NMA E-Newsletter #195: 2012 Third Quarter Legislative Update


The NMA continues to advocate for motorists’ rights at the national, state and local level. The reduced amount of legislative/lobbying activity this quarter reflects the fact that the majority of states wrap up their legislative sessions by June. Once the November elections have passed, we expect policymakers to begin floating additional driving-related proposals for their 2013 legislative sessions.

 

California:

 

Opposed Senate Bill 1303 which stripped away fundamental due process rights for motorists accused of red-light camera violations. Committee. The measure passed both houses and was recently signed into law by Governor Brown.

 

Supported efforts by Bay Area NMA members to shut down the Oakland red-light camera program. An NMA member spoke in opposition to cameras at a recent Oakland Safety Committee meeting. The committee asked the member for more background information but tabled any decisions for a future meeting.

 

Minnesota:

 

The NMA alerted Minnesota members to a statewide traffic enforcement campaign called “Drop the Excuses, Drop Your Speed.” This initiative involved more than 400 police agencies and was part of a year-long enforcement blitz that began last October. The NMA used the campaign to encourage members to contact Governor Dayton and ask him to conduct a statewide review of speed limits to make sure they’re set correctly.

 

Pennsylvania:

 

Opposed House Bill 254 which extended the Philadelphia red-light camera program and enabled the spread of red-light cameras to additional cities, including Pittsburgh. The measure passed both houses and was ultimately signed into law by Governor Corbett.

 

Vermont:

 

The NMA praised Governor Shumlin after he came under fire for questioning the safety benefits of a statewide crackdown on speeding. Gary Biller’s letter to the governor noted our support and highlighted the safety benefits of properly set speed limits. The letter also encouraged the governor to undertake a thorough review of Vermont’s speed limits to make sure they are set using 85th percentile speed data.

 

2013 Legislative/Lobbying Plans

 

Moving into 2013 the NMA will begin working with members around the country to set up legislative action committees for their states. These committees will identify and address policy proposals relevant to motorists’ issues. Virginia NMA members have already formed a group and are pursuing an ambitious drivers’ rights legislative agenda:

 

  • Increase the threshold for reckless driving from 81 to 86 mph to coincide with the 5 mph increase in the maximum speed limit two years ago
  • Require engineering justification for maintaining a 55 mph limit on any multi-lane divided highway
  • Eliminate the grandfather clause for maintaining a 25 mph speed limit without engineering justification on certain multi-lane divided highways
  • Prevent red-light camera citations from being issued for right-turn-on-red movements done in a safe and prudent manner.

If you are interested in becoming more involved in motorists’ issues in your state, we’d like to hear from you. Send an email to [email protected], and we’ll follow up with you to discuss plans for 2013 and beyond.

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