Driving News Roundup: May 31, 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.

Washington D.C.: Three golden miles net D.C. $28 million
There are seasons when New York Avenue seems pocked with potholes, but for the District it is paved with gold. It likely is one of the most lucrative streets in the world when it comes to collecting a hidden toll in traffic tickets, its gantlet of speed and red-light cameras taking in an average of $30,570 a day and a total of more than $28 million since the start of fiscal 2011.

How highway lane courtesy prevents car accidents
Anyone who has experienced the frustration of following a slow-moving vehicle that won’t move out of the left lane understands the need for greater courtesy on the highway.

Louisiana: Red-light cameras deny due process
The Fifth Amendment requires that before a government agency can take life, liberty, or property you first must receive due process of law. The red-light camera system is a way for cities to shake down it’s citizens for a few dollars more without due process — and money is property.

California: Airborne traffic enforcement practically a thing of the past
Despite dozens of signs warning Bay Area drivers that airplanes are tracking their speed, few motorists are actually receiving tickets that way. Airborne traffic enforcement has nosedived due to budget cuts at local police departments, but you wouldn’t know it from all the highway signs that warn drivers they’re being watched from above.

Maryland: Brentwood demands changes to ‘shameless’ speed trap
A community is demanding changes to what residents are calling a shameless speed trap. The speed camera in a school zone runs even when class isn’t in session, but that’s just the beginning.

Ohio: Most council members quit in village with traffic camera controversy
A southwest Ohio village in upheaval over its use of traffic cameras is down to two council members after the majority resigned. The village of some 2,200 people near Cincinnati became a focal point for a debate common across the country about using traffic cameras for enforcement. Thousands of people got ticketed, leading to a lawsuit and a court injunction to stop using cameras.

Pennsylvania: Judge who dismissed her own traffic tickets ordered suspended without pay
Pennsylvania’s Court of Judicial Discipline has granted a petition by the state’s Judicial Conduct Board to suspend without pay a magisterial district judge from Lancaster County who got caught up in her own personal ticket-fixing scandal. The ruling by the CJD against Judge Kelly S. Ballentine is retroactive to Feb. 11, and orders the disgraced jurist to repay the commonwealth the salary and contributions she has received since that date.


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