Roundup: September 21, 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, September 21, 2011
Mississippi Appeals Court Backs Castle Doctrine in Automobiles
A Mississippi man was sentenced to 15 years in prison for shooting a teenager who had tried to pull him out of his automobile. Justin Vanques Thomas believes the state’s “Castle Doctrine” law applies to a man’s automobile as well as his home, and he should have been allowed to present that defense to the jury. On August 30, the Mississippi Court of Appeals sided with Thomas.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Louisiana: Legality of Municipal Red Light Camera Contract Questioned
Red light cameras and speed cameras may not be legally operating in Lafayette, Louisiana, according to current and former city officials. Councilman William G. Theriot was first to suggest that the city-parish President Joey Durel did not have the authority to unilaterally extend the contract with Australian automated ticketing vendor Redflex Traffic Systems when the agreement expired in June.

Monday, September 19, 2011
Missouri: Lawsuit Challenges Red Light Camera Legality, Astroturf
Lawyers for motorists in Missouri are looking to capitalize on recent discoveries regarding deceptive marketing campaigns orchestrated by red light camera companies. On Wednesday, The Simon Law Firm filed a class action lawsuit against American Traffic Solutions (ATS) and the city of Hazelwood seeking refunds for thousands of photo enforcement tickets issued without the sanction of state law.

Sunday, September 18, 2011
France, Saudi Arabia, UK: Speed Cameras Burned, Bashed
Speed cameras were set on fire in Saudi Arabia and England, bashed in France.

Friday, September 16, 2011
Photo Radar Revolt Spreads to Canada
Jurisdictions throughout the United States have been dropping the use of red light cameras and speed cameras. Now the revolt has spread to Strathcona County, Canada where the county council voted 5-4 to replace automated ticketing machines with real, live police officers.

Thursday, September 15, 2011
Credit Ratings Agency Warns of Tolling Troubles
Toll roads at one point appeared to be unstoppable. Steady growth in traffic yielded rapidly rising profits, especially for pioneers in the field such as Australia’s Macquarie Bank where executives became so rich from deals that included the leasing of US roads that it was dubbed the “millionaires’ factory.” That all changed when the recession took hold and motorists scaled back on the mileage driven each year. Losses began to mount, and as a report released last week by Fitch Ratings argues, the dynamics for tolling may not improve in the near future.

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