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.
California: ACLU sues LAPD and Sheriff’s Department over license plate scanners
Both the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and the Los Angeles Police Department have become big fans of cameras that capture license plate numbers and check them against information in registration and criminal databases. Authorities tout how the information helps find stolen cars and help solve investigations, but the American Civil Liberties Union has an issue with the police holding onto the plate images of innocent people.
North Carolina: Court costs – where your fine from speeding tickets really goes
Many drivers know it’s the court costs that will really ding you, typically tacking on almost 200 dollars to your initial speeding fine. You may be surprised to learn hardly any of the “court costs” actually make it back to the courts. The vast majority of the court cost money actually goes straight to the state’s general fund.
Florida: Shortened yellow lights lead to more tickets
A subtle, but significant tweak to Florida’s rules regarding traffic signals has allowed local cities and counties to shorten yellow light intervals, resulting in millions of dollars in additional red-light camera fines.
Illinois: Proof lacking red-light cameras installed at most dangerous intersections
The Chicago Inspector General’s Office said in an audit summary Tuesday that the Chicago Department of Transportation cannot prove it installed red-light cameras on the city’s most crash-prone intersections as promised. The audit suggests CDOT should implement and follow “clear” criteria for choosing red-light camera placement and keep records on the decisions and basis for each location.
Minnesota: What metro area city tickets speeders more than others?
On average, nearly 120,000 people are ticketed for speeding in the seven-county metro area each year. We spent months crunching the numbers and discovered your chance of getting caught varies greatly from city to city.
New Jersey: Bill would make it easier to reduce speed limits to 15 mph
A bill penned by Burlington County legislator Scott Rudder and Assemblywoman Celeste Riley would require the New Jersey Department of Transportation to reduce the speed limit on qualified local roads from 25 mph to 15 or 20 mph if a community association or majority of the residents in a neighborhood request it. The bill would apply only to access streets within residential neighborhoods where the majority of streets do not have sidewalks.
New Jersey: Coming soon to the skies near you
It sounds like something dreamed up for “The Jetsons” — flying vehicles flitting through the skies, transporting everything from medical devices to Chinese food, no pilot required. But in two years, New Jerseyans may see these airborne robots soaring above them on the Turnpike, a cause of concern for some and a source of wonder for others.