Roundup: December 19, 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, December 19, 2012
Tennessee: Appellate Court Upholds License Plate Roadblocks
Stopping motorists who have done nothing wrong to ask for their papers is perfectly legal, the Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled last week. The three-judge panel decided simple statistics overcame the constitutional challenge mounted by Johnny E. Monk, whose stop at a roadblock led to a four-year prison sentence because his papers were not in order.

Monday, December 17, 2012
Maryland: Speed Camera Company Admits 5.2 Percent Error Rates
Over the past two decades, advocates have argued the main advantage of a speed camera is that the machines never lies. Most states codify this belief with a legal presumption that the automated citation is accurate and it is up to the defendant to prove otherwise. In Baltimore, Maryland last week a leading speed camera vendor made the unprecedented admission that the technology frequently lies, but obvious examples of false readings slipped through the process due to “human error.”

Sunday, December 16, 2012
Australia, Belgium, UK: Speed Cameras Cut Down
A speed camera in Surrey, Englad was destroyed at 2am on December 1. According to police, a man driving a Land Rover Defender rammed the automated ticketing machine on Epsom Road in Merrow then tied a rope around it and pulled it down. After that, he poured gasoline on the device and set it on fire, Guilford People reported.

Friday, December 14, 2012
Ohio Appeals Court Refuses Challenge to Breath Test Reliability
Earlier this month the Ohio Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling to defend the principle that the accuracy of breath testing machines is presumed to be perfectly accurate. Under state statutes, the reading of the machine determines guilt, and the burden is on the defendant to prove otherwise.

Thursday, December 13, 2012
Florida County Chooses Longer Yellow Over Red Light Cameras
Commissioners in Collier County, Florida voted 3-2 on Wednesday to pull the plug on red-light cameras. The devices have stirred controversy and class action lawsuits since ticketing began at ten county intersections on April 30, 2009. Though opinion on the board of commissioners was divided on the wisdom of continuing the program, city officials were unanimous in demanding an increase in the duration of the yellow lights at intersections.

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