NMA Wrap Up of Legislative Activity, 2nd Quarter 2019: NMA E-Newsletter #547

April, May, and June were busy months in state legislatures where many of the bills affecting motorists that were introduced in the first quarter, or carried forward from last year, were resolved. The results were a mixed bag, but the biggest victory was a special one: Governor Greg Abbott of Texas signed into law House Bill 1631 which bans the use of red-light cameras in the state.

That prohibition comes with a loophole though: Cities are allowed to continue operating the photo enforcement systems until the termination date of current contracts with camera vendors. Most Texas cities obeyed the will of the people and terminated their camera programs shortly after HB 1631 became law, but — you knew there was going to be a but — a few extended their contracts just before Abbott signed the bill. The city of Humble signed an extension that will keep its cameras in place until 2024. In the most egregious example, San Antonio suburb Leon Valley inked a last-minute deal to maintain automated ticketing until 2038. When there’s a will money involved, there’s a way.

The following bills highlighted by the NMA Bill Tracker were resolved during the second quarter, either passed and signed into law or failed. For more information about particular bills, the embedded links lead to the NMA legislative pages set up for each.

Bills Supported by the NMA that Passed (2)

North Dakota House Bill 1199

Following a motor vehicle too closely

Texas House Bill 1631

Relating to prohibiting the use of photographic traffic signal enforcement systems

Bills Opposed by the NMA that Failed or were Withdrawn (14)

Connecticut House Bill 6392

To allow the use of speed enforcement technology within highway work zones

Connecticut Senate Bill 416

To permit the use of cameras on certain highways for the limited purpose of assisting with accident investigations

Connecticut Senate Bill 99

To study the feasibility of creating a lane on Interstate 95 for certain motorists to generate revenue, alleviate traffic congestion and promote the use of clean energy vehicles

Indiana Senate Bill 0256

Construction zone automated traffic control system

Indiana House Bill 1340

A host of regulations under the umbrella of “motor vehicle safety”

Maryland House Bill 203

Decreasing the lowest maximum speed limit that Montgomery County may establish for a highway outside an urban district under certain circumstances from 25 miles an hour to 15 miles an hour

Maryland House Bill 1063

Authorizing the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore City to determine the location of speed monitoring systems in the City, the operating time of speed monitoring systems in the City, and the speed tolerance of speed monitoring systems in the City

Maryland House Bill 780

Authorizing Baltimore City to establish the maximum speed limit on a highway under its jurisdiction without performing an engineering and traffic study

Maryland House Bill 343

Repealing the June 30, 2019, termination date for a provision of law that increased from $250 to $500 the civil penalty for a violation recorded by a school bus monitoring camera for failure to stop for a school vehicle operating alternately flashing red lights

Missouri House Bill 596

Allows school districts to install and operate school bus safety cameras to detect violations that require a driver to stop for a school bus that is receiving or discharging students

Nevada Assembly Bill 200

AN ACT relating to motor vehicles; authorizing a peace officer at the scene of a traffic crash to use technology to determine if a driver was using a handheld wireless communications device at the time of the crash; requiring the suspension of the driver’s license of a driver who refuses a request by a peace officer to use such technology; providing penalties; and providing other matters properly relating thereto

Nevada Senate Bill 43

AN ACT relating to traffic laws; authorizing the installation and use of an automated traffic enforcement system by a governmental entity under certain circumstances; setting forth the requirements for the installation and use of an automated traffic enforcement system

New Mexico Senate Bill 359

Max Speed Limit for Certain Trucks

New Mexico House Bill 24

Monitoring For School Bus Illegal Passes

Bills Supported by the NMA that Failed or were Withdrawn (15)

Colorado House Bill 1099

Concerning the elimination of the use of automated vehicle identification systems for traffic law enforcement

Florida House Bill 6003

Repeal of red-light camera law in state

Indiana House Bill 1050

Racial profiling and pretextual stops

Indiana Senate Bill 295

Driver instruction regarding law enforcement procedures

Indiana House Bill 1092

Elimination of lower speed limit for trucks

Maryland House Bill 1041

Repealing the authority to use work zone speed control systems to enforce certain highway speed laws

Missouri Senate Bill 111

Enacts provisions relating to traffic enforcement

Missouri House Bill 295

Raises the maximum speed limit on rural interstates and freeways of the state from 70 to 75 miles per hour

Missouri House Bill 150

Establishes law enforcement procedures relating to racial profiling, searches and seizures, and traffic stops

Missouri House Bill 444

Establishes provision relating to civil asset forfeiture

Missouri House Bill 1182

Requires only one motor vehicle license plate for certain motor vehicles

Texas House Bill 901

Relating to registration of a motor vehicle alleged to have been involved in a violation detected by a photographic traffic signal enforcement system

Texas House Bill 804

Relating to the authority of peace officers to conduct certain searches

Texas Senate Bill 805

Relating to the number of license plates to be issued for and displayed on certain motor vehicles

Virginia Senate Bill 1578

Reckless driving; exceeding speed limit

Bills Opposed by the NMA that Passed (9)

Idaho House Bill 106

Amends existing law to provide that a driver shall slow down and move over upon approaching any stationary vehicle displaying flashing lights or emergency hazard lights.

Indiana Senate Bill 2

School bus safety — increases penalties

Montana House Bill 190

Revise local government authority to set school zone speed limits

New Hampshire House Bill 372

Relative to motorist duties when approaching highway emergencies

Oklahoma House Bill 1926

Motor vehicles; allowing school districts to install cameras on school bus stop-arms; creating revolving fund

Tennessee Senate Bill 173

Expands the current offense for talking on handheld devices while driving

Tennessee Senate Bill 205

Permits LEAs to install cameras on school buses to record vehicles that unlawfully pass a stopped school bus; allows evidence to be reviewed by law enforcement officers only after evidence is submitted to an LEA by a school bus driver; establishes citations for first and subsequent offenses

Utah House Bill 148

Vehicle Idling Revisions

Virginia Senate Bill 1716

Authorizes the Commonwealth Transportation Board (the Board) to impose tolls on Interstate 81, subject to conditions and limitations set forth in the bill

Check out the NMA’s Bill Tracker for details of ongoing legislative activity. It is a monumental task to follow the developments in legislatures across the country. If you’d like to help us monitor the goings-on in your state, assistance we would welcome, please drop us a note at nma@motorists.org or call 608-849-6000.

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