By on June 10, 2010

Red light cameras in San Mateo County, California received a one-two punch as an appellate court and a grand jury called into question the way red light cameras operate in the county. On Monday, the San Mateo County Civil Grand Jury released a report suggesting that the eight cities within the county that use photo enforcement are preoccupied with revenue. The report found that although cities claimed their sole interest was safety, officials failed to furnish reliable evidence to back up the assertion.

(Read More…)

By on June 9, 2010

Appellate courts in California are becoming increasingly upset at the conduct of cities and photo enforcement vendors. On May 21, a three-judge panel of the California Superior Court, Appellate Division, in Orange County tossed out a red light camera citation in the city of Santa Ana in a way that calls into question the legitimacy of the way red light camera trials are conducted statewide. Previously, a string of brief, unpublished decisions struck at illegal contracts, insufficient notice and other deficiencies. This time, however, the appellate division produced a ten-page ruling and certified it for publication, setting a precedent that applies to the county’s three million residents.

(Read More…)

By on June 3, 2010

Our Canadian pal carquestions took a look through NHTSA’s public complaint database, and found four examples of personal information that NHTSA should have redacted but didn’t. You kow, things like names, birth dates, social security numbers, addresses, VINs, and drivers license numbers. And he found those four after searching through “12 or 15″ of the 792,000 publicly-available NHTSA complaint cases. He’s calling on NHTSA to shut down public access to the database until it can get a handle on this problem. (The NHTSA listened.) (Read More…)

By on May 28, 2010

The long-simmering dispute over hybrid technology patents between Toyota and the Florida engineering firm Paice is rolling on, as Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports that a judge from the U.S. International Trade Commission refused to dismiss the Paice suit. That suit builds on an earlier ruling requiring Toyota to pay Paice royalties on its Prius, Highlander Hybrid and RX400h sales (Toyota is challenging the amount of these royalties, ordered by a federal judge in Texas).

(Read More…)

By on May 27, 2010

Albert Einstein may have once said that:

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new

But the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which owns the rights to Einstein’s likeness, had this to say about this GMC ad which appeared in People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” issue:

The tattooed, shirtless image of Dr. Einstein with his underpants on display is not consummate with and causes injury to (the university’s) carefully guarded rights in the image and likeness of the famous scientist, political activist, and humanitarian

According to the Detroit News, the University is suing GM “more than $75,000″ for the Leo Burnett-produced ad. GM spokesfolks insist the company purchased the right to use the Einstein image from a “reputable firm.”

By on May 19, 2010

Police can pull over a car that has committed no traffic violation based solely on vague accusations made in a 911 call, the Utah Supreme Court ruled Friday. The court considered the case of Jose Baltarcar Roybal whose live-in girlfriend, Annalee McCaine, called 911 after the pair had a fight August 8, 2005.

(Read More…)

By on May 14, 2010


The national 55 MPH speed limit may have been repealed in 1995, but the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has refused to raise the limits on most freeways beyond 65. That makes Oregon the slowest state west of the Mississippi. Ted Carlin, 61, wants to call attention to this situation by making a 456-mile walk across the state — at a 3 MPH walking pace.
(Read More…)

By on May 10, 2010

State officials can punish an individual for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), even if they are unable to prove the accused was ever behind the wheel, the West Virginia Supreme Court ruled Thursday. The decision came in the case of Eric R. Cain who was found lying passed out on in front of his car on Route 19 by Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy Todd Cole at around 2:30am on June 2, 2007. The car had been safely parked and there was no key in the ignition.

(Read More…)

By on April 30, 2010

Vehicle owners ticketed by Maryland speed cameras may find relief after one motorist earlier this month discovered how to beat the system. Peggy Lucero began her legal battle after Affiliated Computer Services accused her of speeding in Gaithersburg on Saturday, November 21, 2009. She did not believe the citation was accurate.

(Read More…)

By on April 23, 2010

Automotive News [sub] reports that 19 rejected Canadian GM dealers have been given the green light to sue GM as a class, rather than go through the arbitration process that is being used to resolve dealer cull disputes in the US. The dealers are suing GM for breach of their dealer agreements, and for failing to provide compensation beyond wind-down costs. They argue that the arbitration process would be expensive for dealers, non-transparent to the taxpayers who funded GM’s reorganization, and would put GM at an unfair advantage.

(Read More…)

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