Roundup: September 26, 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, September 26, 2012
Study: Public Transit Cannot Succeed Without Punishing Drivers
An article published earlier this month in the journal Transport Reviews argues public transportation will not succeed in the United States unless the nation’s leaders adopt strict anti-motorist policies. Virginia Tech Professor Ralph Buehler and Rutgers Professor John Pucher compared the result of surveys conducted by the US Department of Transportation and the German Federal Ministry of Transport to get an idea of how people in each country choose to get around. The numbers show a consistent trend of Americans shunning the use of mass transit, especially by comparison to their European counterparts.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Oakland, California Accidents Decreased with Longer Yellow Times
An analysis of accidents in Oakland, California suggests lengthening yellow times at red light camera intersections produced more of a safety benefit than the introduction of photo enforcement. As TheNewspaper reported last week, the city’s transportation department experimented for about four months with increased yellow warning times at camera intersections until the police lieutenant who worked with the camera vendor Redflex Traffic Systems complained about what he saw as an alarming reduction in the number of citations being issued. The timing was then shortened back to its original value.

Monday, September 24, 2012
Florida: Court Approves Detaining Motorists at Toll Booth
Motorists can be held indefinitely at toll booths if they pay with large denomination bills, according to a federal appeals court ruling handed down Wednesday. A family of drivers — Joel, Deborah and Robert Chandler — filed suit last year arguing they were effectively being held hostage by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the private contractor in charge of the state’s toll road, Faneuil, Inc.

Sunday, September 23, 2012
Australia, France, Italy, UK: Speed Cameras Thwarted
In Marmagne, France a speed camera was ripped open on Saturday. According to Creusot Infos, the back panel of the automated ticketing machine on the RD680 was pulled off and the wiring cut, causing significant damage. On Friday, a nearby camera on the RN80 in Antully had its lenses smeared with a gray material, preventing the device from issuing tickets.

Friday, September 21, 2012
Oakland, California Raises, Then Shortens Yellow Time for Revenue
Officials in Oakland, California will meet Tuesday to decide whether to continue using red light cameras. City staff are recommending that the council’s Public Safety Committee extend for another three years the agreement with Redflex Traffic Systems that expires September 30. The Australian photo ticketing company began issuing automated citations on Oakland streets in 2008.

Thursday, September 20, 2012
California Court Thwarts Camera Company Vote Blocking Attempt
California’s second highest court ruled Tuesday that voters would have a say in whether red light cameras may be used in Murrieta. American Traffic Solutions (ATS) had hired the most prestigious elections law firm in the state and arranged for a resident to file a lawsuit to keep the measure off the November 6 ballot. A lower court judge sided with ATS on August 3 (view order), but the camera company’s maneuvering may have been too clever for its own good.

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