War on Cars Watch for May 29, 2019

Welcome to the War on Cars Watch, a weekly blog to bring together all the stories that affect motorists with regards to street planning such as road diets, and traffic calming as well as programs such as Vision Zero and Complete Streets.

Please read this blog and let us know what you think by commenting below! Check out the NMA’s War on Cars Watch Facebook Page where we feature a story a day!

NMA Communications Director Shelia Dunn compiles the list, with commentary from NMA Member Michael Jabbra (marked with an MJ). NMA Foundation Executive Director James C. Walker gives us his considerable wisdom at the end of this week’s list.

Information from May 22-28, 2019


MJ: This isn’t anything new. Surely many NMA members remember the OPEC embargo. (That was before my time.) The good news is that the growth of electric vehicles and hybrids will reduce the need for oil to some extent.

MJ: Again, this depends on where you are and what your needs are. Some people may not need or want a car. Others do. We of NMA believe that car ownership should be your choice. If you don’t want to own a car, we want you to come to that decision on your own, and not be nagged, hectored, or guilt-tripped out of driving by the Vision Zero crowd.

Mobility as a Service or MaaS



MJ: Big surprise – using gas tax money for something other than road maintenance.

MJ: Having better painted crosswalks isn’t necessarily bad. I’ve driven on a lot of streets where lane lines and other lines are badly faded. This is a problem, especially at night. However, I’m sure SB127 will be used by the anti-car crowd to chase cars off the roads.


District of Columbia








New Hampshire

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota






Washington State

Commentary from NMA Foundation Executive Director James C. Walker

Truckers are pushing back against any mandatory speed limiters, as NMA members did with a federal comment period about requiring them. They are not higher safety devices.

Advocates in the US and Europe are pushing to eliminate gas powered cars in the next 20 to 30 years. I don’t think this will happen until limitations of range, recharging time, cost, and electric grid capacity are solved to make fully electric cars practical.

Governments are quickly learning that Uber, Lyft, autonomous cars, and scooters have problems that will often make mobility and safety issues worse.

California is finally trying to address the issue of suspending the driver’s license of a poor person who cannot pay high fines and fees that then take them out of the work force because there is no practical way for the person to get to work. It took 15 years to repeal Michigan’s Driver Responsibility Fees that destroyed the work and private lives of hundreds of thousands of poor people in Michigan. Using traffic enforcement for profit with draconian fines and fees has terrible consequences for low income people.

DC and other cities are discovering Vision Zero sometimes equals Zero Vision when good-sounding ideas don’t produce the desired results. Some of this problem is higher levels of exposures. If you successfully get higher percentages of travelers to walk and bike, the exposure rates go up because they become more vulnerable in accidents.

Illinois and some other states are taking steps to reduce profiling in traffic stops, an issue that would get significantly better if typical main road and highway speed limits were not arbitrarily set to define 70% or 80% or 90+% of drivers as “speeders.”

Several states are taking steps to curb or eliminate civil forfeiture abuses when the person has not been convicted of a related crime. This is proper because civil forfeiture without a conviction is governmental larceny, an abuse that no one should tolerate.


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