Driving News Roundup: February 8, 2013

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.

Florida: FHP announces daytime driver license, vehicle inspection checkpoints
The Florida Highway Patrol Troop C (Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk, Pasco, Hernando, Sumter and Citrus counties) has announced the roads it plans to target with driver license and/or vehicle inspection checkpoints in February. FHP says the checkpoints will be conducted during daytime hours, and generally cause delays of five minutes or less.

Florida: City caught issuing 1645 camera tickets on shortened yellow
A tenth of a second can make a big difference. In St. Petersburg, Florida, the yellow time at intersections was shortened by fractions of a second for thousands of drivers, enabling the red-light camera program to generate an extra $259,910 in revenue in 13 months. It was enough to boost the number of citations issued by five percent.

Israel: Tel Aviv woman’s car painted into handicap spot and then towed
The guys and girls responsible for taking care of their nation’s roadways wield the seldom-seen power to seriously put a kink your day. Workers in Tel Aviv, Israel carefully paint a handicap space around an otherwise legally parked vehicle. After they finish, it doesn’t take long for a tow truck to come along and haul off the “offending” sedan. Local authorities quickly apologized.

Ohio: ‘Smarter’ policing may mean airborne cameras
The Dayton Police Chief is asking the city to spend $120,000 for an airplane to monitor crime hot spots from high above the city. The surveillance flights would happen mostly during daylight or daybreak and twilight. The piloted planes are equipped with high-definition cameras and would fly at roughly 10,000 feet above the city at a cost of $1,000 an hour.

Texas: Decades old traffic ticket haunts man
A Bexar County resident received a letter in the mail telling him he had a warrant out for his arrest. The crime? A speeding ticket he received 21 years ago on June 1, 1992. When he went to court to try to clear things up, he was handcuffed, and told, “pay the fine or go to jail.”

California: San Diego mayor ends use of red-light cameras at intersections
Following a campaign promise, newly-elected Mayor Bob Filner on Friday announced the end of red-light cameras for traffic enforcement. The cameras, Filner said, are nothing more than “the San Diego version of a traffic trap” using “robotic technology.” In the last five years, 78,113 tickets have been issued because of the San Diego cameras.

South Africa: Skateboarder faces arrest for racing down busy road
One of South Africa’s top skateboarders is facing arrest over a video posted on YouTube of him careering down a Cape Town street at a professed 68 mph to set off a speed camera. The road in question is one of Cape Town’s steepest and has been used to host extreme skateboarding events.


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