Roundup: March 28, 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.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Bellingham, Washington Ends Photo Ticketing Contract
The city council in Bellingham, Washington voted 6-1 Monday night to respect the wishes of voters and pull out of a red light camera and speed camera contract. The city entered an agreement with American Traffic Solutions (ATS) in May 2011 to install the devices, ignoring local activists who had been collecting signatures for a ballot measure opposing camera use.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Idaho Legislature Limits Small Town Speed Traps
The Idaho legislature last week gave final passage to a bill stripping small towns of their ability to lower highway speed limits to raise revenue. The measure sailed through the state House by a vote of 56-10 and by a 26-9 vote in the state Senate. The measure was enrolled by the House speaker yesterday and will be sent to Governor Butch Otter (R) for his signature.

Monday, March 26, 2012
Academic Paper Justifies Signal Time Shortening in Missouri
A paper presented at the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) annual meeting two years ago offered a justification for shortening the duration of yellow warning times at intersections prior to the installation of red light cameras. Until then, the relation between signal-time shortening and automated enforcement has been anecdotal. Springfield, Missouri’s former traffic engineer, Earl E. Newman, provided a formal, twenty-page defense that revealed the idea ultimately came from a red light camera salesman.

Sunday, March 25, 2012
Israel, Latvia, The Netherlands: Speed Cameras Attacked
In Hardenberg, The Netherlands, two out of three speed cameras in De Krim have been destroyed, according to De Stentor. Residents used the remains of the camera eliminated in 2007 to build a birdhouse. The other camera was set on fire in August.

Friday, March 23, 2012
Federal Judge Upholds Implausible Traffic Stop
A federal jury in Oklahoma last week found Julius Lee Turrentine guilty of cocaine possession. His conviction came about as the result of a traffic stop that raised important issue of whether the mere assertion of a police officer that a violation took place is sufficient to justify the stop.

Thursday, March 22, 2012
Arizona: Simple Definition Change Will Reduce Red Light Camera Ticketing
Arizona lawmakers who failed to pass a ban on automated ticketing machines are doing the next best thing. They are re-writing the laws to make it harder for red light camera companies to issue “gotcha” tickets to motorists. The state Senate Appropriations Committee voted 8-4 to adjust the definition of an intersection to, in effect, give motorists more time to clear an intersection before seeing a flash in their rear-view mirror.

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