NMA Driving News Weekly Roundup for July 20, 2018

In this week’s Driving News Roundup:

–Texas Supremes will hear Red-Light Camera Challenge—
–NHTSA slammed in an audit on Auto Recall Tracking Program—
–NJ needs to clean up its Municipal Court System—
–US Auto Tariffs might increase Auto Insurance and Auto Theft–

Click on the color headline to read the full story.

NMA Driving News Stories of the Week

Red-Light Camera Challenge Heads to Texas Supremes
The nine justices of the Texas Supreme Court have the opportunity to decide whether the cities that use red-light camera have to follow the law or not. Attorney Russell J. Bowman is asking the high court to overturn last month’s Court of Appeals decision that gave a free pass to the city of Richardson for its failure to conduct a formal engineering study before handing Redflex Traffic Systems of Australia the right to issue $75 traffic tickets at intersections. A three-judge appellate panel decided that Dallas County District Court Judge Dale B. Tillery was wrong to rule in Bowman’s favor two years ago (view trial court opinion) because Bowman never appeared before a city-run administrative hearing regarding his ticket. Bowman never actually received the ticket that Redflex dropped in the mail. The first time the attorney had heard about the alleged violation was when he attempted to renew the registration on his 2010 Hyundai Sonata.

Audit Faults NHTSA for Poor Tracking of Takata and Other Recall Repairs
A federal audit released Wednesday criticizes the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for not doing enough to ensure that automakers follow through on safety recalls—finding that the public might not be getting critical safety information. The Office of Inspector General for the U.S Department of Transportation examined NHTSA’s recall oversight over several years, during a period when the number of recalls and vehicles involved skyrocketed. This includes the Takata airbag recall, the largest and most complicated campaign in U.S. history.

Report details urgent need for reform of New Jersey’s municipal court system
“There are municipal officials out there, there are municipal judges out there, who freely brag about how much money they generate,” said state Sen. Declan O’Scanlon. O’Scanlon hailed the report commissioned by New Jersey’s Supreme Court that stated municipal court practices “… at times have more to do with generating revenue than the fair administration of justice.” It noted municipal courts processed 6 million cases and raked in $400 million just last year, with more than half of that money going to the municipalities.

U.S. auto tariffs could raise insurance rates, drive up auto thefts
A threat by the U.S. government to impose tariffs of up to 25 percent on imported auto parts could hit consumers in unexpected ways: higher repair costs, insurance premiums and even the theft of more cars for their parts, the industry said. U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has launched an investigation into whether auto imports pose a national security threat and threatened to slap the tariffs on cars from the European Union and elsewhere. A coalition of auto insurance groups said in previously unreported comments that hiking tariffs on imported auto parts by 25 percent could increase costs by 2.7 percent, or $3.4 billion annually, for personal auto insurance premiums. The U.S. Commerce Department is holding its one-day hearing about the matter on Thursday.

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

Infrastructure Watch

Tolls in America


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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