By on May 10, 2022

The State of California is considering leveraging enhanced surveillance to increase the number of motorists it can fine for noise violations. While the rules allowing the state to penalize motorists for emitting too much sound have existed for years, they were amped up slightly in 2019 when Assembly Bill 1824 went into effect and established the limits for what’s allowed today. The updated rules also required police to immediately fine anyone driving an automobile that’s emitting noise measured above 95 decibels, rather than issue a fix-it ticket. Motorcycles, which can occasionally exceed 95 dB in their stock format if they’re older, are limited to just 80 dB.

But determining when and where someone broke the rule is difficult, especially considering measurements were originally supposed to be taken under the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) test procedure J1169, so the coastal region is on the cusp of launching a new program that would introduce microphone-equipped traffic cameras similar to what we’ve already seen in New York and the United Kingdom. California leadership believes that an automated system would result in greater levels of enforcement by effectively mimicking the speed camera formula and applying it to vehicular noise violations.  (Read More…)

By on February 17, 2022

New Yorkers with aftermarket exhaust systems may want to be extra careful because a law, signed by Governor Kathy Hochul to increase fines on sound violations, now has a new enforcement tool designed to spot noisemakers.

Approved in autumn of 2021, the SLEEP (Stop Loud and Excessive Exhaust Pollution) Act raised the fine on vehicles producing excess sound in NY from $150 to a whopping $1,000. But drivers are now learning that getting busted won’t necessarily require whizzing past a squad car while their Borla snap-crackle-and-pops surrounding eardrums. NYC residents have begun receiving notices in the mail after being caught by the auditory equivalent of speed cameras.  (Read More…)

By on June 18, 2021

At the start of the year, the city of Chicago announced that it would be changing rules pertaining to traffic enforcement as part of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s updated 2021 budget package. But the one that was causing the most concern among motorists was a provision to have speed cameras issue tickets to anybody traveling 6 miles an hour over the posted limit, rather than the previous cutoff of 10 MPH. While just a singular aspect of the city’s plan to resolve a $1.2-billion deficit, it turned out to be one of the most controversial items and appears to have resulted in a tenfold increase in fines.

According to local affiliate CBS Chicago, data from a public records request indicated that during the 36-day period before and after the change took effect on March 1st, citywide ticketing went up from 35,784 citations in the weeks before to a massive 398,233 in the proceeding weeks.  (Read More…)

By on January 19, 2017

traffic speed camera

Abraham Lincoln said that someone who represents themselves in a legal proceeding has a fool for a lawyer. Somewhat removed from his popular homespun image is the historical fact that Honest Abe was an experienced, high-powered attorney whose clients included entities like railroad companies. The man knew a thing or two about the practice of law.

The same can probably be said about Adam MacLeod, who teaches law students how to litigate at Faulkner University’s Thomas Goode Jones School of Law. Prof. MacLeod not only risked living down to Lincoln’s aphorism, he also violated many of the rules that he teaches his students how to act in court when he fought a ticket generated by a traffic camera in Montgomery, Alabama. (Read More…)

By on July 30, 2016

red light traffic signal (Matthias Ripp/Flickr]

There’s few feelings more stomach-churning than looking up from your mirror (or radio) and seeing an amber light looming ahead. Do you go for it, or hit the brakes? If the intersection boats red light cameras, the potential fines make a good argument for mashing the pedal on the left.

That’s how the cameras are supposed to work, and a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety finds they do just that. The paper, funded by auto insurers, says removing red light cameras at intersections leads to more collisions.

So, why are some cities scrapping their red light camera programs? (Read More…)

By on May 23, 2016

hoon

Did this Romanian driver have his seat in the full, upright position (and seatbelt fastened) before his vehicle hit cruising altitude?

The brief blip that showed up on radar screens earlier this month turned out to be a compact hatchback making a Dukes of Hazzard-worthy leap over a roundabout. (Read More…)

By on January 6, 2015

Block Their Shot - Strayan For Fuck Da Police

Speed cameras are the bane of motorists, a needed safety measure for road safety advocates, and a boon to government coffers (just ask Waldo, Fla.). Motorists in New South Wales, Australia, however, have decided to fly the two-fingered salute the only way they know how: By popping the hood.

(Read More…)

By on January 24, 2014

traffic-cameras

In what looks like a reasonably solid victory against the automated-traffic-ticket-profit industry, the 8th Circuit Court has deemed Cleveland, Ohio’s red-light and speed-enforcement camera system unconstitutional.
(Read More…)

By on May 28, 2010

A federal jury ruled Thursday against a traffic camera company that had sought to impose a $20 million fine on its nearest rival. The panel of eight spent an hour-and-a-half to arrive at the verdict denying American Traffic Solutions (ATS) payment for contract revenue lost in twelve cities after the Australian firm Redflex Traffic Systems snuck uncertified equipment into the country in violation of Federal Communications Commission regulations.

(Read More…)

By on May 13, 2010

A surprisingly vigorous effort is being made to urge Florida Governor Charlie Crist to veto the red light camera authorization bill passed by the legislature last month (view bill). The normally pro-camera group AAA launched a nine-page assault on the legislation in a letter to Crist last week. The group was joined yesterday by Crist’s former regional campaign chairman, state Representative Tom Grady (R-Naples). Crist has until May 14 to sign or veto the red light camera bill which would devote more money to the Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs than it would to public safety.

(Read More…)

By on April 15, 2010


Voters in California’s tenth largest city will have an opportunity to ban red light cameras in November. On Tuesday, the Anaheim City Council unanimously endorsed the idea of placing a charter amendment on the ballot that, if approved by the public, would ensure that automated ticketing machines never appear on city streets. Mayor Curt Pringle, a former speaker of the California State Assembly, offered the measure even though his city has never used cameras.

(Read More…)

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