NMA Driving News Weekly Roundup for June 16, 2017

In this week’s Driving News Roundup:

–ATS loses in Alabama—

–AV regs discussed on the Hill—

–Amarillo discusses legality of RLC—

–SanFran has ridesharing trouble—too many cars on the street–

NMA’s Driving News Story of the Week

Federal Appeals Court Blocks Transfer Of Anti-Camera Lawsuit
In a significant blow to one of the red-light camera industry’s favorite legal tactics, the Eleventh Circuit US Court of Appeals on Wednesday rejected the attempt of American Traffic Solutions (ATS) to relocate a class action lawsuit to a federal courtroom. ATS sought to prevent Alabama judges from hearing arguments against the use of local laws to authorize red-light cameras on a city-by-city basis. “Under generally applicable law, Alabama classifies running a red light as a criminal misdemeanor,” Judge Ed Carnes wrote in explaining the plaintiff’s case. “But in 2009, to accommodate Montgomery’s program, the Alabama legislature enacted a law creating a new non-criminal category of state law called a civil violation. That category is the opposite of a generally applicable one because it applies only to red light violations detected by cameras within Montgomery’s city limits.”

NMA’s Driving News Editorial of the Week

Editorial: To save lives not dollars, NC should pay for driver’s education
The state’s driver’s education program is required for all those who want to get their drivers’ licenses before they turn 18, the age at which they can go to the Division of Motor Vehicles and take the required tests without taking the class. And, there have been improvements in North Carolina’s testing, with graduated privileges, etc. But now under the state Senate’s budget proposal, an unnecessarily complicated way of paying for driver’s ed would be instituted, with parents paying the full cost of driver’s ed up front – around $275 – with the option to get reimbursed if their student passes the state test for a learner’s permit on the first try. (Families now pay up to $65.)

National News Watch

US Senators reveal plans for national self-driving car legislation
The American transportation industry has been calling for national rules governing self-driving cars, and it looks like it might get its wish. Senators Bill Nelson, Gary Peters and John Thune have unveiled the principles they’ll use to craft legislation that greenlights autonomous vehicles. Safety will be the top priority, they say, but they also want to make sure the law is “tech neutral,” clears up the roles of federal and state governments and improves cars’ online security.

Inside the ACLU’s nationwide campaign to curb police surveillance
Last fall, the ACLU announced a nationwide strategy in partnership with over a dozen other civil liberties groups to promote similar bills in cities across the country. Called Community Control Over Police Surveillance, or CCOPS, the ACLU says there are bills with sponsors in 19 cities nationwide and one public transit system, the Bay Area’s BART. Chad Marlow, who is overseeing the nationwide strategy for CCOPS at the ACLU, says that organizing is underway in an additional 46 cities and one state, though he doesn’t expect them all to find sponsors.

US regulators still reviewing Fiat Chrysler diesel vehicle fix
A U.S. Justice Department lawyer said at a court hearing on Wednesday it could take “weeks or months” before regulators decide whether to approve a software fix for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV diesel vehicles. In May, the Justice Department sued Fiat Chrysler, accusing the Italian-American automaker of illegally using software to bypass emission controls in 104,000 diesel vehicles sold since 2014. Fiat Chrysler hopes regulators will quickly approve the company’s proposed software update as part of certifying 2017 diesel models to allow them to go on sale and then use that software to update the 104,000 vehicles on the road.

Automatic Traffic Enforcement Watch

Driver’s License Watch

Driving in America

Federal Appeals Court Outlaws Coordinated Traffic Stops
Police are adapting to the limitations the US Supreme Court has been placing on traffic stops. Once an officer is done writing a ticket, the motorist is supposed to be free to leave without unnecessary delay. A Nevada state trooper, however, realized he could get around this time restriction by calling ahead to have the same car pulled over by a second officer. The Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals on Monday said such tactics went too far.

Infrastructure Watch 

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 other Sunday, catch the Car of the Future Roundup blog post.

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