Roundup: May 21, 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, May 21, 2014
Virginia: Redflex Caught Using Violation Calculator
Redflex Traffic Systems uses a special spreadsheet to calculate precisely how much profit a city can expect from red-light cameras on an intersection-by-intersection basis. WTKR-TV reported about the “violation calculator” that Redflex used to provide the city of Chesapeake, Virginia with the dollar figure it could expect after signing a contract with the Australian firm.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Minnesota Legislature And Supreme Court Take On Car Seizures
Beginning in August, a new Minnesota law will take effect prohibiting the seizure of property from people who have never been convicted of any crime. SF 874 passed the state House and Senate near unanimously in response to high-profile scandals involving police grabbing vehicles from motorists. Officers would merely claim that the cars were somehow related to the drug trade, but the law signed earlier this month requires a court conviction before the car or other property can be confiscated.

Monday, May 19, 2014
Activist Group Ranks States Most Friendly To Motorists
Drivers are happiest in the state of Wyoming and most harassed when traveling through the District of Columbia, according to rankings published Monday by the National Motorists Association (NMA). The drivers’ rights group scored each state (and the District) based on five main factors related to how the government interacts with the motoring public.

Sunday, May 18, 2014
France, Germany, Spain Traffic Cameras Disabled
In Riogordillo, Spain, nature has disabled a speed camera. Bright yellow wild flowers blooming on the A316 at the 64 kilometer mark prevent the automated ticketing machine from photographing traffic, Diario Jaen reported. The private contractor that runs the camera for Spain’s Direccion General de Trafico (DGT) has not trimmed the shrubbery since the camera was previously disabled with blue spraypaint.

Friday, May 16, 2014
Illinois: Chicago Scandal Costs Redflex Millions
Redflex Traffic Systems is working overtime to let clients know that it has done nothing wrong. It is a tough message to sell as the Federal Bureau of Investigation continues gathering evidence to build its case against those involved in supplying $2 million to influence the Chicago, Illinois official in charge of┬áthe city’s red-light camera contract. That official, John Bills, was charged on Tuesday with felony solicitation of a bribe from Redflex. Redflex CEO James Saunders sent an email to US clients on Thursday to downplay the relevance of the development.

Thursday, May 15, 2014
Illinois: Feds Charge Chicago Official Over Red-Light Camera Bribes
The fallout from the red-light camera bribery scandal in Chicago, Illinois could mean ten years in prison and $250,000 in fines for those involved. The US attorney for the Northern District of Illinois on Tuesday filed charges against John Bills, the Windy City’s deputy transportation commissioner, because he allegedly took bribes from Redflex Traffic Systems, the Australian firm that until recently ran Chicago’s red-light camera program.

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