Driving News Roundup: March 1, 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: Pinellas County clerk sees flaws in red-light cameras
Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court says the flaws in the current system of red-light traffic cameras are so big that cities should stop issuing tickets based on them until the problems are fixed. He also said there is no way to challenge a ticket until after the fine increases.

The real drone horror – revenue enhancement
Think of drones as flying red-light cameras and you’ll see their future. Unlike present red-light cameras that are installed at just a few heavily trafficked locations, drones allow violations to be recorded for going through a red light, stopping in a crosswalk, making a right turn without making a full stop first, on every corner in an entire community. And then allow fines to be generated in a very cost effective manner.

Minnesota: Photo cop bill defeated in Senate committee
A bill that would allow cameras at intersections to catch and ticket red-light runners came to a screeching halt on Monday in the Minnesota Senate. The Senate Transportation and Public Safety Committee voted it down 9-6. A second attempt to move the proposal along without recommendation failed 8-7.

Nevada: Bill could lead to highway speeds up to 85 mph
On rural highways in Nevada, the top speed is 70 mph. On interstates it’s 75. On Monday, Senate Bill 191 was introduced which would allow the state Department of Transportation to increase the maximum speed limit in Nevada to 85 mph where the agency determines that speed is safe. The issue has widespread support including 16 of the 21 senators.

Washington D.C.: Waging war against drivers
If it seems like city leaders want to get cars off the road in the nation’s capital, that’s because they do — and it starts at the top. The city’s director of planning said increasing costs can encourage drivers to reconsider their transportation choices. And new expenses for drivers could be on the horizon.

Arkansas: Mayflower refunding speeding tickets to drivers
Dozens of traffic tickets will be refunded after the former Mayflower Chief of Police plead guilty Wednesday morning to lying about his officers being properly certified. Since then the town has been busy trying to make things right. The city of Mayflower is refunding each and every driver given a speeding ticket as a result of a radar gun between the months of December 2011 and 2012.

Michigan: MDOT hikes I-675 speed limit
You can legally drive a little faster through the city of Saginaw on I-675. The Michigan Department of Transporation is raising the speed limit from 55 to 70 on that stretch of the road. MDOT says after a multi-year review, it was determined that most drivers were exceeding the 55 mph limit. The review also looked at things like the number of accidents, which MDOT says have decreased as a result of safety improvements to I-675.


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