Roundup: November 2, 2011

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, November 2, 2011
Another Florida City Settles Suit Over Illegal Photo Ticketing
Many Florida municipalities now regret jumping the gun and installing red light cameras before the state legislature authorized their use in 2010. The Hallandale Beach city commission will vote later today to approve a settlement of $375,566 to be repaid to vehicle owners who were mailed tickets before the program was actually legal. American Traffic Solutions (ATS), which controlled the program, will pay $43,221 — its proportional share of the amount.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Paper Treated Differently Than Smartphones in Automobile Searches
Motorists searched during a traffic stop may find their iPhone data electronically grabbed by police in ways that would not be possible or acceptable with written material. Some police departments, including the Michigan State Police, are equipped with a mobile forensics device able to extract images, videos, text messages and emails from smartphones. In some cases, the device is able to bypass password protection. Several states have been reluctant to curtail law enforcement access to this information.

Monday, October 31, 2011
Austin, Texas Explores Photo Parking Snitch Tickets
Residents of Austin, Texas may soon have the power to issue parking tickets by taking a few photographs of someone else’s car with their smartphones. A unanimous council voted on October 20 to explore the concept of deputizing vigilante meter maids using an iPhone app. Disabled advocates pushed the program at the council meeting in the hopes of guaranteeing easier parking. They were joined by others who were just interested in writing the $511 tickets.

Sunday, October 30, 2011
Speed Cameras Attacked in Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands
Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands see expanding and explosive attacks on speed cameras.

Friday, October 28, 2011
California: Red Light Camera Ban Qualifies for Murrieta Ballot
Red light cameras are to be put to the test once more in California. Local activists succeeded in gathering enough verified signatures to qualify a photo enforcement ban for the ballot in Murrieta next year.

Thursday, October 27, 2011
Study Questions Wisdom of Privatized Law Enforcement
An estimated sixty million Americans live in a jurisdiction monitored by an automated ticketing machine. According to a report released by the left-leaning US Public Interest Research Group (US PIRG), the trend of privatizing law enforcement raises a number of issues that put the public in those areas at risk.

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