Roundup: February 20, 2013

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, February 20, 2013
US Supreme Court Expands Use of Drug Dogs During Traffic Stops
America’s highest court on Tuesday made it easier for police to use drug dogs to perform warrantless searches during traffic stops. The US Supreme Court upheld the search of a truck based solely on a dog’s alert during a stop for a minor traffic infraction.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Ohio Court Upholds Police Entry Into Home Over Failure To Signal Turn
The Ohio Court of Appeals on Friday upheld the police use of a battering ram on the home of a suspect who failed to properly signal a turn. The court majority also took the unusual step of noting that they disagreed with their own decision and called on the state Supreme Court to overturn the precedent.

Monday, February 18, 2013
Montana Supreme Court OKs Stops For Snow On License Plate
Police can stop and ticket motorists with a bit of snow on their license plate, according to a ruling Tuesday by the Montana Supreme Court. Mark Andrew Haldane had been stopped at a red light in his brand new SUV on 23rd Street in Bozeman on a chilly, sub-zero evening on January 12, 2011. Officer Hal Richardson was showing a trainee, Lindsay Shephard, the ropes, so when Haldane passed Officer Richardson decided to pull over Haldane’s black Ford Explorer because its temporary license plate was obstructed by snow and a trailer hitch.

Sunday, February 17, 2013
Poland, UK: Speed Cameras Swiped, Scorched
Vigilantes in the Borders, Scotland cut down and swiped a speed camera early Monday. The automated ticketing machine on the A68 near Longnewton Sawmill became the fourth camera attacked in the area since October, BBC News reported.

Friday, February 15, 2013
Georgia: License Plate Cameras Approved For Traffic Stops
Police in Georgia may stop vehicles based solely on the reading of an automated license plate camera, and the stops are valid even if the machine is wrong. The state’s second highest court last week backed the use of automated license plate readers (ALPR or ANPR in Europe) as used by the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Department. The agency has several patrol cars equipped with cameras that scan passing vehicles, recording a history of who drives where while also checking against a database of “wanted” individuals who either have warrants out for their arrest or who owe money to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Thursday, February 14, 2013
Washington: Group Proposes Statewide Initiative To Ban Freeway Tolls
Activists in Washington state want voters to decide whether interstate highways should ever be converted into toll roads. An initiative filed on Tuesday with the secretary of state’s office would repeal provisions in state law that promote the use of tolling and force full disclosure of information on existing and proposed projects. About 330,000 signatures would be needed to guarantee the measure a spot on an upcoming ballot.

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