Driving News Roundup: January 25, 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.

Iowa: Traffic camera ban, restrictions on the table in Iowa Legislature
Opponents of traffic enforcement cameras are going to take another run at banning the devices statewide this legislative session. Sen. Brad Zaun, R-Urbandale, filed three bills Wednesday dealing with red-light and speed-monitoring cameras, such as those operating in Davenport, Muscatine and other Iowa cities.

California: New service allows people to text strangers using plate number
Don’t like the way that car is parked? A new service allows individuals in San Francisco to anonymously send text messages to strangers through their license tag numbers.

Maryland: Troubled transition shuts down Baltimore speed cameras
Baltimore’s speed and red-light camera system has experienced a near-complete shutdown during what city officials are calling a problematic transition to a new contractor, and the new vendor says it could take four months to get its system running. Baltimore’s network of 83 speed cameras — which issued about 2,300 tickets each weekday last year — has yet to issue any in 2013.

Ohio: State researchers working on car that will drive itself
Technology could soon make getting behind the wheel a lot less work. A mockup at the Center for Automotive Research is where so-called intelligent transportation systems are brought to life. The small-scale roadway has everything you would see on an actual road, including painted lines, a red light and mini driverless cars.

Virginia: Rejects red-light camera, speed limit reform
Photo enforcement reform has been on the minds of Mid-Atlantic lawmakers, but the Virginia House of Delegates has rushed to declare nothing wrong with automated ticketing. By a lopsided 18 to 4 vote last Wednesday, the state House Committee on Science and Technology rejected an effort to place limits on cities using red-light cameras to ticket motorists making rolling right-hand turns on red.

Vermont: ACLU, law enforcement at odds over regulations for license plate readers
The Vermont American Civil Liberties Union wants data obtained by automatic license plate readers, modern traffic cameras used by police since 2008, to be destroyed after one month. The state’s public safety commissioner wants to hold onto the data for around two years. Currently, under an internal policy developed by the Department of Public Safety, the imaging data is kept for four years.


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