Driving News Roundup: May 10, 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: Red-light camera fines may go up to $408 and be harder to fight under new rules
A bill that cleared the House and Senate in the final days of the legislative session vastly increases the power of local governments to issue red-light camera violations. It discourages people accused of running red lights from challenging their ticket by increasing their fine from $158 to $408 should they contest and lose.

Illinois: Sheriffs seem OK with raising interstate speed limit
Although a state transportation official opposes a proposal to raise the speed limit on rural interstate highways to 70 mph, most county sheriffs apparently aren’t opposed to the increase. In April, the Illinois Senate voted 41-6 for that change from 65 mph. The measure is Senate Bill 2356.

Germany: Not so fast: Merkel challenger seeks to cut off debate on speed limit for all German autobahns
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s challenger in September’s election is trying to avoid a political speed bump. Peer Steinbrueck is trying to halt a debate set off by a Social Democrat colleague about whether to introduce speed limits on all German highways — a potential turnoff for voters. Stretches of Germany’s autobahns have no speed limit, traditionally a cherished freedom.

California: Murrieta red-light camera program shut down
To hearty applause from the audience in a packed City Council chamber, City Council members voted on Tuesday, May 7, 4-0 to end the red-light camera program. In doing so, council members are requesting American Traffic Solutions to remove the cameras and all associated equipment. Additionally, council members said they planned to consider proposals from the public to extend the time a traffic light stays yellow before turning red.

U.K.: 20mph speed limits backed by World Health Organisation
The Pedestrian Safety report summarises published research on the science of road safety and uses a case study of Lancashire’s 20mph limits. It stated that ‘one of the most effective ways to improve pedestrian safety is to reduce the speed of vehicles’ with ‘area-wide lower speed limit programmes’ being a proven intervention.

Nebraska: Supreme Court upholds a little weaving
Police officers who want to stop and interrogate a motorist often claim he “weaved within his lane” as justification. Until now, this common pretext has generally been upheld by the judges around the country. The Nebraska Supreme Court, however, expressed its doubt on Friday.

Illinois: 70 mph speed limit clears House committee
Legislation that would raise the speed limit on interstate highways in most sections of downstate Illinois to 70 mph advanced through the House Transportation Committee Wednesday, 8-0. The bill, SB 2356, now moves to the full House for its consideration. It already passed the Senate, 41-6, in April.


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