Roundup: October 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, October 08, 2014
Dayton, Ohio Red-Light Cameras Exploit Short Yellows
Ohio’s red-light cameras have generated more than $8 million over the past two years. Many of the $85 automated tickets are issued at intersections where the yellow signal warning times fall short of the minimum allowed under state law.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Supreme Court Investigates Police K-9 Sniffs
Motoring issues are on the US Supreme Court;s agenda this term. On Monday, the justices heard oral arguments in Heien v. North Carolina, weighing the question of whether a traffic stop is invalid if the cop gets the law wrong. Last Thursday, the court also announced it would take up the issue of drug dog sniffs during traffic stops.

Monday, October 06, 2014
Ohio Supreme Court Questions Breathalyzer Accuracy
Breathalyzer machines are frequently the primary evidence in cases involving driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). The laws are written to make driving with a certain percentage of alcohol in the bloodstream the crime, as opposed to driving recklessly, so that the numeric readout on the machine essentially determines guilt. The Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that when blood alcohol content is tested with the Intoxilyzer 8000, the accused are entitled to the full details of how the device produces that readout.

Sunday, October 05, 2014
France, Germany, Italy, UK: Speed Cameras Disabled and Destroyed
A speed camera in St. Restitut, France was set on fire yesterday. According to Le Dauphine, the automated ticketing machine had just been installed three days earlier on the D59. On Monday, a speed camera failed to prevent an accident with a big-rig truck in Bassussarry. According to Sud Ouest, the truck slammed into the automated ticketing machine and spilled diesel fuel onto the road. In Pau, five of the city’s seven speed cameras have been disabled, La Republique des Pyrenees reported. The camera at the intersection of Avenue Alfred Nobel and the Boulevard of Peace had its lenses smashed to pieces. Paint was used to disable the remaining devices at the Avenue Jean-Mermoz, Rue Jean-Geneze, Boulevard Alsace-Lorraine and Rue d’Etigny.

Friday, October 03, 2014
California Governor Vetoes Anti-Motorist Bills
California Governor Jerry Brown (D) on Tuesday vetoed a number of bills opposed by motoring groups, including the National Motorists Association. Brown agreed that measures increasing various penalties against drivers were unnecessary. He also signed bills that, as an unintended side effect, will make it tougher for red-light camera companies to continue business as usual.

Thursday, October 02, 2014
Bankrupt Traffic Camera Company Sends Ohio Town To Collections
Cities that sign up for speed cameras and red-light cameras sometimes wind up with greater expenses than they bargained for. American Traffic Solutions (ATS) sued the city of Houston, Texas and won a $4.8 million settlement two years ago, an amount the 4th largest city in America could readily pay. The $638,093 judgment defunct traffic camera company Nestor Traffic Systems won on Wednesday against East Cleveland, Ohio, on the other hand, represents about three-quarters of the cash-strapped town’s entire property tax revenue for the year.

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