2016 First Quarter Legislative Update: oos E-Newsletter #376


The oos continues to advocate for motorists’ rights at the national, state and local level. Legislatures across the country took up a broad range of motorists’ issues in the first quarter of 2016. Here’s a brief summary of the driving-related issues we addressed.

Arizona

Opposed which would revise Arizona’s red-light camera law in favor of the automated enforcement industry. In fact the bill read like a red-light camera company wish list and would have done the following: renamed ticket cameras to automated traffic safety devices; removed the personal service requirement for citations; set the fine amount to $750 for multiple violations; held vehicle owners liable for the violation even if they were not driving; allowed the use of school bus cameras to catch alleged passing violations. After strong public outcry, the bill was pulled from consideration.

California

Supported which would change the smog inspection exemption date from 1976 to 1980, thus freeing up more collectible cars from the inspection requirement. The bill is currently under consideration in the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee.

Supported which would reduce the base fine for a right-turn-on-red violation from $100 to $35. The current fine—which balloons to $500 after fees and surcharges are applied—is excessive given the fact that such driving maneuvers rarely lead to accidents. The bill died in committee.

Florida

Supported which would ban the use of red-light cameras throughout the state. The measure passed the full House but could not make it through the Senate before the end of the legislative term.

Massachusetts

The oos was active on a host of driving-related bills, many with anti-motorist intent. A complete list and analysis can be found here.

Michigan

Supported ,  and  which, taken together, would severely limit the amount of revenue municipalities can retain from citations related to motor carrier operations and therefore discourage aggressive enforcement of this class of violation. All three bills have been referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Texas

Thanks to the efforts of oos Texas Activist Henry Stowe, Texas members became aware of a Texas DOT campaign to lower speed limits statewide. However, the engineering studies used for the changes are five years old and don’t reflect current conditions. This has resulted in speed limits up to 12 mph below the 85th percentile speed. oos members have been ing state transportation officials as well as the lieutenant governor’s office to correct the situation. Look here for more details on this issue.

West Virginia

Supported which would establish an adjudication process for truck drivers who question the validity of towing charges that can easily reach into the tens of thousands of dollars. The magnitude of these towing charges combined frequently with the lack of a bid process to ensure competitively priced services can leave trucking professionals vulnerable to excessive towing/recovery charges with little recourse.

Thanks to the many oos members who volunteered their time to send emails, write letters, make phone calls, and work with policymakers and media outlets on these important issues. If you’re not signed up to receive legislative alerts but would like to, use the “Choose Your oos E-Subscriptions” link in the sidebar of this email.

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