Roundup: August 21, 2013

Each Wednesday, we’ll publish quick summaries of the articles from the last week on We’re doing this because these articles are often strongly connected to the issues that National Motorists Association members are interested in.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Maryland: Motorist Rights Group Sues Over Camera Data
Municipalities in Maryland have a duty under the Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA) to provide citizens with documents related to government activities. When it comes to speed cameras, however, some towns are maintaining a code of silence. To force them to talk, Ron Ely, head of the Maryland Drivers Alliance, filed suit in the Prince George’s County circuit court last week asking a judge to force them to comply in full with the law.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013
California: Court Of Appeal Expands Warrantless Motorist Blood Draws
California’s second highest court on Thursday made it easier for police to forcibly draw blood from motorists suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). In coming to this conclusion, the Court of Appeal overturned the decision in seven Alameda County cases brought before the Superior Court’s Appellate Division where drivers had their blood taken at a jail facility.

Monday, August 19, 2013
Georgia: State To Remove Tolls From GA400 Highway
As many states are pushing to turn their freeways into toll roads, Georgia is moving in the opposite direction on at least one major highway. Beginning November 21, the Georgia 400 toll booths will be closed and motorists will no longer have to toss 50 cents into a basket to drive on the 6.2 mile route between Atlanta and Sandy Springs. Earlier this month the state agreed to hire Southeastern Site Development Inc to handle the process of toll booth demolition.

Sunday, August 18, 2013
Italy: Speed Cameras Knocked Over
Vigilantes in Quartu Sant’Elena, Italy knocked over a speed camera last week Saturday. According to Casteddu Online it is the same device that was spraypainted with obscene images at the beginning of the month. In Canneto Pavese on Monday, vigilantes cut down the speed camera on the road between Stradella and Santa Maria della Versa, La Provincia Pavese reported. Police have no idea who might be responsible.

Friday, August 16, 2013
Study Rejects Cell Phone Driving Danger Claims
A study published in the August edition American Economic Journal rejects the commonly held view that the proliferation of cell phone use among the driving public has made travel more dangerous. Politicians have seized on the perception and outlawed driving while talking on a handheld cell phone in eleven states. Many other states are considering following suit.

Thursday, August 15, 2013
Federal 1995 Study: Right Turns On Red Not Dangerous
Lawmakers in several states have begun to crack down on excessive shortening of yellow light times at red-light camera intersections, and the photo enforcement industry has responded by shifting focus to right turn enforcement. The states of Ohio and Georgia were the first to require one extra second of yellow be added to an intersection where cameras issue tickets, effectively eliminating the profit available to cities for enforcing straight-through violations at an intersection.

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