market becoming less profitable
As an increasing number of cities decide to drop the use of red-light cameras and speed cameras, the photo enforcement vendors are beginning to feel the pinch. The second-largest provider of automated ticketing machines, Redflex Traffic Systems, admitted Thursday to Australian Securities Exchange investors that the firm’s profit in North America has slipped 10.1 percent in the past twelve months.
Canada: Toronto city councillor tweets location of speed trap
Tweeting the location of a police speed trap isn’t illegal, but the ethics of the practice aren’t as clear cut — especially when it’s a city councillor doing the tweeting. On Tuesday evening, Toronto city councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong tweeted the location of a speed trap in the city’s east end.
Louisiana: Henderson cops used ticket quotas to rake in the cash
A speed trap operated on Interstate 10 garnered the Town of Henderson about $2.4 million in fines and forfeitures in three years, over 80 percent of the town’s revenues, according to the Louisiana Office of Inspector General. To accomplish this, the Henderson Police Department allegedly established a quota for traffic citations and paid officers based on the number of citations issued, violations of state law.
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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