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 2013. Here’s a brief summary of the driving-related issues we addressed.California: Opposed Assembly Bill 666 which would strip crucial due process rights from drivers who receive red-light camera tickets. The bill is under consideration in the Assembly transportation and judicial committees. In addition, the NMA supported citizen efforts to remove red-light cameras from Hayward. The Hayward City Council subsequently voted to end the program at the earliest possible opportunity. Colorado: Supported Senate Bill 13-035 which would have banned photo enforcement throughout the state. The proposal was killed in committee. Connecticut: Supported portions of House Bill 5553 which would raise the maximum speed limit from 65 mph to 75 mph, but would also increase speeding fines by 15 percent. The bill received a hearing in the Joint Transportation Committee but has had no action since. Florida: Supported Senate Bill 1342 which would provide important due process protections for drivers who receive red-light camera tickets. It would also ban camera tickets for right-turns-on-red and mandate longer yellow-light durations. Note that these two key provisions were stripped out of the original bill. The revised bill passed the Senate Transportation Committee and awaits further review in an appropriations subcommittee. The House version of this bill, House Bill 1061, still contains these important protections and is working its way through the committee process as well. Indiana: Opposed House Bill 1368 which would authorize the use of speed cameras by local communities as well as in highway work zones. The bill is working its way through the House Committee on Roads and Transportation. Maryland: Supported House Bill 251 which called for a complete ban on the use of speed cameras throughout the state. The bill was killed in committee. The Maryland House of Delegates also considered a host of bills related to traffic camera reforms. For more information visit the Maryland Drivers Alliance website. Massachusetts: In January, Massachusetts lawmakers filed a variety of bills related to motorists’ issues in preparation for the two-year legislative session. Key measures include H.3175 which would raise the highway speed limit to 70 mph, as well as bills to regulate the use of automated license plate readers and to allow the use of ticket cameras. Most measures are awaiting action in committee. For a list of relevant bills, click here. Minnesota: Opposed House File 487 and Senate File 377 which would have authorized local communities to use red-light cameras. In conjunction with ABATE of Minnesota, the NMA provided testimony for the Senate and House transportation committee hearings. Both committees overwhelmingly rejected their respective bills. New Hampshire: Supported House Bill 146 which authorized a 70 mph speed limit on a stretch of Interstate 93. The bill passed the House and has successfully passed through the Senate Transportation Committee. South Dakota: Opposed House Bill 1080 which would have added speeding tickets into the mix of violations that would accumulate points on a driving record. The bill was killed in the House Transportation Committee. Pennsylvania: Opposed House Bill 14 which would allow speed cameras in highway work zones. Also opposed House Bill 38, which would allow local police agencies to use radar speed enforcement. Both bills are under consideration in the House Transportation Committee. Virginia: Opposed House Bill 1907 which dramatically increased fines for texting while driving. The measure subsequently passed both houses and was signed into law by Governor McDonnell. Thanks to the many NMA members who volunteered their time to send emails, write letters, make phone calls, and work with policymakers and media outlets on these important issues.
If you’re not signed up to receive legislative alerts but would like to, use the “Choose Your NMA E-Subscriptions” link in the sidebar of this email. If you drive several thousand highway miles each year, for business and/or recreationally, we’d like to get your opinion via email. If you have used one of the current mobile apps (Trapster, Waze, Escort Live, PhantomAlert) that provide warnings about red-light and speed cameras, reduced speed zones, and other obstacles/enforcement actions, all the better. This won’t take up more than five to ten minutes of your time and will be of great value to us. If you are interested in participating, please send an email referencing “highway mobile app” to [email protected].