NMA E-Newsletter #170: 2012 First Quarter Legislative Update

The NMA is constantly advocating 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 2012.  Here’s brief summary of the driving-related issues we addressed.



  • Supported Senate Bill 12-50 to ban the use of speed and red-light cameras statewide. A Senate committee rejected the proposal, and the bill never made it to the floor for a vote.


  • NMA Connecticut Activist Sheldon Wishnick testified against House Bill 5458, which would allow cities with populations above 48,000 to implement red-light camera enforcement programs. The bill received a favorable recommendation from the Joint Transportation Committee and is awaiting further action.


  • Initially supported HB 343, known as the Motorist Rights Restoration Act, which would have strengthened due-process rights for camera ticket recipients. Subsequent changes in the bill weakened these protections. HB 343 and its companion, Senate Bill 568, died in committee.
  • Supported House Bill 33 and Senate Bill 590 to require yellow-light times be set based on approach speed, not posted speed, similar to the guidelines adopted by the NMA and the Institute of Transportation Engineers. Both bills died in committee.


  • Gov. Quinn signed into law Senate Bill 0965 allowing the City of Chicago to blanket the metro area with speed cameras. The NMA spoke out strongly against this controversial measure. The Chicago City Council has yet to give final approval to the plan.
  • NMA Illinois Activist Barnet Fagel testified in favor of Senate Bill 3504, which would add one second to the yellow-light interval at intersections where red-light camera enforcement is utilized. The bill passed the Senate and is currently in the House.


  • The NMA supported House File 2214, which would ban photo traffic enforcement statewide. The bill recently passed the House and is under consideration in the Senate.


  • The Maryland General Assembly introduced a host of bills related to photo traffic enforcement and motorists’ rights. Stop Big Brother Maryland has done an excellent job summarizing each bill on its legislative tracking page. View this page for a detailed analysis of each bill along with tracking and sponsorship information. Note that the NMA generally concurs with Stop Big Brother Maryland’s assessment of how these proposals would affect motorists.


  • Supported House File 2074 and Senate File 1731 to raise speed limits on county and township roads. The bills are under consideration in their respective transportation committees.


  • Opposed LB 196, LB 984, and LB 1003, which would double the minimum required uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage for auto insurance policies. All three bills are currently under consideration in the Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee.

New Hampshire:

  • SupportedHouse Bill 1695 to increase the state maximum speed limit from 65 mph to 70 mph. The bill died in committee.
  • Supported House Bill 1696 to make speeding a secondary offense, prosecuted only in case of injury or accident. This bill also died in committee.

New York:

  • Opposed Assembly Bill 7737, which would authorize the installation of 40 speed cameras throughout New York City. The bill is currently under consideration in the transportation committee.


  • NMA Ohio member Carl Boeckman testified in support of House Bill 395, which would raise the speed limit on Ohio’s interstate highways to 70 mph and also strengthen Lane Courtesy provisions (which were subsequently removed). The bill was recently voted out of committee and awaits further action in the full House.


  • Opposed Senate Bill 1326 and House Bill 2101, companion bills to allow speed cameras in work zones. Both bills are under review in their respective transportation committees.
  • In December of 2011, Gov. Corbett signed a six-month extension to Philadelphia’s red-light camera program. However, there are no fewer than five active bills under consideration to either extend Philadelphia’s program and/or expand the use of cameras to other cities. The NMA has vociferously opposed them all, and local NMA members have been vigorously fighting against them as well.

South Dakota:

  • Opposed House Bill 1170, which would have added speeding tickets to the list of violations that would accumulate points. The bill was voted down in the House.


  • Supported Senate Bill 3750 and House Bill 3768 to ban traffic enforcement cameras statewide. The Senate version is in the Transportation and Safety Committee, and the House version is in the State and Local Government Committee.
  • Supported Senate Bill 2872 to prohibit the disclosure of photo enforcement citations to consumer reporting agencies and to prohibit such information from being identified in credit reports. The measure has passed both houses and is awaiting the signature of Gov. Haslam.
  • Supported Senate Bill 2392 requiring police to obtain a subpoena before placing an electronic tracking device on a vehicle for criminal investigation purposes. The proposal is under review in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
  • Supported House Bill 64 to allow right-turns-on-red without coming to a complete stop. The measure is in the House Transportation Committee.


  • Supported House Bill 140, which sought to ban police from using roadblocks to check motorists for DUI, license suspensions, proof of insurance coverage and lack of vehicle registration. The bill passed the House but was defeated in the Senate.


  • Supported House Bill 21 to allow a driver to exceed the posted speed-limit by up to 10 mph (on two-lane roads only) while passing a vehicle that is moving slower than the posted speed. The bill passed and will take effect on July 1, 2012.
  • Supported House Bill 48 to give authority to the Wyoming Department of Transportation to designate an 80-mph speed-limit on parts of interstate highways. The bill passed the House but was killed in the Senate.

Thanks to the many NMA members who spent countless hours sending emails, writing letters, making phone calls, and working with policymakers and media outlets on these important issues.

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