Roundup: January 22, 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, January 22, 2014
Another Texas County Approves Illegal Speed Camera Program
American Traffic Solutions (ATS), the Arizona-based operator of red-light camera and speed camera systems, is daring the Texas legislature to stop it from deploying speed cameras. Lawmakers banned the use of photo radar in 2007, but the company believes it has found a loophole allowing the installation of the prohibited devices on county roads. Since the legislature will not meet in regular session until January 13, 2015, counties are jumping to exploit this narrow window to install speed cameras.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Arizona County Dumps Speed Cameras As Ineffective
Speed cameras did nothing to improve safety on the roads of Pima County, Arizona so county supervisors decided earlier this month to cut ties with American Traffic Solutions (ATS), the for profit company in charge of the program. The automated ticketing contract expired on January 6.

Monday, January 20, 2014
California City Weighs Keeping Red-Light Cameras Despite Accidents
Walnut, California’s city council decided earlier this month to keep red-light cameras clicking beyond the automated ticketing contract’s February 27 expiration date. In the face of renewed questions over the program’s effectiveness, the council renewed the contract with scandal-plagued Redflex Traffic Systems for just three months as councilmen weigh the evidence. The Australian firm has been mailing tickets, now $500 each, since 2007.

Sunday, January 19, 2014
Australia, Germany, Italy, UK: Speed Cameras Damaged, Destroyed
Vigilantes in Manchester, England set fire to a speed camera this week. The automated ticketing machine on Pine Road in Tameside was completely destroyed with burning tires. Earlier this month, another camera had been destroyed on Huddersfield Road, the Manchester Evening News reported. In Portsmouth, officials announced they had just replaced the speed camera that had been destroyed on the A3 on December 30, according to the Portsmouth News.

Friday, January 17, 2014
Canada: Town Residents Petition To Ban Photo Radar
In the United States, residents in twenty-five cities have taken action to ban red-light cameras and speed cameras. The same fervor has spread across the border to Canada where residents in Morinville succeeded in gathering 900 signatures on a citizen initiative to ban automated ticketing machines. The council on Tuesday gave a first reading to the proposal, potentially setting up the first-ever direct vote on photo enforcement in Canada.

Thursday, January 16, 2014
Lawmakers Audit Automakers Over GPS Privacy Issue
Ongoing revelations about the depth of domestic spying by the National Security Agency keeps individual privacy in the spotlight. In a report released last week, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) examined whether automakers and the producers of in-car navigation devices have been adhering to recommended privacy practices. The congressional watchdog agency, for the most part, was satisfied with what it found, though it identified a few areas where improvement was needed.

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