Roundup: February 27, 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, February 27, 2013
Washington Appeals Court Bans Advisory Votes On Traffic Cameras
Washington state’s second highest court supports red-light cameras and speed cameras to such a degree that it ruled on Monday that voters are not even entitled to a non-binding ballot question to see whether the public supports a city’s policy. The ruling took a step further than a decision handed down last week allowing a city clerk to reject a valid petition, despite a state law mandating it be processed. The court ruled the very subject matter of photo ticketing is off-limits.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Illinois: High-Ranking Cop Caught Lying About DUI Arrests
A former police commander in Des Plaines, Illinois was brought up on charges last Wednesday by prosecutors who say he lied about drunk-driving (DUI) arrests. According to US Attorney Gary S. Shapiro, Timothy J. Veit was caught creating 122 bogus drunk driving arrests in an effort to boost the police department’s revenue with federal overtime payments. Between 2009 and 2012, the effort generated $132,893 in bogus payments.

Monday, February 25, 2013
Pennsylvania: Red-Light Camera Accidents Increase in Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania deputized American Traffic Solutions (ATS, formerly Mulvihill) in 2005, granting the Arizona-based for-profit firm authority to issue traffic tickets at intersections on the city’s behalf. The red-light camera program’s current logo includes a spy camera bearing the motto “Slow down and smile. We’re keeping tabs so we can keep you safe.” Ten years’ worth of data provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation show traffic has become less safe as accidents increased at the first two intersections to use photo enforcement.

Sunday, February 24, 2013
Belgium, France: Speed Cameras Targeted
Vigilantes in Paris, France disabled a speed camera on the D1016 on Monday. The entire front of the automated ticketing machine was spraypainted a bright green, according to Le Parisien.

Friday, February 22, 2013
New Moving Speed Camera Blends With Freeway Traffic
Soon the car behind you on the freeway might be carrying a speed camera. The “Gatso Millia” moving photo radar system is installed in an inconspicuous sedan in the hopes of catching nearby motorists by surprise, photographing them on the highway unaware of what happened until a citation appears in the mail weeks later. The reference laboratory LNE (Laboratoire national de metrologie et d’essais) granted type approval to the device on Monday, certifying it as fit for use on French roads.

Thursday, February 21, 2013
Washington Appeals Court Approves Blocking Of Anti-Camera Initiatives
Washington state’s second highest court believes the public should never be allowed to vote on red-light cameras or speed cameras. In a 2-1 decision handed down Tuesday, the Court of Appeals ruled a lowly clerk could, in effect, decide whether issues should be presented to voters on a ballot. In this case, Redmond city clerk Michelle McGehee decided in 2011 not to forward the 6050 signatures on a initiative petition banning photo enforcement to the county auditor for verification, even though state law explicitly required the signatures to be turned over. McGehee held back, knowing if the matter was put to voters, cameras would lose.

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