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.
Washington: City charges public $670 to exercise constitutional right
Red-light camera ticket recipients in Tacoma, Washington are being told they need to buy $30 meals and $114 hotel rooms for employees of an Australian company if they want to exercise their rights under the Sixth Amendment. A motorist had gone to the courthouse to gather information to use to defend himself and found out he was supposed to pay a total of $670 in travel expenses for an employee of Redflex Traffic Systems if he wanted to confront the witnesses against him.
California: Murrieta red-light cameras to go dark Dec. 14
Murrieta’s red-light cameras will be turned off Dec. 14, but the cameras will stay up pending the results of a court case. The results of last month’s election, in which Murrieta residents voted 57 percent to 43 percent to ban traffic cameras, were officially accepted by the City Council on Tuesday, Dec. 4. Measure N will be law in 10 days, at which point, unless the courts intervene, the cameras will go dark.
New York: NYC accused of rigging red lights in class-action suit
New York City is facing a class-action lawsuit, accused of rigging the lights to catch more drivers and write more tickets. By federal law, drivers have to have enough time to get through a yellow light — three seconds at the typical 30-mile-per-hour intersection. Back in October, engineers discovered that at some city intersections with the cameras, the yellow lights were almost a half-second too fast.
New Jersey: Red-light camera program has failed to make intersections safer
A new report from the New Jersey Department of Transportation confirms what many opponents of red-light camera ticketing systems have long suspected: Cameras lead to more accidents, more injuries and greater cost.
Illinois: Chicago speed camera testing begins today
The City of Chicago’s test of speed cameras began today at four locations around the city. The test, which begins December 3rd and runs through January 3rd, is for the two finalist automated camera enforcement companies in the city’s speed camera bid process, to show off their respective technologies over the next 30 days. All cameras during the testing phase will be taken down after the test period has finished.
AAA calls on US government to suspend E15 gasoline sales
AAA has released a statement urging government regulators to postpone the sale of E15 gasoline until more consumers can be educated on the fuel. According to the organization, 95 percent of drivers polled have never heard of the fuel, which is a blend of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent traditional gasoline. Only around 12 million of the 240 million light duty vehicles on the road today are approved for E15, and using the fuel in many vehicles could void their warranties.
Florida: Negron proposal would keep state, local agencies from using drones for most investigations
Negron has been no stranger to combating privacy concerns. He disagrees with red-light traffic cameras and dislikes when driver’s licenses are swiped to verify voter eligibility. Negron said that although lawsuits nationwide accuse some community law enforcement of using drones, he’s not aware of Florida outfits using them.
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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