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: Oakland accidents decreased with longer yellow times
An analysis of accidents in Oakland, California suggests lengthening yellow times at red-light camera intersections produced more of a safety benefit than the introduction of photo enforcement. However, after seeing an alarming reduction in the number of citations being issued, the timing was then shortened back to its original value.
Canada: Mounties dressed as construction workers involved in ticket blitz
Mounties who are cracking down on construction zone speeders this week are using what they call “non-traditional” enforcement strategies — such as dressing up in construction clothing rather than regular uniforms. As part of a stepped up enforcement in highway “orange zones” on Thursday, officers handed out tickets to 32 people.
New Jersey: Right on red? NJ ponders restrictions
A New Jersey legislator wants to ban right turns on red at intersections with red-light cameras. State Sen. Shirley Turner, D-Mercer, said the restriction is needed to protect the many motorists who slow down, but don’t come to a full stop, when making such turns. Those drivers often receive costly tickets because red-light cameras consider them to be breaking the law.
California: Self-driving cars now legal in California
California is the latest state to allow testing of Google’s self-driving cars on the roads, though only with a human passenger along as a safety measure. The cars use a combination of technologies, including radar sensors on the front, video cameras aimed at the surrounding area, various other sensors and artificial-intelligence software that helps steer.
GIS: The backbone of Homeland Security
Today’s mapping tools – known as Geographic Information Systems, or GIS – are digitally-enabled, smart applications that are capable of analyzing mountains of data and presenting actionable intelligence to those who need it. The revolution in mobile computing, smart phone applications and social media has not only added to the complexity of what GIS tools have to contend with but has also extended their capabilities for law enforcement and homeland security professionals.
Missouri: St. Louis County Police Chief says speeding cameras like ATM’s
St. Louis County’s top cop says speed cameras are usually a scam and that county voters should decide whether to outlaw them. Officials from cities that use speeding cameras say they’re used for safety. The County Police Chief says they’re actually more like ATM’s.
Maryland: Baltimore delving into traffic camera problems
Speed and red-light cameras go under the microscope in the city. The mayor wants the eight member panel to consider placement of the cameras, how accurate they are, and whether citations are evenly distributed among residents and non-residents. The city has more than 160 cameras, including mobile ones, and has collected over $19 million in fines in the last year alone, way more than it expected.
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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