Roundup: February 19, 2014

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, February 19, 2014
Utah: Repo Men Sue To Overturn Private License Plate Reader Ban
Private companies that spy on motorists are suing the state of Utah over a law that limits commercial use of automated license plate readers (ALPR, also known as ANPR in Europe). The firms Digital Recognition Network Inc and Vigilant Solutions told the US District Court for the District of Utah that they have a First Amendment right to photograph motorists, identify the vehicle and record the time and GPS coordinates in a searchable database accessible to clients nationwide.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Missouri Lawmakers Consider Legitimizing Traffic Cameras
Red-light camera and speed camera companies in Missouri are very afraid. In 2006, American Traffic Solutions (ATS) deployed cameras in the city of Arnold in 2006 without waiting for legislative approval, against the advice of the firm’s own legal counsel. Now the courts have caught up to the situation. In the past six weeks, the state Court of Appeals has issued four separate opinions finding photo enforcement programs in violation of state law, and local judges have issued injunctions. The state Supreme Court is unlikely to be sympathetic, as it struck down the photo ticketing program in Springfield in 2010. The state House Rules Committee will decide later today whether to let ATS off the hook.

Monday, February 17, 2014
Ohio Appeals Court Overturns Speed Camera Ticket
Photo enforcement programs have been losing legal support in Missouri over the past several weeks, and now the judicial skepticism has spread to Ohio. On Thursday the state Court of Appeals overturned a speed camera ticket that had been issued by Xerox Corporation on behalf of the city of Cleveland.

Sunday, February 16, 2014
France, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia: Speed Cameras Attacked
In Rovigo, Italy, vigilantes found a creative way to stop the speed camera on the Strada Statale Romea. Il Resto del Carlino reports that a three-foot wooden rod was used to hold the photograph of a topless woman in front of the camera lens. When cars passed last week Saturday, the device took a photograph of the photograph.

Friday, February 14, 2014
Kansas Appeals Court Overturns Forced Blood Draws
Many states have enacted laws allowing police to take blood by force from any motorist involved in a serious traffic accident, but the second highest Kansas court in Kansas says the practice is unconstitutional. Last Friday, the Court of Appeals rejected the argument that drivers give their “implied consent” to such searches when they accept a driver’s license.

Thursday, February 13, 2014
Judge Shuts Down St Louis, Missouri Red-Light Cameras
Red-light cameras and speed cameras are in trouble in Missouri. The state Court of Appeals recently reversed course on the legality of automated ticketing machines, issuing four separate opinions finding photo enforcement programs in violation of state law. On Tuesday, Missouri Circuit Court Judge Steven R. Ohmer decided to enforce the law with an order prohibiting the city of St. Louis and its vendor, American Traffic Solutions (ATS), from issuing automated citations.

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