Roundup: February 22, 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, February 22, 2012
Colorado Committee Rejects Statewide Traffic Camera Ban
It appears less likely that lawmakers in Colorado will pull the plug on red light cameras and speed cameras. The state Senate Transportation Committee yesterday voted 5-2 against a measure that would have repealed authorization for the use of automated ticketing machines that had been granted in 1997. Nine cities currently hire private companies to issue $75 tickets to the owners of vehicles accused by a camera, and the practice has generated significant controversy.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012
US Representative Seeks to Pull Spy Chips from Drivers Licenses
At least one congressman and an entire state legislature want to put an end to the federal government’s drive toward embedding spy chips in the driver’s licenses of every American. US Representative Justin Amash (R-MI) earlier this month wrote Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano urging her to undo her 2009 regulatory mandate that states implant radio frequency identification (RFID) chips in in new “enhanced” licenses.

Monday, February 20, 2012
Arizona Considers Restoring Jury Trials for DUI
Since the beginning of the year, certain motorists charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) lost their right to a trial by jury in the state of Arizona. A bill signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer (R) on April 29, 2011 rewrote the DUI statute so that only hardcore offenders with previous convictions or “extreme” blood alcohol content readings had the benefit of having their case heard by a jury of their peers, even though the first-time accused faced the prospect of spending six months behind bars.

Sunday, February 19, 2012
Speed Cameras Growing Unpopular in Saudi Arabia
Public dissatisfaction with speed cameras is growing in Saudi Arabia as systems issue six tickets per minute.

Friday, February 17, 2012
White House Doubles Spending on Mass Transit
The White House on Monday released its budget for federal transportation spending in 2013. In sharp contrast to the plan proposed by Republicans in the US House of Representatives, the administration wants to encourage the diversion of federal gasoline tax dollars into mass transit programs by doubling funding over the next six years.

Thursday, February 16, 2012
Washington Appeals Court: Automobile Safes Are Off Limits
Over time, courts have diminished the motorist’s expectation of privacy. Police need only come up with a minor traffic infraction as a pretext to conduct a valid traffic stop. From there, courts have given liberal interpretation to circumstances that justify a warrantless search of the car. According to a decision handed down last month by the Washington State Court of Appeals, a police officer needs a warrant to search a locked container in an automobile’s trunk.

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