Roundup: December 14, 2011

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 14, 2011
Washington: Emails Shed Light on Traffic Camera Firm
In August, the mayor of Lynnwood, Washington announced an independent investigation into the relationship between city officials and traffic camera operator American Traffic Solutions (ATS). A series of reports in the Everett Daily Herald exposed how Lynnwood Police Sergeant Wayne “Kawika” Davis sought to land a job at ATS and took every opportunity to ingratiate himself to the company’s management, including use of taxpayer resources to promote ATS business interests. Newly obtained emails between Lynnwood officials and ATS shed additional light on the close ties between the city and the company. Davis continued his quest to please ATS by holding premium booth space at an upcoming North American Motor Officers Association conference.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Rhode Island Supreme Court Backs Thin Blue Line
The “thin blue line” is a metaphor describing how police, dressed in blue, see themselves as standing shoulder-to-shoulder, protecting society from the criminal element. Those on the line believe they are brothers who must never turn in one of their own for misdeeds. This protection disappears when an officer violates this unwritten code, an arrangement confirmed Friday by the Rhode Island Supreme Court when it ruled in favor of a police department that punished a police officer who issued speeding tickets to members of the law enforcement family.

Monday, December 12, 2011
Sluggish Economy Yields Record Traffic Safety Benefit
Fewer people died on America’s roads than at any time in the past sixty-one years, according to an analysis of 2010 accident data by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Some in the transportation industry have cited their own public policies or products as the primary reason for the statistical improvement announced Thursday, but the evidence suggests other factors such as advances in technology and the lingering effects of the past recession are at play.

Sunday, December 11, 2011
Cameras Burn in Italy, Opposed by Majority in France
Italian vigilantes burned a pair of speed cameras while the French public reject new automated ticketing machines.

Friday, December 9, 2011
Pasadena, California May Dump Red Light Cameras
Major cities across the country have begun having second thoughts about photo enforcement. In California especially, heightened public scrutiny of red light camera programs and lower than expected profits have turned city councils against automated ticketing programs. On Monday, top city officials in Pasadena recommended against renewing their red light camera contract. When neighboring Los Angeles dropped its program in July, the news made nationwide headlines.

Thursday, December 8, 2011
Ohio: Federal Judge Upholds Traffic Stop for Violation Created by Cop
When police are on the side of the road conducting a speed trap, traffic often slows significantly as drivers hit the brakes to avoid receiving a ticket. Many motorists will even drop below the speed limit, just to be sure they do not attract attention, causing traffic to bunch up. Police in Ohio can use this tactic to create justification to stop and search a vehicle, a federal judge ruled Monday.

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