NMA Driving News Weekly Roundup for August 3, 2018

In this week’s Driving News Roundup:

–Coalition (including NMA) urges Congress to pass CAF Reform—
–Federal Court finds Albuquerque’s CAF Program Unconstitutional—
–Trump Adm. Moves to roll back Vehicle Emissions Standards—
–Senators want probe of SunPass operations in FL & MI–

Click on the color headline to read the full story. 

NMA Driving News Story of the Week

Coalition Urges Congress to Pass Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform (NMA included)
The National Motorists Association joined nearly two dozen civil liberties organizations in urging members of the U.S. House of Representatives to adopt amendments to the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies appropriations bill that would curtail the authorization of law enforcement to seize property from citizens who have not even been charged with a crime. The House considered similar amendments in the 2017 appropriations cycle including one sponsored by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI, 7th District) that was approved unanimously to block adoptive forfeiture practices but did not pass in the Senate.

Federal Court finds Albuquerque’s Civil Asset Forfeiture Program Unconstitutional
In a ruling likely to have national implications, today a federal judge in Albuquerque has found that the city’s civil forfeiture program is unconstitutional. The ruling sets a precedent that calls into question countless other civil forfeiture programs across the country. “Today’s ruling is a total victory for fairness, due process and property owners everywhere,” said IJ Attorney Robert Everett Johnson. “The court ruled the government must prove that an owner did something wrong before it can take away their property. Beyond that, the judge ruled that law enforcement cannot benefit financially from revenue generated by a forfeiture program. Together, these rulings strike at the heart of the problem with civil forfeiture. We will undoubtedly use this decision to attack civil forfeiture programs nationwide.”

Trump moves to roll back Obama emission standards
The Trump administration rolled out a plan Thursday to weaken the Obama administration’s aggressive fuel economy and global warming standards for cars and strip California of its ability to determine its own vehicle regulations for greenhouse gas emissions. In a major rebuke of a key pillar of former President Obama’s legacy, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) declared that the heightened emissions standards set to take effect for cars built from 2021 and 2026 are unreasonable for both economic and safety reasons. The Obama administration set the standards in 2012 as part of a set of rules meant to intensify from 2017 to 2026. Instead, the EPA and DOT are now proposing freezing the standards at their planned 2020 level, canceling any future strengthening.

Two US Senators want federal probe of toll collection vendor in Florida and Michigan
Two U.S. Senators are calling for an investigation into the company that manages the electronic tolling system in Florida and Michigan. Senators Bill Nelson of Florida and Gary Peters of Michigan, in their letter, accused Conduent State & Local Solutions for violating the Federal Trade Commission Act, which prohibits unfair and deceptive trade practices. The Florida Department of Transportation had to suspend contract payments for Conduent due to weeks of delays with the $287 million upgrade to the SunPass toll system. SunPass waived late fees during the delay.

Opinion and Commentary from around the Web

News Stories from around the Web

National News Watch

Auto Recall and Auto Safety News

Automatic Traffic Enforcement and Surveillance

Court Cases of Interest plus Police Reform/Corruption

Driver’s License Watch

Driving in America

Driving Tips

Infrastructure Watch

Tolls in America

Vision Zero Watch

 

The NMA Driving News Roundup is a regular feature on the NMA Blog, where we highlight some of the most interesting driving news stories of the week. If you have a story for Driving News, send the url via email to nma@motorists.org. Every Wednesday catch the Car of the Future Roundup blog post.

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