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In this week’s Driving News Roundup:
- Texas Governor Campaigns on RLC Ban
- Trump Tariffs targeted by over 60 Industry Groups
- US House urges Senate to pass Driverless Car Legislation
- Few Carmakers submitted self-driving car safety reports
Click on the color headline to read the full story.
NMA Driving News Story of the Week
Texas Governor Campaigns on Red-Light Camera Ban
Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) believes opposing the use of red-light cameras could help him secure re-election in November. On Monday, Abbott released a four-point public safety plan that elevated the issue to the status of a key campaign promise. Under the heading of “strengthening the rights of Texas drivers,” the former state attorney general said he would “Prohibit local adoption of red-light cameras and preempt any local ordinances or policies permitting red-light cameras already in force.”
Trump tariffs targeted by broad swath of U.S. businesses
After months of waging a behind-the-scenes war against President Donald Trump’s trade tariffs, which have escalated far beyond what business groups once imagined, more than 60 U.S. industry groups are launching a coalition on Wednesday to take the fight public. Emergence of the group, Americans for Free Trade, comes after Trump has warmed to the use of tariffs, implementing billions of dollars’ worth in an effort to use them as a threat to win concessions or in the belief they will create U.S. jobs. “A lot of other interest groups thought they wouldn’t go this long or go this deep, but the layering effect (of tariffs) has finally gotten everyone to say: ‘Enough is enough.’”
House committee urges Senate to advance self-driving vehicle legislation
One year after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bipartisan SELF DRIVE Act, House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders called on the Senate to advance automated vehicle legislation. “After a year of delays, forcing automakers and innovators to develop in a state-by-state patchwork of rules, the Senate must act to support this critical safety innovation and secure America’s place as a global leader in technology,” a media release from the House committee states. The House passed the SELF DRIVE Act by voice vote Sept. 6, 2017. Companion legislation remains tied up in the Senate.
If Farmers aren’t allowed to fix their own tractors, then how will the rest of us be able to fix our own cars?
Farmers have been some of the strongest allies in the ongoing battle to make it easier for everyone to fix their electronics. This week, though, a powerful organization that’s supposed to lobby on behalf of farmers in California has sold them out by reaching a watered-down agreement that will allow companies like John Deere to further cement their repair monopolies. Farmers around the country have been hacking their way past the software locks that John Deere and other manufacturers put on tractors and other farm equipment, and the Farm Bureau lobbying organization has thus far been one of the most powerful to put its weight behind right to repair legislation, which would require manufacturers to sell repair parts, make diagnostic tools and repair information available to the public, and would require manufacturers to provide a way to get around proprietary software locks that are designed to prevent repair.
Few carmakers submit self-driving car safety reports
The Trump administration has asked automakers to voluntarily outline how they are developing and testing self-driving cars on public roads. But only three companies have complied. Safety advocates say reports that have been submitted so far — by General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and the Google-affiliated Waymo, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — resemble slick marketing brochures instead of stringent regulatory filings.
It’s Never Infrastructure Week
U.S. government investment spending is the lowest it’s been in 70 years. That’s probably too low.
Opinion and Commentary from around the Web
- Detroit Should Not Give Ford a $104 Million Tax Break
- Indiana is at a crossroads on tolls — and its citizens will pay the freight
- What’s driving me crazy about electric cars
- Could driverless cars be the future of commuting?
- Volvo’s self-driving car concept is what our cities don’t need
- The Senate’s Driverless Car Bill Is Broadly Deregulatory and Promisingly Bipartisan. Naturally, it’s Going Nowhere
News Stories from around the Web
National and International News Watch
- Lethal inaction: As fatal truck crashes surge, U.S. government won’t make an easy fix
- Large Odometer Scam Uncovered, Feds Issue Warning
- EU lawmakers back tougher CO2 emissions reductions
- Britain Could Ban Classic Cars from Roads in Next 30 Years
Auto Recall and Auto Safety News
- GM to recall about 1.2 million vehicles worldwide
- GM recalls 230,000 crossover SUVs and sedans over brake issue
- NTSB seeks anti-lock brakes on all new motorcycles
- TXDOT says two out of three child safety seats misused in Texas
Automatic Traffic Enforcement and Surveillance
- Colorado Springs woman fights red-light camera ticket
- NJ lawmakers want to protect residents from other states’ red-light camera fines
- Kent, Ohio considers installing red-light cameras at six intersections
- Philadelphia: Local leaders hope to put speed enforcement cameras along the Roosevelt Blvd.
- Texas: Jersey Village considers reinstallation of 11 red-light cameras
Court Cases of Interest plus Police Reform/Corruption
- State Farm Pays $250 Million in Bribery Scandal
- Ohio Appeals Court Throws Out Dirty Car Stop
- Normandy, Missouri Slapped with Class-Action Suit Over ‘Debtor’s Prison’
- Oregon DOT, DMV sued for discriminatory suspensions
- VW faces about $10.7 billion investor suit over dieselgate scandal
- Appeals judge tosses attempt to scrub gas tax increase from Missouri’s November ballot
Driver’s License Watch
- Homeless veterans can now get free Arizona driver’s license, ID card
- A Scourge for California Drivers: Hours on a Sidewalk to Renew a License
- REAL ID for Illinois extended to 2020
- Massachusetts RMV issued 1900 licenses to dead people
- Nashville, TN: Prosecutor’s new plan for driver’s license violations could keep 12,000 cases out of court
- Virginia to offer REAL ID-compliant licenses next month
Driving in America
- Massachusetts: Who we are based on what we drive
- Ohio State study uncovers top sources of distracted driving
- Portland, Oregon Arrests for Drunken Driving Have Dropped. That’s Because Police Cut Back on Traffic Stops.
- Fairview, TN Police Chief refutes ‘speed trap’ talk
- Seattle Area: I-405 nightmares–Can they be fixed with $3 billion in toll lanes, interchanges, bus rapid transit?
- The Road Funding Policy That Doesn’t Improve Roads Much
- ADOT commits $150M to Vegas-Phoenix highway, looking toward I-11 project
- Gas tax: What Californians actually pay on each gallon of gas
- Denver ponders support of ‘Let’s Go, Colorado’ transportation fall ballot measure
- Detroit releases strategic transportation plan
- New Jersey: The gas tax was just raised, and it could keep going up
- Seattle’s SR 99 tunnel nears completion
Tolls in America
- California: More than 220,000 Bay Area solo HOV-lane drivers will lose carpool stickers Jan. 1
- Truckers Call Indiana Governor Holcomb’s Plan to Bump Tolls a Cash and Grab
- Drivers using tolled bridges in Louisville, KY can pay online now
- Massachusetts: How Avis can charge customers a fee for tolls, even if the driver doesn’t take a toll road
- Virginia Toll Operator’s Losses Flash Red Light for New Toll Lanes
Vision Zero Watch
- Tactical Urbanists Take Over Street in Denver to Place their Own Road Diet
- More Road Diets planned for St. Petersburg, Florida streets
- 5 things to know about why Baltimore’s bike lane dispute stirs such passions
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Every Wednesday catch the Car of the Future Roundup blog post.