Roundup: June 13, 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, June 13, 2012
California: Traffic Camera Company Sues to Stop Referendum
When the issue of red light cameras or speed cameras has been placed before voters, automated ticketing has lost in twenty-three of twenty-four contests. The country’s leading photo enforcement firm, American Traffic Solutions (ATS), does not like those odds. Last week it secured the help of Murrieta, California resident Stephen Flynn in filing a lawsuit that hopes to block residents from voting on the issue in the city’s November 6 general election.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Tennessee Judge Turns Back Right Turn Challenge
Red light camera companies failed May 30 to overturn Tennessee’s law banning automated tickets for turning right on a red light. Knox County Chancellor Michael W. Moyers summarily rejected the attempt by American Traffic Solutions (ATS) and Redflex Traffic Systems of Australia to sue Knoxville and the town of Farragut as a means of challenging the constitutionality of the law known as Public Chapter 425, enacted last July.

Monday, June 11, 2012
Virginia Appeals Court Expands Use of Roadblocks
Police in Virginia may block off roads to search and interrogate motorists as long as a vague “plan” is filed in advance, the state Court of Appeals ruled last Tuesday. Michael Anthony Desposito challenged his May 27, 2009 arrest at a checkpoint run by the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office on the ground that the department allowed its officers to run open-ended roadblocks in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

Sunday, June 10, 2012
California, France, UK: Ticket Cameras Grabbed, Knocked Over
Individuals in Cerritos, California learned that the red light camera units operated by American Traffic Solutions (ATS) contain an expensive Nikon camera that can be converted into quick cash. According to Patch, three of the cameras were taken from the intersection of South Street and Gridley Road between April 24 and May 16. The same thing happened in New York three years ago when the $4000 Nikon D2X cameras were grabbed out of the red light camera housing. As a used camera, the device is often sold for about $950 online.

Friday, June 08, 2012
Ohio: Federal Court Says City Can Keep Seized Cars
A federal magistrate judge on Monday recommended a motorist’s lawsuit against the city of Columbus, Ohio should be thrown out. Earlier this year, the city impounded the 2002 Saturn SC2 belonging to Michelle R. Mathis after she was hospitalized from a traffic accident. When Mathis was released, she had no way to get the car back. Her case was not helped by her handwritten demand to the court for $500 billion in damages.

Thursday, June 07, 2012
Maryland: Top Judges Consider Speed Camera Legality
Maryland’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, yesterday heard oral arguments in a challenge to the way speed cameras are used in the state. At issue is whether municipalities are directly violating a state law that prohibits private contractors that operate photo radar programs from being paid on a per-ticket basis. Cities and counties believe they can evade the law by revising their contracts to say that the companies that run all aspects of ticketing do not “operate” the speed camera program.

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