Roundup: July 5, 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.

Thursday, July 05, 2012
Alabama: Appellate Court Scales Back Roadblocks
Roadblocks are illegal if police conducting them fail to operate under strict guidelines that the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals strongly suggested Friday ought to be written down. In a split, 3-2 decision, the court considered the July 2, 2011 roadblock set up by Alabama state troopers in rural Elmore County on the weekend of the July 4 holiday.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012
California: Red Light Camera Companies Cut Desperate Deals
Dozens of California cities have decided to end their red light camera programs, and the industry is feeling the pinch. Redflex Traffic Systems currently runs automated ticketing programs in 68 jurisdictions, but that number could drop to 67 as early as next week if the Riverside city council decides to follow Los Angeles in deciding cameras are no longer worthwhile. The company is promising to slash its prices to keep the program alive.

Monday, July 02, 2012
Congress Slams Red Light Cameras, Funds Highways
Congress on Friday authorized spending $96 billion on various transportation and transit programs through the year 2017, but none of that money will go to red light cameras. House Highways and Transit Subcommittee Chairman John J. Duncan Jr (R-Tennessee) succeeded in inserting language into the final conference report that prohibits the use of Section 402 federal grant money for automated ticketing machines.

Sunday, July 01, 2012
Maryland, Australia, France, Latvia, UK: Speed Cameras Attacked
Police in Howard County, Maryland accused Bruce Lawrence May, 50, of shooting a speed camera van with a slingshot at 5pm on Tuesday. According to a police statement, the automated ticketing machine was parked on Route 144 in Ellicott City when it was hit on the side with two marbles fired from a minivan.

Friday, June 29, 2012
Federal Appeals Court Calls Visual Speed Estimate Absurd
It is absurd to think a police officer can look at a car on the highway and know its speed with enough precision to perform a traffic stop, the Fourth Circuit US Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. Deputy James Elliott had pulled over motorist Sean C. Sowards by looking and guessing that it was traveling 75 MPH on Interstate 77 in North Carolina, where the speed limit is 70 MPH. Elliott had a radar gun in his patrol car, but he did not use it.

Thursday, June 28, 2012
Australia: Speed Camera Safety and Accuracy Questioned
Speed cameras are coming under fire in Australia. The Australian Capital Territory’s political opposition on Monday questioned the Labor government’s use of speed cameras after new evidence suggests the devices have failed to reduce accidents.

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