Driving News Roundup: March 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: St. Petersburg deputy city attorney beats red-light camera ticket
While the debate raged last week about violations from red-light cameras in Pinellas County, the city’s chief assistant attorney found himself challenging a ticket of his own. A magistrate found the deputy city attorney not guilty last week of making a right turn on red while driving 12 mph at 38th Avenue N and 66th Street N. This wasn’t his first victory with a camera violation.

Wall Street Journal: The Answer is a Longer Yellow
Numerous studies, including an in-depth federal report, confirm that red-light cameras are associated with an increase in rear-end collisions as drivers slam on the brakes. Virtually all now understand that the best way to decrease crashes at problem intersections is a longer yellow. But a bigger picture is also becoming clearer: Ticket-racketeering has been, let’s just say, a contending motivation with safety since the automobile age was born.

California: Hayward to turn off red-light cameras
Red-light cameras will soon be a thing of the past here, with the City Council voting Tuesday to end the program as soon as possible. Although the police recommended phasing out the cameras as contracts began expiring later this year, several council members said that if the program was not working and there were more rear-end collisions, the city should pull the plug immediately.

Illinois: Redflex expanding investigation into its conduct
The internal probe into whether Chicago’s red-light camera company bribed a City Hall official has raised concerns that caused the firm to examine its conduct in two other locations, the chairman of Redflex Holdings Ltd. told shareholders.

Mississippi: Bill to raise speed limit to 75 mph hits stop sign
A bill that would increase the speed limit on some Mississippi roads will not become law this year. House Bill 376 proposed to increase the speed limit on interstates and some state highways from 70 mph to 75 mph. The bill did not make it out of committee.

Ohio: Traffic law ‘turning point’? Ohio judge rules speed cameras violate rights
There have been a handful of rulings in recent years against red-light cameras, but attorney Mike Allen said he believes this is a first for speed cameras. Hamilton County Judge Robert Ruehlman’s emphatic and colorful decision was adorned with capital letters, bold print and exclamation points. In it, he said two speed cameras in the village of Elmwood Place, which were installed last year and caused considerable controversy in the community, violated drivers’ “due process guarantees” under the Ohio Constitution.

New York: NYPD traffic tickets topped one million in 2012
The New York City Police Department was reportedly ticket happy in 2012, handing out over a million moving violations to drivers, with the most violations for talking on cell phones. Officers from the 75th precinct in East New York, Brooklyn handed out the most tickets in the city, at almost 26,000.


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