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Officials Pitch Wishful Thinking as Fact in Washington State Plan to Reduce Driving: NMA E-Newsletter #626

By guest writer Mariya Frost, Director, Coles Center for Transportation Washington Policy Center Editor’s note: This post first appeared on the Washington Policy Center Blog. The state Department of Commerce is very clear about its views on driving: officials must reduce or altogether eliminate people’s need to drive. In their latest draft of the state energy […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/officials-pitch-wishful-thinking-as-fact-in-washington-state-plan-to-reduce-driving-nma-e-newsletter-626/

The Washington Report–COVID-19 Crisis Edition: NMA E-Newsletter #589

By Rob Talley Editor’s Note: The Washington Report is a regular feature of the NMA’s quarterly Driving Freedoms member magazine. Our representative in DC, Rob Talley, wrote the original version of this newsletter for the spring issue of the magazine before the pandemic halted its publication. So Rob recently updated his dispatch to include more […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/the-washington-report-covid-19-crisis-edition-nma-e-newsletter-589/

Washington House Bill 2566 – Authorizing the use of automated license plate recognition systems

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/wa-hb2566/

Shenanigans Abound in the Washington State Ballot Initiative over Car Fees: NMA E-Newsletter #575

Motorists are not cash cows, and it is time elected officials stop treating us as such! In Washington State, Tim Eyman decided he didn’t think it was fair for everyone in the state to pay for big city transit projects through ever increasing vehicle registration fees (or car tabs, as the locals call them). Anger […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/shenanigans-abound-in-the-washington-state-ballot-initiative-over-car-fees-nma-e-newsletter-575/

Washington HB 1614 – Requiring certain traffic lane merge education and testing

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/wa-hb1614/

Washington HB 1793 – Establishing additional uses for automated traffic cameras

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/wa-hb1793/

NMA E-Newsletter #244: A Driving Tour of Washington, DC, NMA Style

(Editor’s Note: Washington, DC has a reputation for being extremely hostile to drivers. Longtime NMA New York Activist Casey Raskob recently took a driving trip to the Washington, DC area and confirmed it with this report.) (Photo courtesy of DC photographer Marty Katz http://washingtonphotographer.com) I’ve driven lots of places, but this last weekend was crazy. I […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-e-newsletter-244-a-driving-tour-of-washington-dc-nma-style/

ALPRs win the Day in the Virginia Supreme Court: NMA E-Newsletter #623

Automatic License Plate Readers or ALPRs can detail a motorist’s comings and goings without any thought of whether the person driving is suspected of nefarious activity. Some motorists around the country are challenging ALPR tracking in court. The latest dispatch comes from Virginia. In 2015, motorist Harrison Neal started his legal battle over the Fairfax […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/alprs-win-the-day-in-the-virginia-supreme-court-nma-e-newsletter-623/

Leading the Charge: NMA E-Newsletter #619

We like clever wordplay as much as the next guy. The double entendre of the title, however, stirs an emotion stronger and more negative than “like.” Christopher Matthew Spencer, one of our most active members in Southern California, led the charge by submitting a public records request to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/leading-the-charge-nma-e-newsletter-619/

Motorists Vote 2020 Ballot Initiatives Final Count: NMA E-Newsletter #618

Statewide ballot initiatives and local votes on infrastructure and transit have now been finalized from the November 3, 2020 election. Check out the final results below from the motorists’ rights statewide initiatives we outlined in the NMA weekly E-Newsletter #612. Important local election results follow the state ballot initiatives reporting.   Statewide Ballot Initiatives Arkansas […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/motorists-vote-2020-ballot-initiatives-final-count/

So, Who IS Responsible in a Driverless Car Accident?: NMA E-Newsletter #617

By Shelia Dunn, NMA Communications Director For years, an ongoing debate has been raging in the media about who would be responsible when a driverless vehicle injured or killed another road user. Perhaps, we will soon have the answer. In March 2018, Elaine Herzberg jaywalked from a center median with her bicycle across a dark […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/so-who-is-responsible-in-a-driverless-car-accident-nma-e-newsletter-617/

Motorists Vote 2020 Ballot Initiatives: NMA E-Newsletter #612

The November 3rd election day is a month away, and mail-in voting has already begun in many states. If you have not cast your ballot yet, be sure to consider motorists’ rights issues in your decisions on which candidates and issues to support. Check out the NMA’s Motorists Vote 2020 Guide (a slideshow with a […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/motorists-vote-2020-ballot-initiatives-nma-e-newsletter-612/

What’s Next for Motorists’ Rights—Part 2: NMA E-Newsletter #598

The need to advocate for motorists’ rights has grown during the time of COVID. NMA members need to be more vigilant than ever in their home communities and states. This newsletter is a reflection of what we see trending nationally. Last week in Part 1, we looked into our crystal ball at speed limits, automated […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/whats-next-for-motorists-rights-part-2-nma-e-newsletter-598/

Flipping the Stacked Deck: NMA E-Newsletter #594

There are many forms of legitimized stealing. The government has perfected a near-perfect version, with motorists too often serving as easy prey. The NMA’s legislative focus in Washington, even when lawmakers are advancing little during these pandemic times, continues to be two areas of policing-for-profit that desperately need reform. One practice ─ as if it […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/flipping-the-stacked-deck-nma-e-newsletter-594/

The Selling of a Narrative: NMA E-Newsletter #591

By Gary Biller, NMA President The media has never shied away from peddling stories that sell. Often in doing so, the truth gets kicked to the curb or run over. Such is the case in the current lockdown climate where sensationalistic headlines scream that 100+ mph super speeders are taking advantage of less-crowded roads across […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/the-selling-of-a-narrative-nma-e-newsletter-591/

Turn Signal on a Roundabout; Readers’ Comments Part 3: NMA E-Newsletter #588

Editor’s Note:  Part 3 will be the final chapter for readers’ comments on our Newsletter #585. More than 40 readers emailed us their thoughts on roundabouts. We did a tally on how many believe in signaling or not signaling in roundabouts: 46 percent for signaling 32 percent opposed to signaling 22 percent who did not […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/turn-signal-in-a-roundabout-readers-comments-part-3-nma-e-newsletter-588/

Turn Signal on a Roundabout; Reader Comments Part 2: NMA E-Newsletter #587

Editor’s Note: Roundabouts elicit all kinds of opinions, and the comments from our recent Newsletter #585 was no exception. Last week, we presented the first set of comments. Part two also runs the gamut of those for and against signaling in a roundabout. Readers’ Comments Part 2 No signaling should be required upon entering or […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/turn-signal-on-a-roundabout-reader-comments-part-2-nma-e-newsletter-587/

Ticket Quotas are Alive and All Too Well: NMA Weekly E-Newsletter #572

By our latest count, twenty states have explicit laws banning traffic ticket quotas. And yet, the practice continues, even within some of those states. City, county, and state budgets must be met, and a reliable target for revenue continues to be the motorist. A brief rundown of the states with quota prohibitions follows but first, […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/ticket-quotas-are-alive-and-all-too-well-nma-weekly-e-newsletter-572/

Indivisibility of Cars and Commuting: NMA E-Newsletter #567

One of the exciting elements of the October 5 Keep the US Moving Conference (KLAM) attended by both Gary Biller, NMA President and Shelia Dunn, NMA Communications Director, was meeting others who study urban commuting. Mariya Frost, Transportation Policy Analyst for the Washington (State) Policy Center, a free market think tank, was one such person. […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/indivisibility-of-cars-and-commuting-nma-e-newsletter-567/

NMA Wrap Up of Legislative Activity, 3rd Quarter 2019: NMA E-Newsletter #562

July, August, and September were not nearly as active in resolving NMA-tracked legislation as in the second quarter, but October began with some very important events that will have positive ramifications for motorists well into the future. Let’s start with the final disposition of bills in the third quarter:   Bills Opposed by the NMA […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-wrap-up-of-legislative-activity-3rd-quarter-2019-nma-e-newsletter-562/

Do Vision Zero Programs equal more Traffic Accidents?: NMA E-Newsletter #559

Many cities and states around the country have adopted a Vision Zero program which strives for zero traffic deaths, usually by a specific year. Some of the oldest programs, though, are finding that the ideal of zero traffic deaths is becoming ever more elusive and expensive over time. Instead of decreasing, traffic deaths involving accidents […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/do-vision-zero-programs-equal-more-traffic-accidents-nma-e-newsletter-559/

The Road User Charge by Any Other Name: NMA E-Newsletter #555

We recently completed a series of newsletters (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3) about the renewed calls for levying a set of surcharges–or thinly disguised taxes–on motorists to help rescue the Federal Highway Trust Fund. National calls are picking up in momentum for the implementation of a system of travel fees layered on top […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/the-road-user-charge-by-any-other-name-nma-e-newsletter-555/

An Appropriate Balance for Whom? – NMA Readers Respond: NMA E-Newsletter #553

In “An Appropriate Balance for Whom?” (NMA E-Newsletter #552), we discussed HB 3663, a recently introduced bill to Congress that would require each state to fund its own program to prioritize walking and bicycle riding over vehicular traffic when designing new or upgrading existing roads. Data from the 2016 U.S. Census showed that more than […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/an-appropriate-balance-for-whom-nma-readers-respond-nma-e-newsletter-553/

US Congress HB 1895 – FAIR Act Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration Act of 2019

UPDATE May 3, 2019: Referred to Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties. House Bill 1895 was introduced March 27, 2019 in a bipartisan fashion by a number of Republican and Democrat lawmakers, led by Rep. Tim Walberg of Michigan. Similar legislation has been introduced in the past and has met favorable reaction, […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/us-hb1895/

Are Cyclists Vision Zero Zealots—Readers’ Responses: NMA Weekly E-Newsletter #525

Last week, we emailed and posted on our website a guest newsletter entitled Are Cyclists Vision Zero Zealots? written by Eric Berg, an NMA Board Member, an NMA Life Member, an avid sport bicyclist, and a staunch defender of motorists’ rights. Readers, including some of whom (like Eric) are bicyclists, responded with interesting perspectives which […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/are-cyclists-vision-zero-zealots-readers-responses-nma-weekly-e-newsletter-525/

Are Cyclists Vision Zero Zealots?: NMA Weekly E-Newsletter #524

From guest writer Eric Berg.  Eric Berg is an NMA director and life member since the Citizens Coalition for Rational Traffic Law days. Eric is an avid sport bicyclist as well as staunch defender of motorists’ rights. He is well positioned to provide observations from both vantage points.  One of the challenges for NMA advocacy […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/are-cyclists-vision-zero-zealots-nma-weekly-e-newsletter-524/

The Next Ten Years – Readers’ Edition, Part 2: NMA E-Newsletter #523

In NMA E-Newsletter #520, The Next Ten Years, Jim Walker, Gary Biller, and Steve Carrellas provided their thoughts — limited by the NMA to less than 300 words — on the significant challenges that motorists and the NMA will face over the next decade. We asked readers to chime in with their thoughts and published […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/the-next-ten-years-readers-edition-part-2-nma-e-newsletter-523/

Ballot Decisions that Affect Motorists–2018 Version: NMA E-Newsletter #513

The mid-term elections are officially over. Ballotpedia stated this week on its website that voters in 37 states decided a total of 155 statewide ballot measures. Not all, of course, were motorist related but a few certainly were. We have also included some important county or city ballot issues that asked voters to raise the […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/ballot-decisions-that-affect-motorists-2018-version-nma-e-newsletter-513/

To Record or Not to Record, That is the Question: NMA E-Newsletter #512

An interesting phenomenon is being reported by some members. Police officers approaching their vehicles during routine traffic stops are asking an opening question different than the traditional, “Do you know why I stopped you?” Rather, in this day of rising popularity of dashcams and the ubiquitous presence of smartphones, the opening query is just as […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/to-record-or-not-to-record-that-is-the-question-nma-e-newsletter-512/

The Real Police Overtime Scandals: NMA Weekly E-Newsletter #507

Much has been written about the Massachusetts State Police Overtime Scandal. A number of officers have been arrested for federal counts of embezzlement for allegedly cutting hours or outright skipping overtime (OT) traffic enforcement shifts on the MA turnpike while getting paid in full. Forty-two members of Troop E have been implicated and the troop […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/the-real-police-overtime-scandals-nma-weekly-e-newsletter-507/

The Zipper Merge—Coming to a Construction Zone near You Part 2, Readers Comments: NMA E-Newsletter #501

The National Motorists Association received some thoughtful comments from readers like you and thought we should share them.  If you missed reading Part 1, click HERE.  I’m glad one more place seems to have figured this out. Many other places have not. People get the idea that others who are using an open lane to a […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/the-zipper-merge-coming-to-a-construction-zone-near-you-part-2-readers-comments-nma-e-newsletter-501/

Standing Up for Yourself: NMA E-Newsletter #498

The most frequent encounter the public has with law enforcement is during a traffic stop. The interaction can be a frightening experience with ever changing dynamics that can seem surreal at best. Motorist Adam Finley in Arkansas found out this the hard way in December 2016 when he was stopped by Officer Matthew Mercado of […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/standing-up-for-yourself-nma-e-newsletter-498/

Down the Rabbit Hole with Civil Asset Forfeiture: NMA E-Newsletter #494

As one of the NMA’s current national issues, Civil Asset Forfeiture or CAF is a program that allows the government at all levels to confiscate cash, cars and even homes from people who are suspected of criminal activity. Even if you are ruled innocent, your property is not necessarily returned; a trip to civil court […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/down-the-rabbit-hole-with-civil-asset-forfeiture-nma-e-newsletter-494/

All Hail more Traffic Congestion: NMA E-Newsletter # 484

The math is simple. More cars on the streets equals more traffic congestion. Ridesharing companies such as Lyft and Uber have tipped that delicate balance between street traffic and transit alternatives. Many city officials are finally taking notice. In a recent Boston survey of 944 rideshare users over four weeks in late 2017, nearly six […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/hail-traffic-congestion-nma-e-newsletter-484/

Driver’s License Watch—Your Private Info for Sale: NMA E-Newsletter #482

Personal information privacy seems to be a fluid construct these days. We give our information to social media companies like Facebook who sell the information for gain (Cambridge Analytica Scandal). We also give our private information directly to marketers if we enter any online contest, ask for information online about products or fill out an […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/drivers-license-watch-private-info-sale-nma-e-newsletter-482/

Walking While Distracted–Nobody Wins: NMA Weekly E-Newsletter #481

Have we become a nation of cellphone zombies? Many experts believe that the increase in distracted driving, in particular using a cellphone to text while driving, has been a big factor in the increase of traffic fatalities since 2009. Another factor apparently is distracted walking. Pedestrian deaths account for 16 percent of all traffic fatalities. […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/walking-distracted-nobody-wins-nma-weekly-e-newsletter-481/

Getting REAL: NMA Weekly E-Newsletter #478

With the February 25, 2018 newsletter regarding the advent of digital driver’s licenses, it is an appropriate time to provide an update on the implementation of the REAL ID Act of 2005. Over the past 12 years, the NMA and other civil liberties organizations have lobbied against REAL ID which in effect would convert your […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/getting-real-nma-weekly-e-newsletter-478/

Commuters vs. Neighborhoods—Congestion at its Root: NMA Weekly E-Newsletter #477

We all pay for public roads so shouldn’t we be able to travel on them when we want? A number of New Jersey towns and villages are saying NO. If you don’t live here, you don’t have the right to take a neighborhood street to beat congestion during rush hour. Part of the reason commuters […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/commuters-vs-neighborhoods-congestion-root-nma-weekly-e-newsletter-477/

Is a Digital Driver’s License in your Future?: NMA Weekly E-Newsletter #476

Many states currently allow digital proof of insurance during a traffic stop. Will a digital driver’s license or DDL be too far behind? After several years of testing, the state of Iowa will debut later in 2018 a digital driver’s license in cooperation with “augmented identity” specialists IDEMIA, a company that works with about 80 […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/digital-drivers-license-future-nma-weekly-e-newsletter-476/

Congestion Pricing Cannot be the Future of Transportation Funding, Part 1: NMA E-Newsletter #468

Single-occupant Northern Virginia commuters had a rude awakening in early December when they used Interstate 66 express lanes and found new tolls spiking as high as $44 for commuting the 10-mile stretch between the Capital Beltway and the District of Columbia. While the Virginia DOT showed that the average round-trip toll during the first week […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/congestion-pricing-cannot-future-transportation-funding-part-1-nma-e-newsletter-468/

NMA Lobbying in DC, Part 2 – License to Steal: NMA E-Newsletter #465

By Gary Biller, NMA President I get annoyed by the overuse of certain clichéd buzzwords and catch phrases in our area of advocacy, terms like “big brother,” “nanny state,” and “taxation by citation” for instance. That isn’t to say that they don’t sneak into the NMA vernacular from time to time. In fact, I used […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-lobbying-dc-part-2-license-steal-nma-e-newsletter-465/

NMA Lobbying in DC, Part 1 – Reeling in Traffic Enforcement: NMA E-Newsletter #464

By Gary Biller, NMA President  Enabled by contributors to our Spring 2017 Campaign, the NMA is pursuing its 2017-18 National Legislative Agenda in Washington. More precisely the current focus is on two of the agenda items – eliminating federally funded ticket blitzes and restricting the bounds of civil asset forfeiture. Part 2 of this newsletter […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-lobbying-dc-part-1-reeling-traffic-enforcement-nma-e-newsletter-464/

Funding Infrastructure in Rural America—a Snapshot of Three States: NMA E-Newsletter #463

Whenever the media reports on infrastructure, much of the time the discussion centers on urban cores and highways. Small towns and rural roads are often left out of the discussion but related infrastructure needs can be just as critical. Securing adequate funding for road and bridge maintenance requires the active involvement and cooperation of rural, […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/funding-infrastructure-rural-america-snapshot-three-states-nma-e-newsletter-463/

Next Generation Police Tools: NMA E-Newsletter #462

Traffic enforcement continues to go high tech beyond just the newest drone technology. Here are three recent examples of how police are using federal and state funding – some from assets seized from citizenry – to patrol motorists. Police Body Cameras In late October, results from a large study on police body cameras was released […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/next-generation-police-tools-nma-e-newsletter-462/

Gotcha Speed Enforcement – Feds Are Complicit: NMA E-Newsletter #460

With great thanks to advocate Joe Bahen, the NMA played an active role in the development of the 2012-2016 Virginia Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP). With the SHSP for the next five years now moving into the implementation phase, Joe continues to work with state officials to craft a safety roadmap that is effective and […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/gotcha-speed-enforcement-feds-complicit-nma-e-newsletter-460/

Trump Reverses Course on Infrastructure Funding: NMA E-Newsletter #456

In late September, President Donald Trump changed his mind on PPPs or Public-Private Partnerships, one of his bedrock funding mechanisms for funding infrastructure. He campaigned on the idea of utilizing PPPs and seemed to be for the idea all the way up until he reversed his support when talking to the House Ways and Means […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/trump-reverses-course-infrastructure-funding-nma-e-newsletter-456/

Losing a License Due To Unpaid Fines Is Hurting Millions: NMA E-Newsletter #455

When a motorist receives a traffic ticket the expectation is that if you plead guilty or are found guilty, you pay the fine. Most of us would agree that if you break the law then you should pay for it. But what if you really cannot “pay for it” due to life circumstances? The Falls […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/losing-license-due-unpaid-fines-hurting-millions-nma-e-newsletter-455/

‘Variable Speed Limits’ allow Police to Trap Motorists on the Fly: NMA E-Newsletter #454

From Joe Cadillic, writer of the massprivatel blog A nightmare driving scenario, is slowly making its way across the country as states everywhere begin installing ‘Variable Speed Limits’ (VSL) which allows law enforcement to change speed limits on a whim. Imagine you are cruising down the highway, obeying the posted speed limit of 75 MPH only […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/variable-speed-limits-allow-police-trap-motorists-fly-nma-e-newsletter-454/

The Scariest Ride of Your Life: NMA E-Newsletter #451

By guest writer William Rayburn, NMA Washington State Member As an NMA member I truly enjoy reading the NMA e-newsletter. Today I thought to myself I could contribute something that I have had the displeasure witnessing first-hand and something quite relevant to the subject matter for which the NMA is founded. I’m talking about DHS […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/scariest-ride-life-nma-e-newsletter-451/

No lollygagging in the Left Lane, Please! Legislative Update on Lane Courtesy Laws: NMA E-Newsletter #438

June is Lane Courtesy Month and many state legislatures are taking on the problem of drivers who impede traffic by camping out in the left lane.  The NMA long ago established June as the spotlight month for lane courtesy to raise awareness that keeping right to allow faster traffic to pass is one of the […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/no-lollygagging-left-lane-please-legislative-update-lane-courtesy-laws-nma-e-newsletter-438/

Is Distracted Driving the new Drunk Driving? Part 1: NMA E-Newsletter #433

Distracted driving of any kind can be instantly dangerous. Each April the federal and state governments conduct a public awareness campaign on the dangers of distracted driving that bombards motorists with media messages which leads to increased command-and-control enforcement. There can be many different distractions for drivers but among the most controversial is the use […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/distracted-driving-new-drunk-driving-part-1-nma-e-newsletter-433/

How Policing for Profit can lead to a Debtors’ Prisons: NMA E-Newsletter #429

Alexander City, Alabama has agreed to give $680,000 to nearly 200 people who were jailed because they were too poor to pay their court fines. The suit filed in September 2015 by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) claimed that the town ran “a modern-day debtors prison.” Indigent debtors served time in the municipal jail […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/policing-profit-can-lead-debtors-prisons-nma-e-newsletter-429/

Who Will Fix Rural Roads and Bridges? NMA E-Newsletter #413

The chronic underinvestment in infrastructure dates back to the Reagan Administration. Since the 1980’s, public spending on water and transportation infrastructure fell from around one percent to 0.6 percent of the annual U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). Instead of renewing or building additional infrastructure to keep up with population and current technology, government officials have […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/will-fix-rural-roads-bridges-nma-e-newsletter-413/

Transportation Shakeout from the 2016 Election: NMA E-Newsletter #409

The entire country shared a sigh of relief when the election in-fighting finally ended this week. Before the election, President-elect Donald Trump released his ideas on rebuilding America’s infrastructure. He said he wants to put a trillion dollars into rebuilding infrastructure over the next 10 years without raising taxes. He plans to do this through […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/transportation-shakeout-2016-election-nma-e-newsletter-409/

More Nighttime Restrictions for Teen Drivers. Why? Part 2 Newsletter Readers Respond: NMA E-Newsletter #399

Last week’s newsletter on the new Center for Disease Control guidelines to states with regards to nighttime driving for teen drivers brought in some great comments for discussion.  We thought we would share a few thoughts covering both sides of the issue. To read last week’s newsletter, More Nighttime Restrictions for Teen Drivers. Why? Part […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/part-2-newsletter-readers-respond-nma-e-newsletter-399/

Intexicated While Driving: NMA E-Newsletter #387

New York State has legislation called Evan’s Law that is winding its way through the system. It would allow law enforcement to use a textalyzer to determine if you have been on your phone while driving.  This means even hands free phone usage, texting, surfing the web, and engaging with various apps can raise flags.  […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/intexicated-driving-nma-e-newsletter-387/

Saint or Sinner, Government Eyes Are Watching Every Move You Make: NMA E-Newsletter #380

By John W. Whitehead, President, The Rutherford Institute Government eyes are watching you. They see your every move: what you read, how much you spend, where you go, with whom you interact, when you wake up in the morning, what you’re watching on television and reading on the internet. Every move you make is being […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/saint-sinner-government-eyes-watching-every-move-make-nma-e-newsletter-380/

How Technology Facilitates Roadside Justice: NMA E-Newsletter #379

The California Senate recently took up a bill that would let police officers use oral fluid drug screening tests to check motorists for the presence of drugs in their systems. The proposed test is administered with a handheld device that uses an oral swab to check for the presence of a variety of controlled substances […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/technology-facilitates-roadside-justice-nma-e-newsletter-379/

“Seriously? It’s Come to This?” Part 2: NMA E-Newsletter #357

In August we recounted some driving stories that were just too absurd to be true (“Seriously? It’s Come to This?” NMA Newsletter #345). Alas, they were true, and the sad part is we’ve compiled enough stories for Part 2. So here goes. New Haven, Connecticut, has been experiencing an uptick in vehicle break-ins lately. The […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/seriously-its-come-to-this-part-2-nma-e-newsletter-357/

Some Pointers on Driver’s License Points: NMA E-Newsletter #352

One of the most common questions we get from members is how many points will a given violation add to their driving record. It’s an important question, but it’s not the only one to ask after you get a traffic ticket. You also need to know how many points it takes to trigger a license […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/some-pointers-on-drivers-license-points-nma-e-newsletter-352/

Where’s the Skepticism? NMA E-Newsletter #349

Good reporters are skeptical by nature. They’re not supposed to take official pronouncements at face value; they’re supposed to dig deeper to get the real story. Yet, we constantly see lazy reporting on driving issues or stories that simply parrot the latest propaganda from the likes of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Don’t […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/wheres-the-skepticism-nma-e-newsletter-349/

If it Walks Like a Duck: NMA E-Newsletter #341

Summer is the time when communities across the country conduct their annual crosswalk sting operations in which undercover police officers walk out into busy intersections hoping they won’t get run over. The purpose is to ticket passing drivers who fail to yield to, or stop for, the “pedestrian” in the crosswalk. Locally, the unlucky undercover […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/if-it-walks-like-a-duck-nma-e-newsletter-341/

NMA E-Newsletter #332: The Future of Police/Community Relations

By John Bowman, NMA Vice President I recently had the privilege of speaking at a regional meeting of state motorcycle riders associations. A few minutes into my presentation an audience member stood up and forcefully objected to what he thought were my unfair and ill-informed comments about the nature of traffic enforcement. I asked the […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-e-newsletter-332-the-future-of-policecommunity-relations/

NMA E-Newsletter #325: 2015 First Quarter Legislative Update

The NMA continues to advocate for motorists’ rights at the national, state and local level. Legislatures across the country took up a broad range of motorists’ issues in the first quarter of 2015. Here’s a brief summary of the driving-related issues we addressed. Arizona Supported Senate Bill 1167 which would ban red-light and speed cameras […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-e-newsletter-325-2015-first-quarter-legislative-update/

NMA E-Newsletter #311: The Business of Civil Forfeiture

It’s the highway hustle. The shakedown shuffle. It’s civil forfeiture, and it’s one of the most flagrant roadside abuses motorists face today. Using civil forfeiture laws, police can confiscate property, like cash and vehicles, from motorists if they suspect the property is tied to illegal activity. The police don’t actually have to prove such a […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-e-newsletter-311-the-business-of-civil-forfeiture/

NMA E-Newsletter: #305: T’row de Bum(s) Out!

By Gary Biller, NMA President Popular lore has it that the phrase “throw the bums out” originated during the 1941 World Series when the New York Yankees faced off against the Brooklyn Dodgers. A man supposedly walked into a bar—stop us if you’ve heard this one before—in Brooklyn in the midst of the games and […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-e-newsletter-305-trow-de-bums-out/

NMA E-Newsletter #291: How Much Does Your State Divert Federal Highway Funding To Transit Projects?

This week we wrap up our examination of the three equal-weighted metrics that comprise the State Fiscal Responsibility scoring in the recent NMA report, “Motorists Beware: Ranking the States That Treat You Worst.” Part 1 (Legislative Interference with Transportation Planning, #289) rated the influence of lawmakers in determining the planning and spending of funds on […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-e-newsletter-291-how-much-does-your-state-divert-federal-highway-funding-to-transit-projects/

NMA E-Newsletter #289: Legislative Interference with Transportation Planning

The states are experts at spending your money. Mind you, they don’t spend it efficiently or constructively, but boy can they spend it. When we put together our Memorial Day rankings of the states by how they treat motorists, one of our primary evaluation categories—State Fiscal Responsibility—didn’t draw too many questions. But that was then […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-e-newsletter-289-legislative-interference-with-transportation-planning/

NMA E-Newsletter #281: Members Share Thoughts on Emerging Transportation Designs

In last week’s newsletter (#280: Can it really be Safer to Drive on the Wrong Side of the Road?) we discussed several emerging, “alternative” interchange and intersection designs: the Diverging Diamond Interchange, the Displaced Left Turn Intersection and the U-Turn Intersection. We asked if you’ve ever driven one and what you thought about them overall. […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-e-newsletter-281-members-share-thoughts-on-emerging-transportation-designs/

NMA E-Newsletter #271: 2014 First Quarter Legislative Update

The NMA continues to advocate for motorists’ rights at the national, state and local level. Legislatures across the country took up a broad range of motorists’ issues in the first quarter of 2014. Here’s a brief summary of the driving-related issues we addressed.  California  Opposed efforts by the Elk Grove City Council to renew its […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-e-newsletter-271-2014-first-quarter-legislative-update/

NMA E-Newsletter #261: PPPs—Brought to You by Your Shortsighted Legislator

A recent e-newsletter, #259: A Private Windfall, a Public Bust, described the pitfalls associated with Public Private Partnerships. It also prompted this thoughtful and informative response from North Carolina member KC Green, PE. We need to increase the fuel tax—significantly increase it—no matter what the price of gas or diesel is. (The federal fuel tax […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-e-newsletter-261-ppps-brought-to-you-by-your-shortsighted-legislator/

NMA E-Newsletter #258: Just Say NO for the Holidays

Nothing says Happy Holidays like getting caught up in a roadblock followed by one of NHTSA’s elves asking you for a “voluntary” blood sample. We originally told you about this ongoing roadside “research project” a few weeks back (NMA E-Newsletter #255: Dangerous Business). Since then, it seems that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-e-newsletter-258-just-say-no-for-the-holidays/

NMA E-Newsletter #251: Usefulness Takes a Backseat to Technology and the Law

Did you rush out and buy the latest and greatest iPhone, the 5S model, as soon as it became available last month?  If so, this newsletter is for you.  Actually, since smartphone technology typically follows in Apple’s footsteps, everyone who uses the mobile communication devices will eventually need to pay heed.  Here’s a hint:  Many […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-e-newsletter-251-usefulness-takes-a-backseat-to-technology-and-the-law/

NMA E-Newsletter #250: The Ghosts of 1973

The year was 1973. British rockers Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and The Who were battling it out on the top of the charts. That year also marked the beginning of the OPEC oil embargo, and this past October 17th signified the 40th anniversary of that seminal event. Two months after the embargo took effect, Congress […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-e-newsletter-250-the-ghosts-of-1973/

NMA E-Newsletter #236: Mors Ab Alto

We’ve all seen those “Speed Enforced by Aircraft” signs, and the first question that comes to mind is: Do they actually still do that? The answer is yes, but probably not as much as you think. Airplanes are expensive to maintain and operate ($150-$200 per hour, not including labor costs). Budget constraints in recent years […]

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-e-newsletter-236-mors-ab-alto/

NMA E-Newsletter #218: Lane Courtesy Redux

Although all states have various forms of the “keep right unless passing” (aka “lane courtesy”) requirement in their statutes, it is rare to hear about the police actually enforcing the law against a driver who camps out in the left lane. …

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-e-newsletter-218-lane-courtesy-redux/

NMA E-Newsletter #216: Update on ‘Move Over’ Laws

Florida police agencies recently stepped up enforcement of the state’s “Move Over” law by setting up sting operations on roadways throughout the Sunshine State, including in a state park where nearly two dozen unsuspecting motorists were ensnared….

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-e-newsletter-216-update-on-move-over-laws-91204/

NMA E-Newsletter #215: Connecting with Lawmakers—Tips from an Insider

Editor’s Note: The following article is reprinted with permission from the February 2013 issue of Land Line, a publication of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA). The NMA has worked closely with OOIDA on driving issues since…

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-e-newsletter-215-connecting-with-lawmaker/

NMA E-Newsletter #205: Technology Failure Brings Early Holiday Gift to Motorists

The Village of Elmwood Place, Ohio, has had its share of ups and downs since it installed speed cameras on September 1. By some measures the program has been wildly successful, issuing 14,000 tickets and generating $470,000 in revenue. Elmwood Pla…

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-e-newsletter-205-technology-failure-bring/

E-Newsletter #191: ALPRs—Coming to a Street Near You

The NMA first raised the alarm on automated license plate readers (ALPRs) two-and-a-half years ago (E-Newsletter Issue #61: Here, There, Everywhere). With more and more police agencies throughout the country employing the technology, we thought an…

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/e-newsletter-191-alprscoming-to-a-street-near/

NMA E-Newsletter #189: The Next Wave of Ticket Cameras

The small town of Glen Echo, Maryland (population 259) made headlines recently when its mayor proposed a unique addition to the town’s landscape: a stop sign camera mounted at the town’s only intersection. Maryland statutes don’t currently allow s…

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-e-newsletter-189-the-next-wave-of-ticket-73274/

NMA E-Newsletter #183: The Confrontation Clause v. Traffic Enforcement Cameras

The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right … to be confronted with the witnesses against him …” Known as the Confrontation Clause, this idea that a defendant should have th…

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-e-newsletter-183-the-confrontation-clause-3556/

NMA E-Newsletter #177: Policing for Profit

It’s common knowledge (verified by academic studies) that traffic enforcement becomes more heavy-handed in tough economic times. Policymakers looking for creative ways to fill ever widening budget gaps often find motorists easy targets.But if the …

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-e-newsletter-177-policing-for-profit-20947/

NMA E-Newsletter #169:The Latest Generation of Traffic Busy Bodies

The police have a long history of enlisting citizens to assist with routine law enforcement tasks. Everyone is familiar with police-sponsored neighborhood watch programs, and many communities train volunteers to monitor traffic (complete with rada…

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/the-latest-generation-of-traffic-busy-bodies/

NMA E-Newsletter #167: Members Weigh In on Pay as You Drive Auto Insurance

NMA members are never shy about sharing their opinions. Our recent E-newsletter on Pay as You Drive (PAYD) auto insurance (#165: The Trade-Offs of “Pay as You Drive” Auto Insurance), spurred many to respond with their own thoughtful and provocativ…

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-e-newsletter-167-members-weigh-in-on-pay/

NMA E-Newsletter #161 – Ticket Amnesty Schemes: Misguided and Perpetual

Policymakers love to use amnesty programs to demonstrate their magnanimity toward perceived rule-breakers or, more likely, to encourage them to fork over some of what they owe. Typical amnesty programs target things like delinquent taxes, overdue …

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-e-newsletter-161-ticket-amnesty-schemes-m-37956/

NMA E-Newsletter #160: Variability and Uncertainty as Deterrence

Many members call us to ask how they can fight their camera tickets and what to expect in court when they do. The short, but honest, answer is it depends. Some of the reasons for this include: Photo enforcement statutes vary from state to state Co…

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-e-newsletter-160-variability-and-uncertai/

NMA E-Newsletter #154: Will We Never Learn?

The feds are at it again. Anyone following the news last week almost certainly ran across a headline like this one from CNN.com: “NTSB recommends full ban on use of cell phones while driving.” In the frenzy to report this story, CNN and other medi…

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-e-newsletter-154-will-we-never-learn/

NMA E-Newsletter #141: A Man’s Car Is His Castle

The typical North American adult spends between 15 and 20 hours a week driving or riding in a car. While that may not qualify the vehicle as being a home away from home, many motorists may feel differently – particularly if their typical commutes …

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-e-newsletter-141-a-mans-car-is-his-castle/

NMA E-Newsletter #137: Houston, We Have A Problem

That iconic quote from the terrific 1995 movie Apollo 13 wasn’t exactly what astronauts Swigert, Jr. and Lovell uttered on that fateful space mission, but it persists in popular culture. And it appropriately describes the dysfunctional relationshi…

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-e-newsletter-137-houston-we-have-a-proble/

NMA E-Newsletter #131: End The Federal Highway Program?

From the very beginning of the country the federal government has had a role in the provision of roadways. The US Constitution specifically mentions the responsibility “To establish Post Offices and post roads.” However, state and local government…

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-e-newsletter-131-end-the-federal-highway/

NMA E-Newsletter #126: So Much For Precision

Maryland drivers are unfortunate. Some jurisdictions in the state have contracted the services of Optotraffic, a company that touts the precision and accuracy of its red-light and speed cameras. Optotraffic notes that it uses “space technology” – …

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-e-newsletter-126-so-much-for-precision/

NMA E-Newsletter #121: Enlightened vs. Opportunistic

This is a tale of two cities and how they approach their traffic safety responsibilities. As the newsletter title intimates, Roseville (California) and Chevy Chase Village (Maryland) represent a contrast of law enforcement philosophies. Let’s star…

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-e-newsletter-121-enlightened-vs-opportuni/

NMA E-Newsletter #111: Communicating with Congress (Or State Legislators)

In order to appear to be doing something, or to generate more donations, many large and prominent organizations distribute pre-printed post cards, petitions (on line and off), form letters, and questionnaires that will be subsequently sent to Memb…

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-e-newsletter-111-communicating-with-congr/

NMA Email Newsletter: Issue #102

The Pressure of Public Exposure Few opponents of photo enforcement would argue that Washington D.C. has few, if any, peers among major metropolitan areas when it comes to raking in traffic ticket revenue per capita. Before we hear howls of protest…

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-email-newsletter-issue-102/

NMA Email Newsletter: Issue #83

Follow The Money Why a majority of motorists don’t get more riled up about the massive amount of red-light ticket camera fines being levied across the country is hard to fathom. A reporter asked the other day for our best estimate of the annual re…

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-email-newsletter-issue-83/

NMA Email Newsletter: Issue #53

Eye In The Sky: Speed Enforcement By Air Currently, nineteen states have an aviation component to their enforcement of traffic laws. If you live in, or have occasion to drive through, any of the states shown below, you should be aware of how the p…

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-email-newsletter-issue-53/

NMA Email Newsletter: Issue #37

You Can Participate In Next Week’s Distracted Driving Summit On Wednesday September 30th and Thursday October 1, over 200 safety experts, researchers, elected officials and members of the public will gather in Washington D.C. to discuss the ramifi…

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-email-newsletter-issue-37/

NMA Email Newsletter: Issue #14

Share The Pain The following article from the New York Times provides a fair warning of how state and local governments intend to “share the pain” during the current recession. Motorists will be the favorite target for new fees, fines, surcharges,…

https://www.motorists.org/alerts/nma-email-newsletter-issue-14/