Roundup: October 17, 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, October 17, 2012
Iowa: Proposed Citizen Initiative Would Ban Traffic Ticket Drones
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is taking up the fight against red light cameras and speed cameras in Iowa. Earlier this month, lawyers from the left-leaning activist group sent an affidavit to the city council in Iowa City containing the text of a proposed initiative banning the use of all forms of photo enforcement — including license plate recognition cameras (ALPR or ANPR) and the use of drones. Residents had called the ACLU for help after city attorney Eleanor M. Dilkes took action to block citizens from ever voting on the topic.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Maryland Town Defends Practice of Forging Signature on Speed Camera Tickets
Riverdale Park, Maryland refuses to back down in the face of a class action lawsuit challenging the town to refund citations bearing the forged signature of a police officer. Between February 17, 2010 and April 3, 2010, citations were issued bearing the signature of Police Corporal Clayton Alford, even though Alford was on medical leave on those dates and could not have signed the tickets, as required under state law. Attorney Timothy P. Leahy, who filed the class action suit, blasted the town’s conduct in papers filed with the Prince George’s County Circuit Court on Monday.

Monday, October 15, 2012
Former Australian Road Safety Official Questions Speed Emphasis
Road safety officials had their priorities challenged as they gathered at the Australian Institute of Traffic Planning and Management annual conference Thursday. Lex Stewart, the man responsible for road safety in the western region of New South Wales in the 1990s, presented data that suggests the industry’s current obsession with speed enforcement is making roads less safe than they would otherwise be. In the past nine years, the fatality rate in NSW has stopped its long-term trend of decline and has leveled off. Over the same period, however, revenue generated from speeding tickets has increased 225 percent from $116 million to $263 million per year.

Sunday, October 14, 2012
France, Germany, Saudi Arabia: Speed Cameras Attacked, Questioned
In Domalain, France vigilantes disabled a speed camera using yellow spray paint. According to Ouest France, the automated ticketing machine on the RD178 headed toward Vitre can no longer issue citations. Police have no idea who is responsible.

Thursday, October 11, 2012
California Court of Appeal Shuts Down Effort to Block Anti-Camera Vote
California’s second highest court on Tuesday put to rest the efforts of a traffic camera company to block a vote on red light cameras in Murrieta. Following up on its September ruling, the appellate court sent a formal order to Riverside County Superior Court Judge Daniel A. Ottolia setting aside his August 3 ruling┬áthat favored the interests of the photo ticketing firm. The losing side will now have to pay the legal bills of red light camera opponents.

Thursday, October 11, 2012
New Mexico Supreme Court: Search Justified Because Passenger Dressed Like Prostitute
Police were right to search a vehicle carrying a passenger dressed like a prostitute, New Mexico’s highest court declared in an August 30 ruling. The state Supreme Court did so to reinstate the conviction of Gunnar Olson, who was arrested December 1, 2007 after being searched by Albuquerque Police Officer Trey Economidy. At around 12:30am, Economidy spotted Olson driving behind a 7-11 convenience store at the intersection of University Boulevard and Central Avenue. He found Olson’s behavior suspicious.

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