Roundup: December 7, 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 7, 2011
Michigan Partially Repeals Speeding Ticket Tax
Michigan has taken the first step toward repealing its tax on traffic ticket recipients. Last year, the state added $220 million worth of “driver responsibility fees” on top of existing fines for various sorts of moving violations. The legislature agreed to eliminate three separate taxes, saving 100,428 drivers $23.6 million a year. The partial repeal bill hit the desk of Governor Rick Snyder (R) yesterday. Snyder will enact the measure.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Texas License Plates Become Optional
A number of special interest groups have fought over the design of specialty license plates in Texas over the past few weeks. These plate conflicts may turn out to be unnecessary because beginning on January 1, 2012, the use of license plates in the Lone Star State becomes optional. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, current law mandates the display of two license plates — one at the front and another at the rear of a vehicle. Failure to comply is a misdemeanor offense punishable by a $200 fine under Texas Code Section 502.404. As part of a sweeping revision of the state vehicle code, however, that provision will soon disappear.

Monday, December 5, 2011
List of Public Votes Against Red Light Cameras and Speed Cameras
A comprehensive list of referendum and initiative votes on the use of photo enforcement nationwide. A total of 768,917 voters across nine states have gone to the polls to cast a ballot in favor or against the use of photo enforcement. The vast majority have said “no” to red light cameras and speed cameras.

Sunday, December 4, 2011
Italy, Saudi Arabia, UK: Speed Cameras Set on Fire
Vigilantes set fire to speed cameras in England, Italy and Saudi Arabia.

Friday, December 2, 2011
Idaho: Cars Can Be Searched at School Without Suspicion of Crime
Officials at high schools in Idaho can search automobiles belonging to students even when there is no evidence that they have broken any laws. The state Court of Appeals ruled last week that warrantless searches without probable cause are constitutionally permitted on school grounds.

Thursday, December 1, 2011
Florida Appeals Court Sides with Red Light Cameras
The Florida legislature’s authorization of red light cameras last year was superfluous, a divided state Court of Appeals panel ruled yesterday. The majority sided with the city of Aventura in overturning a Miami-Dade County Circuit Court decision from last year that found Aventura had jumped the gun by giving American Traffic Solutions (ATS) a green light to mail out automated tickets without waiting for the state’s permission.

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