Roundup: January 8, 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 08, 2014
Florida House Opens With Attack On Red-Light Cameras
Red-light cameras are under assault in Florida. The state House of Representatives voted to authorize the use of automated ticketing machines by an overwhelming margin less than four years ago, but the tide quickly shifted. Growing public opposition to the devices was reflected in the 2012 state House vote to ban cameras that stalled in the face of state Senate opposition. On Thursday, the House Transportation and Highway Safety Subcommittee will consider a more subtle multi-part transportation bill that would eliminate the revenue incentive to install automated ticketing machines.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Pennsylvania: Lawsuit Filed Over Suspicionless Drug Roadblock
Recreational marijuana use became legal in Colorado on Wednesday, and Washington state will allow its use later this year. The spread of state laws decriminalizing possession has federal officials scrambling to come up with a way to test for drug use in the way breathalyzers are used to identify drunk drivers. To evaluate the available options, the Office of National Drug Control Policy and US Department of Transportation have been sponsoring “voluntary” roadblocks. According to a lawsuit filed in federal court on December 27, these roadblocks are not exactly voluntary.

Monday, January 06, 2014
Rhode Island: ACLU Challenges Parking Ticket Whitewash
Police officers in Cranston, Rhode Island took out their frustration on two city councilmen who rejected a proposed departmental pay increase by blitzing their wards with parking tickets in November. An internal investigation conducted by the police department is expected to clear the police department of any wrong doing, and the local American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) chapter cried foul on Thursday with a letter challenging Mayor Allan Fung’s proposal to commission an “independent” review to confirm the results of the internal affairs report.

Sunday, January 05, 2014
Australia, France, Germany: Speed Cameras Damaged, Decorated, Crashed
Vigilantes in Lot-Et-Garonne, France disabled three speed cameras last week. The automated ticketing machine at Penne-d’Agenais (RD 661) was covered in brown tape at around 5am last week Sunday. On the day before, cameras at Condezaygues and Gontaud-de-Nogaret (RD 813) were spraypainted black, Sud Ouest reported.

Friday, January 03, 2014
Ohio Court Rejects Police Searching Wallet Of Driver With Cracked Windshield
An automobile passenger should not have his wallet searched by a police officer simply because he is in a car with a cracked windshield, the Ohio Court of Appeals ruled last month. On January 12, 2008, St. Clair Police Officer Jayson Jackson noticed a four-door Plymouth with a cracked windshield driving past Walmart at 2:30am. Hashim Dunlap was sitting in the backseat of the vehicle that was carrying wooden table legs that made him uncomfortable.

Thursday, January 02, 2014
Ninth Circuit Rules Innocent Driving Is Suspicious
A combination of non-suspicious driving characteristics can give rise to the suspicion of criminal activity in the opinion of the full Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals. In a Christmas Eve ruling, the judges weighed whether Border Patrol agents were right to conduct a “border stop” of a red Ford F-150 pickup truck on Interstate 15 while 70 miles north of the border with Mexico.

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