Roundup: April 25, 2012

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 25, 2012
South Dakota Supreme Court: Avoiding Nighttime Roadblock is Suspicious
Avoiding a roadblock is, in effect, sufficient justification for police to pull over a driver, the Supreme Court of South Dakota ruled last Wednesday. The justices unanimously ruled that avoidance itself technically is not enough, they approved the most minor of “suspicious” circumstances to justify pulling over any motorist who does not want to be stopped and interrogated at a checkpoint.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012
New Mexico: City Shuts Off Water, Sewer for Photo Ticket Nonpayment
With more and more vehicle owners simply deciding refuse to pay red light camera and speed camera tickets, private, for-profit companies and municipalities are growing increasingly desperate. America’s second-largest city shut down its photo ticketing program last year largely because residents who could not afford the $500 citations did not pay them. On Monday, Las Cruces, New Mexico announced it would shut off the utilities of city residents who refused to pay Redflex Traffic Systems, the Australian company that owns and operates the cameras.

Monday, April 23, 2012
Scientific Paper Demonstrates Faulty Stop Sign Ticket
Police may issue a ticket for rolling through a stop sign, even when a motorist has done nothing wrong, according to a paper by a research scientist at the University of California, San Diego. Dmitri Krioukov was found not guilty earlier this month by a Superior Court traffic commissioner based on the evidence provided in a detailed written analysis of the incident entitled “The Proof of Innocence.”

Sunday, April 22, 2012
Maryland, France, Germany, Poland: Speed Cameras Burned, Felled, Painted
Vigilantes in Maryland set fire to a speed camera Friday morning at around 1am. The automated ticketing machine was located on Rolling Road in Catonsville, WBAL Radio News reported. In just 30 days, the device had racked up $99,440 worth of tickets. Police have no idea who might be responsible.

Friday, April 20, 2012
Legislative Update: Traffic Cameras Win, Lose in Several States
Supporters and opponents of red light cameras and speed cameras could claim significant legislative victories over the past few weeks in Arizona, Illinois and Tennessee. The Arizona state House of Representatives voted 27-29 yesterday to defeat legislation that would have updated the legal definition of an intersection. Currently, red light camera tickets are being issued based on a legal provision that has the same effect as shortening the length of the yellow warning light by 0.6 seconds. Though the latter provision is in violation of federal law, lawmakers chose not to fix it, siding with lobbyists for the traffic camera industry.

Thursday, April 19, 2012
Rhode Island: ACLU Sues Over Parking Ticket Discrimination
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the town of Narragansett for selectively issuing parking tickets against University of Rhode Island students. Caitlin Dowd, Grace Rignanese and Jenessa Redfern study at URI’s college of pharmacy graduate program nine months out of the year. In September, they moved into a rented home on Narragansett Avenue where they parked their cars on the street overnight. This set up a conflict with the town.

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