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.
Illinois: Redflex share value tumbles as Chicago, Illinois contract threatened
Australian investors panicked yesterday as Redflex Traffic Systems admitted they had been caught by the Chicago Tribune newspaper having committed a serious ethical violation. As the news arrived down under, Redflex shares tumbled 14 percent to $1.76 — a low not seen since the beginning of the year. The lousy performance of the red-light camera company in 2012 is hitting the firm’s executives in the pocketbook.
Australia: Former road safety official questions speed emphasis
Road safety officials had their priorities challenged as they gathered at the Australian Institute of Traffic Planning and Management annual conference Thursday. The man responsible for road safety in the western region of New South Wales in the 1990s, presented data that suggests the industry’s current obsession with speed enforcement is making roads less safe than they would otherwise be.
Texas: DOT adding thousands of left lane passing signs to highways with 75 mph or higher limit
Thousands of new signs are going up to remind drivers in Texas of “Left Lane for Passing Only” laws on highways with 75 mph or higher speed limits. The Texas Department of Transportation on Friday announced plans to post about 3,400 additional signs by next summer in a renewed safety effort.
Georgia: Lawmakers considering changes in traffic enforcement
Legislators, judges, lawyers and cops are spending the fall debating proposals for removing criminal penalties and jail time for some traffic offenses as a way to save taxpayers money on court costs. Among the proposals being kicked around are versions of ideas tried in 14 other states in which drivers simply pay a fine, maybe even online, without the fear of going to jail for certain infractions like a broken taillight or crossing a yellow line.
Florida: School buses caught on tape
While drivers for the city and county haven’t fallen prey to red-light cameras, at least two school bus drivers have been recorded blowing through intersections. However, school officials say taxpayers wouldn’t be footing the bill for the $158 tickets. Instead, bus drivers would be identified and have to pay the fine — while also facing other additional penalties.
New Jersey: Assemblyman versus red-light camera companies
Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlan is challenging red-light camera companies to allow their cameras be taken down, without penalty by any municipality where traffic data proves a legitimate safety concern. “We’ve heard over and over that this is a safety issue,” adds, O’Scanlon. “If that’s truly the case, it’s time for camera companies to put their money where their mouth is and allow towns to remove cameras without penalty no matter what their contract stipulates.”
Washington D.C.: District rakes in $85m from traffic cameras
The District took in nearly $85 million in its most recent fiscal year from its sprawling network of speed and red-light cameras, shattering its previous record and inflaming an ongoing debate about ticket-based fines. The final 2012 fiscal year statistics, which came days after several D.C. lawmakers introduced a measure to reduce speed camera fines, intensified the prospects for an end-of-the-year legislative clash.
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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