Roundup: August 15, 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, August 15, 2012
Texas Study Finds Wider Highways Safer, Virginia Narrows Roads
An forthcoming study by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) found highway widening projects increased safety in the Lone Star State. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) tasked TTI to evaluate a broad range of safety improvements undertaken by the agency, but researchers decided to offer a preview last week of one of TxDOT’s most effective programs.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Florida Newspaper Wins Red Light Camera FOIA Case
A federal court on Monday ordered the city of Tallahassee and for-profit vendor Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) to hand over the names of all red light camera ticket recipients to the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper. On July 15, 2011, the paper demanded copies of a year’s worth of notices so it could analyze how the program is being administered, particularly the identity of city and county employees who have received citations. Fearing disclosure, the city filed suit, asking the US District Court for the Northern District of Florida to decide whether the freedom of information request was barred under federal statutes designed to protect motorist privacy.

Monday, August 13, 2012
DC, New York: Photo Ticketing Fraud Uncovered
A photo ticketing vendor and a police officer were both busted last week for illegal activities related to photo enforcement. The New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics announced a settlement Thursday with red light camera vendor Redflex Traffic Systems after the Australian firm was caught evading state campaign finance laws. To keep track of firms attempting to influence politicians, the law requires any corporation expecting to spend more than $5000 lobbying public officials must file a semi-annual disclosure report. Redflex ignored its obligations, despite receiving warning notices.

Sunday, August 12, 2012
New Jersey, France: Speed Cameras Shot, Sprayed, Scorched
A pair of red light cameras were riddled with bullets in Newark, New Jersey on Friday. The automated ticketing machines at the intersection of Broad Street and Murray Street along with the camera at Broad Street and Raymond Boulevard were shot — the Broad Street camera was left with three bullet holes, according to the Newark Star-Ledger.

Friday, August 10, 2012
Ohio Cops May Not Prevent a Call of Nature
The Ohio Court of Appeals late last month overturned a man’s conviction for public indecency after police refused to allow him to use the restroom during an overly long traffic stop. On March 7, 2011, Springfield Police Officer William Evan pulled over a car that passed that had a stuck horn which blew continuously. Robert S. Wilcox was a drunk passenger in the vehicle. During the stop, he refused to identify himself to the officers.

Thursday, August 09, 2012
Illinois: Appeals Court Upholds Parking Ticket Privacy
In a surprise move, the Seventh US Court of Appeals on Monday overturned a panel of its own judges and a lower court in order to protect the privacy of motorists. Jason M. Senne filed suit against Palatine, Illinois after the village slapped a $20 parking ticket to his car on August 20, 2010. The notice listed his name, address, driver’s license number, date of birth, sex, height and weight for any passersby to read. It also included full details on his automobile, including the VIN.

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