Roundup: November 21, 2012

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, November 21, 2012
California: Red Light Camera Firm Takes Credit for Reform Legislation
California Governor Jerry Brown (D) in September signed Senate Bill 1303 into law, a measure that the San Francisco Chronicle wrote would “rein in red light camera abuses.” State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) said the purpose of the bill he introduced was “to protect the rights of drivers.” Internal documents reveal red light camera vendors saw the law as a victory for their industry, not for drivers.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Traffic Camera Firm Countersues Traffic Camera Firm Over Patent
Upstart photo enforcement firm B&W Sensors last week asked a federal judge in Missouri to throw out video speed detection patents recently granted to American Traffic Solutions (ATS). The legal move is designed to undermine the lawsuit ATS had filed against B&W last month before a federal judge in Texas.

Monday, November 19, 2012
Group Challenges Feds to Improve Intersection Safety
Cities around the country that have experimented with longer yellow signal times have reported great success in improving safety. Georgia towns, for example, saw 80 percent reductions in violations after a law kicked in mandating longer yellows. Last month, the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies came out with a recommendation that would result in adding an extra 0.5 seconds of yellow to the average signal. In light of the growing consensus, National Motorists Association (NMA) is leaning on transportation officials in Washington in the hope that they will update national regulations.

Sunday, November 18, 2012
France, Mexico: Eight Speed Cameras Attacked
Vigilantes in the Brittany region of France claimed credit for destroying six speed cameras last week. According to Ouest-France, a group calling itself “Argad, the Breton resistance” issued a statement saying it had eliminated automated ticketing machines in Baud, Pontivy and Vannes as a protest against the “application of illegal taxes by the French state on the Breton nation.”

Friday, November 16, 2012
Canada: Privacy Commissioner Blasts License Plate Readers
The use of Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR, also known as ANPR in the UK) is coming under increasing scrutiny in North America. The American Civil Liberties Union in July began requesting data from law enforcement agencies around the country so the activist group’s lawyers could examine data collection policies. On Thursday, British Columbia, Canada’s Information and Privacy Commissioner released the results of an official audit that took six months to look at whether use of the devices by the Victoria Police Department violates the law.

Thursday, November 15, 2012
Redflex In Turmoil Over Shareholder Revolt, Ethics Investigation
Australian investors angry at the recent performance of Redflex Traffic Systems let management know by issuing a “first strike” Wednesday against the photo enforcement firm’s compensation plan. Under recently implemented Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) rules, a company receives a strike if its remuneration report does not receive the support of 75 percent of shareholder votes.

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