In this week’s Driving News Roundup:
–German Court says okay for cities to ban Diesel—
–CA allows driverless cars without human babysitters in April—
–Ridesharing Cars cause even more City Congestion, Who knew?—
–40 states reach Takata Airbag Scandal Settlements—
Click on the color headline to read the full story.
NMA Driving News Story of the Week
Highway Trust Fund Casts Shadow Over Infrastructure Debate
Long-term uncertainty about the finances of a main federal account for funding highways and mass transit looms large as discussions continue here in the nation’s capital about the possibility of passing major infrastructure legislation this year. U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, a Pennsylvania Republican who chairs the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, emphasized Wednesday that the five-year federal law currently keeping the Highway Trust Fund solvent will lapse in about two years and seven months.
In Germany’s Car Capital, the Unthinkable: The Right to Ban Cars
The star of Daimler shines bright over Stuttgart. The giant illuminated emblem of its most famous car, the Mercedes, towers above the main train station, greeting visitors. It is visible for miles. “As soon as you arrive,” said Manfred Niess, a retired teacher and local environmental activist, “you know who rules here.” Now, though, Daimler and other automakers in Stuttgart are facing a startling new reality: It may soon be illegal for some to drive a Mercedes in this city, where the local soccer club plays in the Mercedes-Benz stadium.
California Allows Driverless Car Testing Without Human Drivers
Driverless cars will be tested on California roads for the first time without a human being behind a steering wheel under new rules for the fast-developing technology. The regulations approved Monday are a major step toward getting autonomous vehicles onto the streets of California, the nation’s self-driving car hub.
Opinion and Commentary from around the Web
- The math in Trump’s infrastructure plan is off by 98 percent, UPenn economists say
- Why Fiat Chrysler And Other Automakers Are Dumping Diesel Cars
- Editorial: Congress should close the loophole allowing warrantless digital car searches
- Texas Editorial: No way to build infrastructure
- Texas Editorial: GOP asks–Should all toll road projects be subject to public vote?
- Editorial: The bogus ‘Toll-the-Interstates’ solution
- What It Would Actually Take to Fund Infrastructure
- Editorial: Congress Should Raise The Federal Gas Tax, With Or Without An Infrastructure Bill
News Stories from around the Web
National News Watch
- Carmakers granted a delay in adding mandatory noise to EVs
- Pedestrian deaths surge in L.A., overall traffic fatalities down slightly
- A look at transportation safety rules sidelined under Trump
- Do Uber, Lyft Congest Cities? Studies Increasingly Point to Yes.
- Drowsy driving crash rate 8 times higher than estimated, study shows
- Carmakers’ ‘Harmonization’ Push Could Soften Fuel Efficiency Gains
State Legislative Watch
- Arizona bill aims to let rural counties raise money for roads through sales taxes
- California Bill Could Make it Easier for Cities to Lower Speed Limits
- Summit County, Colorado can’t change its speed limits, but a new bill could change that
- Push to ban red-light cameras may stall again in Florida legislature
- Florida senate budget chief questions texting ban bill
- Georgia lawmakers consider school zone speed traps
- Indiana Senate Committee Changes Self-Driving Vehicles Bill
- Traffic camera ban passes Iowa Senate
- Ignition interlock devices would be required under drunk driving law advanced in Iowa Senate
- Lawmakers oppose new fees on Maine hybrid and electric cars
- Hands-free cell phone bill redialed at Minnesota Capitol
- New Hampshire House Transportation Committee rejects seatbelt mandate
- Cops ticketing motorists for honking in support of teacher protest in Jersey City, New Jersey
- Utah House passes bill that paves the way for more toll roads
- Utah Might Become First State to Allow Autonomous Cars on Public Roads
- Utah senator does a little day drinking, then presents a bill to delay .05 DUI law
- What Virginia’s proposed distracted driving law could mean for drivers
- Think rush-hour, peak-direction tolls on Virginia’s I-66 are bad? How about tolling drivers going both directions?
Auto Recall and Auto Safety News
- Sunroofs Are Growing in Size and Popularity. Rules Haven’t Kept Up.
- More than 40 states reach settlement concerning Takata’s faulty air bags
- BMW to recall 11,700 cars after installing wrong engine software
- Toyota recalls nearly 65K new Sequoia, Tundra models due to electrical issue
Automatic Traffic Enforcement and Surveillance
- Right-Light Camera Corruption: Redflex reports losing another $11.8 million as the fallout from the bribery scandal continues.
- Florida: Are red-light cameras more about fines than public safety?
- Cook County judge OKs final $38M deal to end Chicago red-light camera class action; lawyers get $11M
- Kentucky Supreme Court Endorses License Plate Camera Tracking
- Louisiana: Red-light camera ticket refunds are tied up
- Nassau County, NY loses speed camera ruling
- Five new red-light cameras coming to Roosevelt Boulevard intersections in Philadelphia
- Local communities to get share of Philly red light fines
- Parking Tickets from SEPTA? Cameras on Philadelphia Buses May Crack Down on Drivers Parked in Bus Stops
- Rhode Island ACLU finds traffic camera proposal in Pawtucket problematic
Driver’s License Watch
- The Many Roads to Bankruptcy due to Ticket Fines in Illinois
- Jailed over unpaid fines, court costs: debtors’ prisons?
Driving in America
- Variable Speed Limits: Improving Safety or Confusing Motorists?
- Los Angeles Has Criminalized Poverty By Making It Illegal To Sleep In Cars and RVs
- Massachusetts voters don’t want higher rush-hour tolls
- Should Massachusetts ban drivers from using cellphones with exceptions for ‘hands-free mode?
- Thousands in fines causing New York commuters EZ Pass exasperation
- Oregon Tolling committee weighs 5 options
- Poll: Utahns don’t like proposals to establish toll roads to pay for transportation needs
- Washington state troopers wrote almost 900 tickets for distracted driving in new law’s first month
- White House again pushes tolling, suggests trucking doesn’t pay enough for highways
- States with tolls receive less federal transportation money than Connecticut
- Connecticut DOT makes plea for tolls to solve deficits
- Minnesota: Could tolls pay for road repair? Probably not, MNDOT says
- Funding for Wisconsin roads down as much as $90 million due to Foxconn project
Vision Zero Watch
- Are American Cities Making Progress on Traffic Safety? (Vision Zero Watch)
- New speed limits on Los Angeles roads aim to reduce traffic fatalities (Vision Zero Watch)
- Northeast Seattle street project (a road diet) stirs cars-vs.-bikes debate
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 email@example.com. Every other Sunday, catch the Car of the Future Roundup blog post.