Driving News Roundup: March 22, 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.

Illinois: Federal investigation of red-light camera scandal
Federal authorities have launched a criminal probe of bribery allegations in Chicago’s red-light camera program, issuing a subpoena for financial records of the former city official at the center of the escalating international scandal. The subpoena was the first indication that the U.S. attorney’s office has opened a case, triggering a series of investigations that now threaten to consume the company.

New York: NYC police union opposes cameras to catch speeders
New York City’s police union (Police Benevolent Association) is urging state lawmakers to reject legislation that would set up cameras to catch speeders. The PBA is urging state legislators not to pass a bill authorizing the camera program saying that speed cameras “are no substitute for live policing.”

Feds: No warrant needed to Track your car with a GPS device
The Obama administration is claiming that authorities do not need court warrants to affix GPS devices to vehicles to monitor their every move.

Oregon/Arkansas: Pursue left-lane use limits
State lawmakers in multiple states are considering bills to keep most drivers out of the fast lane. An Oregon bill would make the left lane off limits for everything except passing. In Arkansas, a similar effort is being pursued. Supporters, including OOIDA and the National Motorists Association, say that blocking the left lane, whether intentional or not, results in reduced road safety and efficiency.

Tennessee: Lawmakers seek to shut down interstate speed traps
Legislators say they’ve heard complaints about smaller towns along the interstate thinking of those roadways as a sort of cash cow. A proposal working its way through the general assembly would give safety officials the right to revoke a municipalities authority to patrol the interstate if they don’t comply with rules. If the proposal becomes law, it would apply to towns with a population of 10,000 or less.

Ohio: Drivers encouraged by speed limit change
State legislators passed a bill increasing the speed limit on some Ohio highways. Soon 65 mph speed limit signs could be replaced with signs that say 70. The state legislature passed a state transportation budget that includes raising the speed limit on rural interstate highways. The bill still has to be signed by the governor, who is expected to sign it.

California: Committee would give photo ticket points to non-drivers
Owners of vehicles registered in California could have their license suspended for red light running violations, even if they never get behind the wheel of their cars. Under Assembly Bill 666 considered by the state Assembly Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, red-light camera tickets would be turned into administrative violations that hold the owner responsible for $500 and license points for violations committed by others.


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