Roundup: September 11, 2013

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, September 11, 2013
Missouri Appeals Court Revives Red-Light Camera Challenge
The legal battle over red-light cameras in Missouri got hotter on Tuesday with the state’s second highest court deciding that a lower court got it wrong when it upheld Florissant’s automated ticketing program. The St. Louis suburb and American Traffic Solutions (ATS) had convinced Circuit Court Judge Tommy W. DePriest Jr. to dismiss the case against the cameras without a trial.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Journal Explores Incentive For False Results In Lab Tests For DUI
A recent analysis published in the Criminal Justice Ethics academic journal suggests when technicians perform forensic analysis of blood and other evidence for cases such as drunk driving, the results can be influenced by built-in financial incentives to produce a conviction. Syracuse University Professor Roger Koppl joined Meghan Sacks from Fairleigh Dickinson University to argue that even if false conviction rates are very low, a 3 percent error rate could put 33,000 innocent individuals behind bars every year.

Monday, September 09, 2013
North Carolina Court To Decide Whether Firemen Can Perform Traffic Stops
Can a firefighter pull over a motorist suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol? Perhaps not, a sharply divided North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled last Tuesday. Gordon Shatley, a Chapel Hill Fire Department lieutenant, was responding to a fire alarm when he stopped his fire engine at the intersection of Estes Drive and Fordham Boulevard at 10:30pm on May 27, 2011. To his left he saw a light-colored Mercedes stopped with a window partially rolled down in pouring rain with only parking lights and the interior dome light on. He found it odd.

Sunday, September 08, 2013
Missouri, Florida, Australia, Italy: Traffic Cameras Under Attack
A red-light camera crashed into a car in St. Louis, Missouri at 8:30am on Wednesday morning. According to the Post-Dispatch newspaper, the camera pole struck a vehicle at the intersection of Hampton Avenue and Wilson Avenue after an SUV and its drunk driver crashed into it.

Friday, September 06, 2013
Georgia: Report Finds Toll Lanes A Favorite Of The Rich
Atlanta, Georgia’s high occupancy toll (HOT) project on Interstate 85 has become a favorite way for the wealthy to travel, according to a report released last week by the Southern Environmental Law Center. The liberal activist group is concerned about the proliferation of tolling in the state, as plans are underway to impose tolls on three more area freeways in light of a state policy mandating tolls on all new highway lanes.

Thursday, September 05, 2013
Ohio Supreme Court Allows Lawsuit Over Traffic Stop Dashcam Video
The Ohio State Highway Patrol does not want to give up dashcam footage of a traffic stop from two years ago. Motorist Mark Miller insists the video record of a July 15, 2011 drunk driving stop exists, but state officials refuse to disclose it, citing an exemption for withholding public records related to open criminal investigations. Miller challenged the refusal all the way to the state Supreme Court which ruled Tuesday in Miller’s favor by ordering the State Patrol to prove the exemption actually applies. As a member of the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes, Miller sought to document abuse of power related to traffic incidents involving state Trooper Joseph Westhoven.

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