Compiled by NMA Foundation Executive Director James C. Walker and NMA Communications Director Shelia Dunn
The ATE Racket Report is a weekly feature of the NMA blog. We want to bring the issues of automated traffic enforcement to our supporters in a more coherent up-to-date fashion.
Here is the list of devices that we will cover in this blog:
- ATE=Automated Traffic Enforcement
- ALPRs= Automated License Plate Readers
- Face Recognition Cameras
- RLCs=Red-Light Cameras
- Speed Cameras (and all their forms)
- Surveillance devices such as Stingrays and Sureshots
This past week…
- The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) told the Iowa Supreme Court last week that speed cameras are potential highway hazards. The DOT was defending its role in crafting rules governing placement of speed cameras on highways. The DOT claims its legal duty to handle obstructions on highways also applies to automated traffic cameras. Several cities are challenging that authority.
- Baltimore, Maryland wants to use automated license plate readers (ALPRs) as digital parking permit enforcers.
- The Dallas-Fort Worth Newspaper, Star-Telegram posited this question: Will this lawsuit be the end of Red-Light Cameras in Texas? We sure hope so! This is the case of Shreveport, LA based motorist James H. Watson who decided to fight a RLC ticket he received in South Lake, TX. The only problem—Watson’s 2009 Honda was never in South Lake. Watson paid the fine under duress and then filed a lawsuit three years ago and continues to wind its way through the Texas court system.
- The Denton, Texas Record-Chronicle continues its investigations into automated traffic enforcement. Last week, they broke a story about the amount of overtime paid to police drawn from the camera fund. The assistant police chief, who is responsible for the ATE program drew more than $120,000 in overtime since 2014.
Wait and See
- Ohio lawmakers want to clamp down on automated traffic enforcement in the state. The House already voted 71 to 24 to grant more motorists more of a fair shot at traffic court and cut state funding for cities that profit from ATE. The Senate Judiciary Committee took up the bill last week.
- Australia press reported this week that texting while driving might soon become an automated traffic enforcement ticket.
- The city of Edmonton, Canada is studying a way to capture drivers whose cars are too loud—they want to create an automated sound trap and of course ticket drivers through the mail if their vehicles exceeds the decibel range.
- Three more speed cameras went up in Dayton, Ohio. All fixed speed cameras allow a 30-day warning period. Two red-light cameras are planned for two different locations.
- A federal judge has declined to issue an order to stop the use of speed cameras in Providence, Rhode Island while a class-action suit moves forward. Plaintiffs claim the city has not provided any due process for motorists. About 21,000 $95 tickets have been issued for the past several months.
NMA’s City and State Lists of RLCs and speed cameras
The NMA has compiled a list of which states and cities are using red-light and speed cameras. This may not be a complete list and please send any additions or subtractions to the email@example.com for updating the list.
Jim Walker’s ATE Advocacy Tip of the Week
The news that the Iowa Department of Transportation told the Iowa Supreme Court that speed cameras could be a hazard is important. (Open the first item in the list above.) It is rare for a DOT or any of the authorities to tell the courts that speed cameras could increase crash risks. It is true, of course, but not commonly admitted by the authorities.