Roundup: April 10, 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, April 10, 2013
Study Documents Optimism Bias In Toll Road Traffic Forecasts
Toll roads around the world are struggling. Moody’s Investment Services on March 21 warned of a possible downgrade of the SH130 toll road in Austin, Texas becauseĀ 50 percent fewer people used the road than projected. In Australia, toll operator BrisConnections finally went bankrupt in February after its $4.8 billion Airport Link toll road in Brisbane failed to deliver. In Virginia, the newly opened 495 high occupancy toll lanes have continued to disappoint officials.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Massachusetts Supreme Court Clears Drivers In Marijuana Search
In a series of three rulings issued Friday, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court cracked down on police who have been using evidence of marijuana possession as a pretext to search automobiles. Just two years ago, justices handed down the Cruz decision making it clear that automobile searches could not be conducted on the basis of finding marijuana, but police have continued the practice.

Monday, April 08, 2013
Virginia Residents Protest Against Toll Roads
About 100 residents of Alexandria, Virginia gathered Saturday to protest the conversion of the Interstate 395 high occupancy vehicle lanes into a toll road. The Concerned Residents of Landmark, a group representing eight homeowners associations in the area, are concerned that the plan includes building an elevated ramp that will raise freeway traffic up to the level of nearby homes, within 75 feet of some buildings. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) chose to end the toll road at the Landmark location instead of running the toll lanes all the way to Washington, DC because the city of Arlington filed a lawsuit that blocked the toll road from extending north through the city.

Sunday, April 07, 2013
Poland, UK: Cameras Bashed, Burned
Vigilantes in Lublin, Poland rammed a speed camera earlier in the week, Sfora reported. The device was left leaning at a 40 degree angle and a nearby control box was smashed, rendering the camera inoperable.

Friday, April 05, 2013
Rhode Island: Accidents Increase With Red-Light Cameras
After a decade of toying with the use of red-light cameras, Providence, Rhode Island has seen a continued spike in the number of accidents at photo enforced intersections. Between 2006 and 2012, the program generated $6,160,975 in revenue, but accidents have skyrocketed over the last three years.

Thursday, April 04, 2013
NHTSA To Bypass Public Comment, Adopt Rules Directly
The US Department of Transportation is looking to fast track adoption of rules, bypassing the public comment process. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) last week proposed to give itself “direct final rulemaking” authority which would allow the agency to declare a regulatory proposal, which carries the force of law, to be non-controversial and rush it into effect.

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