Roundup: December 10, 2014

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, December 10, 2014
California Orders Longer Yellow Time At Intersections
Complaints about the short yellow times at intersections are being heard. Last month, California officials approved the recommendations of a state signal timing committee extending the warning times for intersections statewide. These changes have now received the official go-ahead from the Federal Highway Administration.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Red-Light Camera and Speed Camera CrimeLine
Although red-light cameras and speed cameras are presented as tools of law enforcement, these privately owned companies, their employees and public officials are often caught disregarding the law. Highlights of these cases presented chronologically below include FCC fines, fraud convictions, bribery convictions and speed camera vehicles busted for drunk driving.

Monday, December 08, 2014
California: Bill Would Impose Modest Regulation On License Plate Spying
Police departments around the country have deployed automatic license plate readers (ALPR or ANPR in Europe) with little or no public debate about their use. The devices store a wealth of information about the comings and goings of individual motorists by photographing a license plate, linking this to the driver’s identity, and storing the identity along with the time, date and location in a database. California state Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) pre-filed legislation last week that would introduce some accountability to the use of such databases.

Sunday, December 07, 2014
Belgium, Italy: Traffic Cameras Trashed
Vigilantes in the Flemish region of Belgium destroyed or disabled nine speed cameras in the first half of the year. According to De Standaard, three cameras were attacked in West Flanders, two in Flemish Brabant, two in East Flanders, one in Antwerp and one in Limburg. Damage totaled 186,749 euros (US $230,000).

Friday, December 05, 2014
Baltimore, Maryland Inspector General Blasts Lack Of Camera Oversight
Speed camera vendors in Baltimore, Maryland went wild, and city officials did nothing about it, according to a report released Wednesday by the city’s office of the inspector general (OIG). Up to a third of the speed camera tickets issued by some cameras were found questionable or outright erroneous in past program audits. The latest inquiry concludes this was more than ordinary mismanagement as a top city official engaged in “inappropriate activity” to favor a camera vendor.

Thursday, December 04, 2014
Missouri ACLU Takes On Headlight Flashing Ticket
Motorists who flash their headlights to warn fellow motorists to slow down and avoid a speeding ticket are exercising their right to free speech, says the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Grain Valley, small town in Missouri, has been trying to snuff out the practice by pulling over and ticketing anyone who interferes in any way with a speed trap. The ACLU filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday seeking an injunction to put a stop to the ticketing over headlight flashing.

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