Driving News Roundup: June 7, 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.

Does the road to hell have red-light cameras?
A government report looked at red-light cameras around the country—justified in the name of safety—and found that they are actually hazardous to drivers. Will city and local authorities who have become drunk on the revenues generated by these ticketing machines sober up and see the light? Red Alert Politics summarizes the findings.

Illinois: Increasing interstate speed limit a good idea
A bill to increase the interstate speed limit from 65 to 70 miles per hour sits on Gov. Pat Quinn’s desk. With the current top speed limit set at 65 mph, Illinois is one of a handful of states that don’t have a top speed limit at 70 mph or higher.

Michigan: Do different car, truck speed limits make Michigan freeways safer?
Wayne State University researchers plan to study whether different freeway speed limits in Michigan for passenger vehicles and large trucks make roads safer as part of an effort to consider whether speed restrictions for larger vehicles should be scaled back.

Ohio: ‘Speed trap’ employee off to prison
A former Arlington Heights employee went to prison Monday for stealing $260,000 in public money. Her alleged partner in crime – her daughter, was also an Arlington Heights employee before she was fired and indicted in the theft in office case. Mother and daughter were the clerk and deputy clerk respectively of the Arlington Heights Mayor’s Court. They collected fines for speeding tickets and other infractions.

Michigan: Bill would allow automated traffic tickets despite objections of motorists’ rights advocates
If eight Michigan representatives have their way, you could get a $265 ticket – $130 in state fines plus perhaps $135 in local fines – in the mail for stopping six inches too far into a crosswalk, or for not pausing a second or two before turning right on a red light. HB 4763 will let city governments install ticket-issuing cameras at traffic lights, and mail tickets to car owners caught violating the red light.

Florida: State to increase yellow light minimums
Following a news investigation into short yellow lights at red-light camera intersections, the Florida Department of Transportation will increase the minimum intervals for yellow lights statewide. FDOT confirmed on Monday the agency will add 0.4 seconds to all yellow interval minimums to allow drivers more time to safely react. FDOT will send the directive to local agencies this week, although it could take months to re-time all of the short lights in the state.

U.K.: London could see 20mph speed limit on nearly all residential streets by 2020
A 20mph speed limit could be introduced on almost all residential roads and high streets in London by the end of the decade, according to the mayor’s transport advisor. Motorists could be restricted to that limit within the M25 on all but major arteries into the capital, according to the deputy mayor for transport.


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