Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 14

Driving

Freedoms NMA Foundation

Vol. 21 • Issue 4
July/August 2010

The NMA Foundation is a


non-profit group dedicated
to finding innovative ways
to improve and protect
the interests of North
American motorists.

Motorists vs. Cameras


If your NMA membership expiration
Four Winning Defenses
date is on (or before) 7/1/10, this is
your last issue of
Driving Freedoms
Please renew now
to avoid any laPse!

PERMIT #2860
MADISON, WI ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED
US POSTAGE PAID
ORGANIZATION Waunakee, WI 53597
NON-PROFIT 402 W. 2nd St.
NMA Foundation
=FI[dWXb[Z$
J_Ya[jiZ_iWXb[Z$
;:?JEHÉIF?9A
7K=KIJ(&&/

J^[F7IIFEHJ/+&&_n$=[jj^[h[m_j^ekj][jj_d]_djejhekXb[$
F7IIFEHJ/+&&_n$=[jj^[h[m_j^ekj][jj_d]_djejhekXb[$ 
*//$/+
J^[i[ZWoi"j^[feb_Y[^Wl[ceh[mWoij^Wd[l[hjeced_jehoekhif[[ZÅ\hechWZWhjebWi[hjeif[[ZYWci$
Fhej[Yjoekhi[b\m_j^j^[;I9EHJF7IIFEHJ/+&&_n$?jÉi=FI[dWXb[Z"ie_jYWdZ[j[YjWdZWb[hjoekjeWbbhWZWh"
bWi[hWdZiW\[joYWc[hWi$?j[l[d[b_c_dWj[i\Wbi[WbWhci$

B[]Wb_d*/ijWj[i[nY[fj_dL7"j^[/+&&_nWbieYec[ifh[beWZ[Zm_j^j^ekiWdZie\YWc[hWWdZif[[ZjhWf
beYWj_edi"ki_d];I9EHJÉi[nYbki_l[:[\[dZ[hJC:WjWXWi["jemWhdoeke\WffheWY^_d]^_]^#jWh][jWh[Wi$7dZoek
YWdZemdbeWZd[mbeYWj_edi[WY^m[[a"ijhW_]^j\hecekhm[Xi_j[$Deej^[hZ[j[Yjeh_iX[jj[hWja[[f_d]oekkf
jeZWj[WdZekje\jhekXb[$

JWa[j^[F7IIFEHJ/+&&_n\ehW,&#ZWoh_ia#\h[[j[ij#Zh_l[$

9Wbb'#.,,#*,.#&)'-ehl_i_j[iYehjhWZWh$Yec%/+&&_n$ :H?L;IC7HJ;HŸ

:[fWhjc[dj:LH<HCž(&&/;I9EHJ
July/August 2010 Driving Freedoms 
Driving What’s the Reason?
Freedoms by James J. Baxter, President, NMA

Table Of Contents
Volume 21 • Issue 4
Recently, I had occasion to drive for obstructing traffic. Being chari-
through Chicago on the toll roads. table, it may be the sheer mayhem
With the open road tolling system, that would be unleashed that has
What’s the Reason?.......................... 2 the highway works almost as well as deterred the city from attempting to
a freeway. The old tollbooth system enforce this absurd speed limit. A
NMA History, Part 1........................... 3 was a nightmare (a classic example few dozen patrol cars doing speed
of a government study that was enforcement would bring the whole
NMA Washington Report................... 4
never done: How Many Billions of system to a screeching halt. Panic
Court Decisions................................. 5 Dollars Worth of Crashes, Wasted braking, swerving to miss slowing
Man Hours, Injuries and Deaths cars, cars parked on both shoulders,
“You Are Free to Go”......................... 6 Were Caused by Toll Road Collection flashing lights, rubber necking and
Systems?) But, this isn’t about toll crashes up and down the roadway
Motorists vs. Cameras....................... 7
roads; rather, it’s the city’s enduring would turn the entire urban toll road
News From Around The Country....... 9 love affair with 55 mph speed limit into a bloody parking lot.
signs. Even the godfathers of Chicago
N.J. Drivers’ Advocate..................... 10 The 55 mph speed limit signs can’t be that merciless!
have incredible staying power! For What’s the reason? Why not post
The Expert’s Corner.........................11 decade upon decade the signs have a more rational speed limit? Are they
stood there, mute evidence of a trying to save money on new signs?
SCCs & Activists List....................... 12
speed limit that never existed, at least Does the law not allow a higher
Members Write................................ 13 not here. Sure, theoretically, 55 is limit? Laws can be changed. No one
the legal speed limit. But there has cares as long as the limit isn’t being
never been a time that free flowing enforced.
traffic ever moved at 55 miles per The signs do allow the police
hour. The occasional snow storm and to pull over anyone, at anytime, for
commuter congestion (and toll booth any reason, using the pretense of
Copyright © 2010 by NMA Foundation. traffic jams) retard the normal 70 to exceeding the speed limit. But the
All rights reserved. 75 mph flow of traffic, but the speed fact is, the police do this everywhere
Driving Freedoms (permit # 0716556-KWP) is the
official publication of the NMA Foundation, Inc. Driving
limit signs could be put to better use and just make up reasons as they go
Freedoms is published bimonthly by the NMA Foundation, as temperature forecasters; at least along.
Inc., 402 W. 2nd St., Waunakee, WI 53597. (608/849-6000)
Email: nma@motorists.org Web site: www.motorists.org. they would be occasionally correct, if Until recently, my money would
Nonprofit bulk permit paid Madison, WI. Annual membership in
the National Motorists Association includes a subscription to not relevant. have been on “No one cares as long
Driving Freedoms.
On the plus side, along with as the limit isn’t being enforced.” But
not being obeyed, neither are I can see a change on the horizon,
Editorial Staff
they enforced, unless the police and it isn’t the speed limit.
Managing Editor............................Gary Biller
are looking for an excuse to pull Heaven on Earth for many
Staff Writer............................. James J. Baxter
Staff Writer................................. Aaron Quinn someone over. That may be their local government officials, their pot
Staff Writer................................Robert Talley real purpose? Almost all vehicles of gold at the end of the rainbow,
Guest Writer................................ Paul Bennett
Guest Writer...........................Mike Frassinelli travel in a pack exceeding the has long been automated speed
speed limit by10, 15, or 20 mph enforcement. The red light camera
Cover above the speed limit. Those rare
“Motorists vs. Cameras souls actually moving at 55 mph, (Continued on Page 4)
Four Winning Defenses” or less, can validly be apprehended
 Driving Freedoms July/August 2010

NMA History: The First Ten Years, Part 1


by James J. Baxter

Editor’s Note: In the Jan/Feb and This advance did not


Mar/Apr 1992 issues of the National come without cost. Urban
Motorists Association News (a neighborhoods were destroyed,
forerunner of Driving Freedoms), small villages and towns
Jim Baxter wrote his account of the were rendered economically
first ten years of the organization that impotent, and unique cultures
was founded in 1982 to combat the and natural treasures protected
restrictive 55 mph National Maximum by distance and bad roads
Speed Limit. This will be a trip down were laid bare for exploitation.
memory lane for those of you who were Railroads became irrelevant to
members back then, or what we hope the movement of passengers
will be an interesting story of persever- and high-value, low-volume
ance and accomplishment if you are goods. Millions of acres
a more recent member. Over the next of land were converted to
several issues of Driving Freedoms, highway uses and related
we will be printing installments of the purposes.
NMA History: The First Ten Years as Every negative element
written by founder Jim Baxter in 1992. had (has) its own constitu-
ency. When the day came to
The National Motorists make the automobile pay its
Association, in its original incarna- dues, there was no shortage of
tion, Citizens Coalition for Rational willing floggers.
Traffic Laws, was officially founded The actual day the transfor-
in January, 1982. However, the mation from good car to bad car took statements, emission standards, five
forces creating the need for a national place is up for debate. My preference mph bumpers, ignition interlocks,
organization to represent motorists is the day Congress authorized the and the 85 mph speedometer were all
were put in motion in 1965-66. This formation of a National Highway products of this period. Some were
was the end of the "car is king" era Traffic Safety Administration needed and others were merely self-
and the beginning of the "autos are (NHTSA). Others may prefer the serving gestures for the edification of
evil" trend that remains so evident day the Environmental Protection those in power.
today. Agency (EPA) was created. Most of There was no organized force to
Following WWII, there seemed to you call it the Nader era. Ultimately, resist or moderate these changes. The
be no limit to the development, use, it was epitomized during the Carter need had not previously existed. In
and accommodation of automobiles. Administration when Joan Claybrook a sense, there was no serious repre-
The culmination of this "no holds was appointed to head NHTSA. sentation of millions of individuals
barred" era was the authorization and If Nader and Claybrook hadn’t interested in personal transportation,
construction of the Interstate highway existed, someone else would have or those for whom automobiles were
system. cropped up to lead the charge against more than just an appliance.
This king of all public works automobiles. The excesses were too Into that vacuum stepped the
projects re-defined personal and obvious, the negative impacts too Citizens Coalition for Rational Traffic
commercial transportation. It tied the severe, and the constituency too large Laws. 
country together, created tremendous to ignore or disregard. For 20 years,
opportunity and wealth, and changed the pendulum has proceeded to swing
our concepts of time and distance. in the opposite direction. Part 2 of NMA History: The First Ten
It gave a whole new meaning to the Gas guzzler taxes, the 55 mph Years will be published in the Sept/Oct
phrase "personal mobility." speed limit, the environmental impact 2010 issue of Driving Freedoms.
July/August 2010 Driving Freedoms 
NMA Washington Report
by Robert Talley, NMA Lobbyist

Congress is now considering the support the doubling of NHTSA’s


mandated use of event data recorders vehicle safety programs.
(aka black boxes) in all vehicles and The bill does clarify that the
enhancing the data that is recorded. data recorded is the property of the
The bill in question, the Motor vehicle owner or lessee, but a court
Vehicle Safety Act of 2010, has passed order or consent can allow others to
a House subcommittee and is waiting access the data. Such an authoriza-
further consideration. tion could include a police request to
The legislation would require search a vehicle after a crash or even
that all vehicles be equipped with an insurance company demand prior
event data recorders that record and make the information easily to payment on a claim.
crash information. Further, NHTSA accessible to investigators. A similar bill exists in the
(the National Highway Traffic The legislation would establish Senate though it remains unclear
Safety Administration) is directed to a vehicle safety user fee paid by whether Congress will pass both of
issue a rule requiring such recorders the vehicle manufacturer for each these bills this year. With limited
be more robust, store data for 60 vehicle certified to meet the federal time left on the Congressional
seconds instead of 15 seconds before motor vehicle safety standards for calendar, there is a lot of competi-
an airbag deploys, store a record sale in the United States. This fee, tion from other proposals for the
of all abrupt stopping events, store initially set at $3 per vehicle and necessary floor time to become law.
more data elements as appropriate, growing to $9 per vehicle, would 

multiple locations, take photos


What’s the Reason?
(Continued from Page 2) of “speeding” vehicles, and mail
citations to the vehicle owners. The
scam was more likely meant to be proponents will make noble noises
a trail blazer that would smooth about not issuing tickets to vehicles
the political way for automated unless they are going at least 10
speed enforcement. The public mph over the speed limit, and there
was duped into believing that red won’t be any points, and certainly The NMA staff has distilled several
light ticket cameras were meant to no photos of vehicle operators, all years of invaluable ticket-fighting
improve intersection safety, and in the interest of privacy and being experience into a comprehensive three-
although the truth is starting to reasonable (and diluting political volume guide, Fight That Ticket!
leak out, the technical and legal opposition). Look for Fight That Ticket! soon
foundation for automated speed Of course, a 10 mph cushion at www.motorists.org. Vol. 1 provides
enforcement is being formed. over a 55 mph speed limit leaves advice from ticket receipt to court
Picture this scenario: A half the drivers, or more, in appearance and will be free for anyone
horrendous crash on the toll way jeopardy of getting a ticket, actu- interested in contesting a ticket.
is blamed on “speeders.” City ally multiple tickets, in the mail, on Vols. 2 and 3 navigate the essential
officials seize the opportunity and a regular basis. The financial take steps of establishing/presenting a robust
vow to tackle the rampant problem could be breathtaking, probably defense, knowing the defendant’s rights,
of speeding on the city’s highways. breaking into the billions. and understanding the plea-bargaining
The infrastructure is already in Maybe that’s “the reason.”  process. These latter volumes will be
place! The open road toll collection free to NMA members, and available at
system can time vehicles between a modest price to non-members. 
 Driving Freedoms July/August 2010

Court Decisions That Can Affect Your Rights as a Driver

NY Judge Rules Texting While included the critical point that once a one-third of Ohio’s state senators
Driving Not a Basis for Search suspect has received and understood immediately supported the overturning
In granting a motion to suppress the Miranda warning, he/she automati- of the Supreme Court’s decision.
evidence in People v. Abdul-Akim, cally waives that right by responding to Whether or not that effort succeeds
5518/09, Acting New York Supreme any subsequent question by the police. in Ohio, it is clear that the question
Court Justice Mark Dwyer ruled that of whether human beings can stand
because texting while driving was not roadside and, with consistent accuracy,
illegal in the state in June 2009 – it was estimate by observation how fast a car
banned in New York in November 2009 is traveling needs to be definitively
– that act could not serve as the basis determined.The NMA is investigating
of a search and seizure of the vehicle. resources to commission an indepen-
But he also held that even if texting dently-run and scientifically-based
while driving had been outlawed at the study to do just that.
time, that act alone would not support
arresting drivers who text or support South Dakota Court Finds
searching their cars. Red-Light Cameras Illegal
“When the Legislature enacted cell The city of Sioux Falls, SD initi-
phone legislation and authorized a fine Visual Estimation of Vehicle Speed ated a photo enforcement program in
of not more than $150 for an infraction, Given Judicial Notice in Ohio 2002. The city and Redflex Traffic
it could not have thought it was giving The Ohio Supreme Court also Systems, the camera operator selected
police officers the right arbitrarily to made a key ruling in early June 2010 to run the program, both got more than
arrest drivers for such a violation, to by deciding that visual estimation of they bargained for when a circuit court
seize their vehicles, and to conduct intru- vehicle speed by a trained police officer judge recently determined that because
sive searches,” wrote Justice Dwyer. is adequate evidence to determine the Sioux Falls program did not first
guilt in a speeding case. Instead of have approval from the South Dakota
Criminal Suspects Must Actively requiring a reading by a radar or lidar Legislature, the red-light cameras
Invoke Their Miranda Protection gun as evidence of excess speed, the were illegal.
Says U.S. Supreme Court acceptance of an officer’s testimony The ruling was triggered by defen-
In a 5-4 opinion rendered June that he used visual means only to dant I.L. Wiederman, who received a
1, 2010, the High Court ruled that determine a vehicle’s speed turns the right-turn-on-red ticket for $86 over
suspects must speak up to invoke courtroom proceedings into a matter of four years ago. Wiederman fought the
their right to remain silent. This is a the defendant’s word agains the police ticket and lost. He appealed and lost.
significant departure from the landmark officer’s testimony. His subsequent class action suit trig-
Warren Court decision in Miranda Ohio is not the only state to give gered the ruling of program illegality
v. Arizona, where the right against such standing to visual estimation, but by Second Judicial Circuit Presiding
self-incrimination was implicit. the recent decision by that state’s high Judge Kathleen K. Caldwell.
The current decision requires that court has stirred significant reaction. Caldwell agreed with two points
a suspect specifically inform a police (For the NMA’s opinion on the ruling, in the Wiederman suit against the
officer that they are invoking their visit http://blog.motorists.org/speeding- red-light camera program: a) Sioux
rights under Miranda and do not wish convictions-art-of-observation/) As Falls imposed standards that were
to speak without an attorney present. reported by TheNewspaper.com, less than those imposed for traffic
Previously, a suspect was afforded within a matter of days of the ruling, violations at the state level and, b) the
those rights by simply remaining silent state senators introduced legislation city violated defendants’ due process
after receiving a Miranda warning from “that would forbid police from issuing rights by presuming guilt, thereby
the police. speeding tickets based solely on the forcing those defendants to prove their
The Supreme Court’s decision also officer’s best speed guess.” Over innocence. 
July/August 2010 Driving Freedoms 6
“You Are Free to Go”
by Paul Bennett, NMA Colorado Member

thinking. Best case at this point will officer’s ability to estimate distance!
“There is no better feeling in the be the usual 2-point plea bargain. “Your honor, the Defense rests.”
world than to be shot at without result.” But, just in case… The judge pondered his deci-
- Winston Churchill, 1898 I looked up the statute under sion for what seemed like ages, then
which I was charged, and (para- announced the verdict: “Mr. Ben-
phrasing) it said “…a driver fac- nett, despite having made a number
Turning right, it was close, ing a steady red signal must stop at of fairly serious errors in presenting
but I was sure I’d made it into the the stop line, or in the absence of your case, you did somehow manage
intersection under the yellow light. such line, at the crosswalk, or in the to get into evidence facts sufficient
Annoyingly, the officer sitting in the absence of such crosswalk, before to raise in my mind considerably
parking lot across the street didn’t entering the intersection.” Further- more than a reasonable doubt about
see it that way. It was late at night, more, the term “intersection” is de- the City’s case against you. This
and there was no traffic at all, so fined in the law as “…the extension Court finds the defendant not guilty.
I was actually surprised when he of the curb lines.” Mr. Bennett, you are free to go.”
wrote me up for failure to stop at a The next day, I went out to the “Not guilty,” indeed! Winston
red light. scene of the crime and measured the Churchill was right. The City had
The first step in one’s criminal distance from the curb line to the taken their best shot at me, and lost.
defense is to avoid saying anything stop line. Amazingly, it was twenty It was a great feeling. 
to the officer during the traffic stop. feet exactly! At that moment, I real-
Just hand over your paperwork with- ized I could beat this ticket cold.
out making any comment on the situ- By the officer’s own account, $9 2 , '  7 5 $ ) ) , &  7 , & . ( 7 6 
ation, and politely decline to answer I had been “…twenty feet back
any questions that go beyond the from the intersection when the light
legal requirement to identify your- turned red...,” which would have put
self. The most innocent remark may me exactly at the stop line. If his
well be construed as an admission distance estimate was off by even ALERT! ALERT!
of guilt, and the officer will make a one millimeter, I was clear. I had a Speed Trap Ahead!
note of this. case! Slow Down!
The next step is to “discover” It was time to learn a little
the City’s case against you. After criminal procedure so I could present
a few weeks, the City will have as- my case in court. After watching a
sembled a case file containing all few trials, and reading up a little, I
the evidence against you. You are decided to take my chances.
entitled to see everything in this At trial, the officer estimated the
file in order to present a competent distance from his patrol car to the *(7 $/(576 21 <285
defense. point of my alleged infraction as “… *36 25 &(// 3+21(
Sure enough, when I went to oh, I dunno, maybe 100 feet or so.” Download 400,000+ enforcement
locations(POI) & receive timely and
the city attorney’s office to request At that point, I entered into evidence accurate alerts while you drive.
discovery, the only thing the City Defendant’s Exhibit ‘A’, a certified Speed traps, red light cameras,
had on me were the notes the officer scale drawing of the intersection in speed cameras and school zones.
You will see them before they see
had written down on the back of the question which I had obtained from you. Covers US/Canada. Works with
ticket: “…vehicle ‘A’ was 20 feet the city engineer’s office. I had Garmin, TomTom, Magellan GPS,
Google Android, iPhone & BlackBerry
back from the intersection when the the officer indicate on the drawing SmartPhones.
light turned red, and continued with- where he had been parked, and we SUBSCRIBE NOW! Starts at $9. 99 /month
out stopping.” measured the actual distance: it was 6HHKRZLWZRUNVDW3KDQWRP$/(57FRP

Well, that kinda looks bad, I’m just over 300 feet. So much for the
 Driving Freedoms July/August 2010

Motorists vs. Cameras: Four Winning Defenses


By Gary Biller, NMA Executive Director
The odds in traffic courts are The fine was only $40, but she fought the case in Palm Beach, Florida found a
already stacked against defendants. charge on principle. Ms. Lucero did two loophole in a city ordinance that required
“The Coercive Tactics of the Traffic things that are routinely suggested by the cited vehicle’s model, year, and
Justice System” (Jan/Feb 2010 Driving the NMA to drivers who are contesting registration number to be shown on
Freedoms) makes that case. But when speeding tickets based on electronically the photographic evidence. The city’s
there is only an inanimate “witness” gathered evidence: She examined the enforcement program doesn’t utilize a
to the alleged violation, one that maintenance records of the device used database that has that information. While
can’t be questioned, the chances of in order to question its accuracy, and she Palm Beach officials scrambled to change
getting the charges dismissed go down asked for validation of the posted speed the ordinance, several other motorists had
astronomically. limit. their speeding tickets dismissed.
Or do they? Then there is
There have been several recent Portland, OR attorney
instances of motorists beating photo Mark Ginsberg, who
tickets outright, and to make you aware used logic and math
of some defense options should you be to pick apart the
unfortunate enough to receive a red- evidence against him.
light or speed camera ticket, many are The first photo from
presented here. the red-light camera
Those receiving a photo ticket showed Ginsberg’s
will be well-served by reading the car just behind the
Dennis Eros Motion in Limine posted intersection crosswalk
by the NMA at http://www.motorists. with a red light time of
org/red-light-cameras/eros-traffic- Reprinted from www.safespeed.org.uk 24.9 seconds indicated
case.pdf. In fighting a red-light camera on the photo. The second photo, taken
ticket in Seattle (WA) Municipal Court, Peggy hit paydirt on both counts. two seconds later and stamped “red,”
Mr. Eros laid out 55 distinct issues in Maryland law requires police to test had the car mid-intersection with a red
challenging the constitutionality of photo ticket cameras daily for functionality, light time code of 00.0 seconds, which
tickets. (His case was dismissed on a but the camera that flashed her wasn’t is the indication that the light is green.
technicality, allowing the judge to dodge checked the day of the citation. Records Ginsberg checked with the city signal
the need to rule on his motion.). also showed several days between testing engineer and found that the red light
Among the points made by Eros for other cameras in the Gaithersburg duration was 25.0 seconds. Based on the
were a) the denial of the right to confront program. A traffic engineering study had car speed of 15 mph noted on the second
and cross-examine adversarial witnesses, not been performed on the 30 mph road photo, the attorney was able to prove that
b) the presumption that the registered in five years. When the study was done his car wouldn’t have even reached the
owner of the vehicle is guilty, regardless at Lucero’s request, highway officials crosswalk in the one-tenth of a second
of who was actually driving, thereby determined that the limit should have between 24.9 and 25.0 seconds. Case
destroying the presumption of innocence, been increased to 40 mph. Andrew dismissed. Said Ginsberg, “If they’re
c) an unverified chain of control of the Bossi, a Maryland state traffic engineer, issuing tickets and they don’t know
alleged (photographic) evidence, and suggested that keeping the zone at 30 how accurate their cameras are, that’s
d) the lack of scientific reliability of mph posed a danger to drivers because frightening.”
the cameras to warrant unquestioned of sudden braking and then accelerating In one of my favorite cases, a St.
acceptance into evidence. around the speed cameras. Louis man beat the red-light camera
That last point leads to the first The judge looked at the camera main- charge against him by raising reasonable
example of beating a highway speed tenance logs and the recommendations of doubt as to who was driving his car when
camera ticket. Peggy Lucero of traffic engineers in the traffic study, and it was photographed running a red light.
Bethesda was cited in Gaithersburg, MD dismissed Peggy Lucero’s ticket.
for exceeding the limit in a 30 mph zone. A defendant in a red-light camera (Continued top of next page)
July/August 2010 Driving Freedoms 
Gant Bloom is not an attorney, but I did or not,” Bloom said. “The only “No, if I couldn’t identify the driver, I
he put on a marvelously succinct and physical evidence that the prosecution wouldn’t issue a citation.”
logical defense. The court transcript is going to show you is that it was my Next question for the officer: “If
of the Bloom trial is 36 pages long, car running through a red light. That I you pulled a car over and found out it
with 33 of those pages taken up with don’t deny.” was a different driver than who was
questions, testimony and summations He continued, “I don’t believe the the registered owner of the car, would
by Bloom and the prosecutor. Bloom’s City can satisfy this court that it was me you issue a citation to the car, to the
defense was laid out in only nine who was driving and who committed registered owner who is not driving, or
pages, while the prosecutor labored that crime. And furthermore, I intend would you issue the citation to whoever
through the other twenty-four. (For an to demonstrate reasonable doubt that it was driving the car.” The answer, of
entertaining read, you can find the full was me driving that day.” course, was that the officer would issue
courtroom transcript at www.tinyurl. The prosecutor called a representa- the citation to the driver.
com/camtranscript) tive of American Traffic Solutions The judge ruled, “The Court finds
Bloom’s defense was startling (ATS) to the stand and proceeded to ask both witnesses (Bloom and his girl-
in its simplicity. The photo evidence detailed questions for several minutes friend) credible based on the testimony
from the city provided an image of his about the operation of the red-light as well as common sense. Finding
car, but not of the driver. He testified camera. Bloom’s cross-examination for Defendant. Costs to City of Saint
that both he and his girlfriend drove consisted of a single question: Louis.”
his car at various times, and since Q: Sir, is there any way to tell who Some of the lessons to be learned
the ticket came in the mail a month was driving the car at the time of the when fighting a photo ticket (other than
after the actual incident, Bloom could violation? having Gant Bloom represent you):
not remember which of the two was A: No, there isn’t. ► Compare the local ordinances
driving when the car went through the The prosecutor then questioned a governing the photo enforcement
red light. police officer about the evidence for program with actual operational details.
Gant called his girlfriend to the another extended period. When Bloom Discrepancies are your ally.
stand and elicited testimony that the was given the opportunity to ques- ► Understand the evidence.
two of them sat down after receiving tion the officer, he asked if, during a Does it depict what is being claimed by
the ticket and honestly tried to deter- physical traffic stop for running a light, the prosecution?
mine who was driving. They couldn’t. the officer would attempt to identify ► Most photo tickets violations
His opening statement included a the driver. The anwer was affirmative. have built-in reasonable doubt because
summary of his strategy. “I decided it Bloom then asked if the officer would the driver is rarely positively identified
just wasn’t fair for me to admit guilt to issue a citation if he wasn’t able to by the camera. Find a logical way to
something that I didn’t even know if identify the driver. The officer said, present this to the court. 

Subscribers to free NMA Legislative Alerts and/or


Weekly E-Newsletters:
To ensure that you are receiving these valuable news services if you so
choose, make sure that we have your current email address, and that the
NMA address is whitelisted in your email program. The simplest way to do
this is to add nma@motorists.org as a contact in your email address book.

Our legislative alerts keep you apprised of developing national, state and local issues that affect your
rights and freedoms as a motorist. The NMA weekly e-newsletter is a timely briefing on a range of inter-
esting topics. To view past alerts and e-newsletters, you can go to http://alerts.motorists.org. Or you
can receive them automatically by subscribing with us and including the NMA address as an email contact.
 Driving Freedoms July/August 2010

News From accuracy of vertical gaze nystagmus – a


test of eye steadiness – in establishing
Around The Country drunkenness remained unproven.

South Carolina
California Ohio Governor Mark Sanford recently
The Anaheim City Council re- The city of Springfield added one signed a law banning the use of red-
cently voted 4-0 to place a measure extra second to all of the yellow lights light cameras and speed cameras in the
on the November ballot that would at the red-light camera intersections. state. The measure swept unanimously
amend the city’s charter to perma- Police said they saw a drastic drop in through the House, 106 to 0, and in the
nently prohibit ticket camera sys- the number of red light camera citations Senate, 38 to 0, in early June.
tems. The effort was led by Anaheim after adding the single second. In 2006,
Mayor Curt Pringle, whose term an average of about 1,700 red light Tennessee
ends this year. camera tickets were issued per month. The last legislative attempt to put new
Now that monthly average has dropped restrictions on the operation of traffic
Florida to 667 tickets for drivers who allegedly surveillance cameras was quietly killed
During a recent public meeting, ran red lights. in early June. Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Mur-
Brooksville city council members freesboro, sponsor of SB3586, pulled
voted 4-0 to not approve an agreement The Lyndhurst City Council passed the measure off the Senate floor, where
with red light camera vendor Ameri- legislation allowing ticket cameras to be it had been scheduled for a vote. In an
can Traffic Solutions, meaning the placed on the stop-sign arm that extends interview afterwards, Ketron said the
current contract with the vendor will from school buses. The South Euclid City move means the bill is dead for the year.
expire after June 30. This will result Council already passed such legislation in
in the city’s red light camera enforce- March, and the South Euclid-Lyndhurst Motorist Brian McCrary found the
ment program being suspended and, Board of Education must next approve perfect venue to gripe about a $90
perhaps, permanently shut down. the move. If the board of education speed camera ticket when he went to
agrees, the district would be the first in the Bluff City Police Department’s
Indiana the country to utilize the technology. website, saw that its domain name was
After unsuccessfully trying for about to expire, and bought it right out
months to convince the Indiana Oklahoma from under the city’s nose. McCrary is
General Assembly to change state law Oklahoma is preparing an unprec- now the proud owner of the site, www.
to allow ticket cameras in the state, edented statewide deployment of bluffcitypd.com.
lobbyists for RedFlex – a leading ticket automated ticketing machines. Instead
camera manufacturer – decided to pack of using red light cameras and speed Texas
up and leave. cameras, the Oklahoma Department According to newly released state
of Public Safety is preparing to sign a records, revenue from Texas red-light
New York contract with a for-profit company that cameras soared in 2009, with cities col-
The Auburn Police Department will track all passing motorists with a lecting more than $62 million from mo-
union has lodged a labor grievance network of at least twenty automated torists. In all, cities with cameras have
against Police Chief Gary Giannotta license plate recognition cameras. The collected about $100 million in fines
for what the union perceives as punish- devices would “generate significant of $75 to $100 since September 2007,
ing four officers for not writing enough additional revenues” by issuing $250 when a law requiring them to share prof-
vehicle and traffic tickets. The union citations for expired insurance. its with the state went into effect. 
claims Giannotta initiated an illegal
ticket quota system last December re- Oregon
As of this printing, this information
quiring police officers to write at least The Oregon Court of Appeals recent- is current. For more information on
one ticket per shift or be punished for ly threw out a commonly performed this and other motorist news, visit
failing to do so. roadside sobriety test as unscientific. A www.motorists.org
divided three-judge panel found that the
July/August 2010 Driving Freedoms 10
N.J. Drivers’ Advocate Works Many Roads
by Mike Frassinelli, The Star-Ledger
Editor’s Note: Due to space limita-
tions, this is a condensed version of
Frassinelli’s May 18, 2010 profile of
long-time NMA member Steve Carrel-
las. The full version can be found at
http://www.tinyurl.com/njsteve.

A motorist with a neatly coiffed


professorial beard and spotless white
polo shirt pulls up at the full service
gas station, puts to memory the number
of miles on his tripometer and walks
quickly to the pump hoping to beat the
attendant.
The gas jockey is already there, so
Steve Carrellas does not get to pump his
own petrol this time – it’s against the law schedule. the policy makers.”
in New Jersey, anyway. Carrellas also was thrilled to hear Gov. Carrellas joined the National Motor-
“I know the way my tank works – I Chris Christie defend motorists in March ists Association after reading an editorial
want to do it,” Carrellas says. while explaining why mass transit riders in Road & Track magazine calling
Say hello to the New Jersey repre- would have to pay for their first fare into question the national maximum
sentative of the National Motorists increase in three years. speed limit of 55 mph. He believes that
Association, the Garden State’s big wheel “Drivers have paid increased tolls two motorist policies should be based on
when it comes to driving freedoms. The years in the last four years, and I didn’t scientific and engineering criteria and
open road is a basic American experi- think it was their turn to feel the pain,” public consensus, not the political wishes
ence, as he sees it, and this non-salaried Christie said at the time. of special interest groups.
volunteer executive has made it his job to “He didn’t even need me to make the He said that increasing the speed to
protect Jersey drivers from petty bureau- quote – he beat me to the punchline,” 65 mph provided a smoother and safer
cracy, intrusive government, silly rules Carrellas said. traffic flow and better fuel mileage
and anything else that robs us of our basic In 1986, Carrellas began calling for a because people were maintaining a
right to enjoy the road. repeal of the 55 mph maximum speed constant speed.
With the patience of Job and the brains limit in New Jersey. It was raised to 65 “If you don’t put in something (a
of Steve Jobs, Carrellas, 54, a licensed mph in 1998. speed) that people believe in, they are
professional engineer, has pushed for Sharon Harrington, a former New going to do the faster speed, anyway,”
raising the speed limit above 55, getting Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission chief Carrellas said.
rid of HOV carpool lanes and ending administrator, likens Carrellas to the A native of Rhode Island, Carrellas
vehicle inspections. determined, slow and steady tortoise in moved to New Jersey in 1978. He
One by one, he has checked his traffic the popular Aesop Fable. married his wife, Martha, the next year.
wishes off his list. “He’s a very articulate and outstanding He had been New Jersey coordinator
He claimed the latest victory this representative for motorist issues, and of the NMA since 1988, but this year
month when state officials announced he always has sound arguments,” said started shedding some of his old duties.
they would end vehicle inspections for Harrington, who often used Carrellas as How long will he stay on as the voice
mechanical defects beginning July 1. a sounding board. “He’s very thorough, for New Jersey’s motorists?
Carrellas has long maintained the time- and when he makes a statement, it is “Probably until I leave the state for
consuming inspections weren’t needed with the appropriate reference material other pastures – or until somebody gets
because motorists pick up on defects as and research. He’s well-respected by the self-serve gas.” 
part of their normal vehicle maintenance Legislature and he’s well-respected by
13 Driving Freedoms July/August 2010

state to state. It wasn’t a privilege; it


was and is a right.
Members Write Somewhere along the lines,
someone changed a right to a privilege.
Who did this? And why was it accepted
I’ve been using Trapster for over a I commend Barnett Fagel for his so lackadaisically?
month now and would like to update my article on boundaries and jurisdiction In America, we have rights. The
initial thoughts (Fast Driver? There’s (Don’t Get Buffaloed in Buffalo Grove, right to vote, the right to travel, the right
an App for That!, May/June 2010). Part 1, March/April 2010). He is very to marry, the right to drive. Please stop
But first, a correction to my statement correct about the county boundary, and calling my rights a privilege.
that Trapster offers a GPS navigation that Lake-Cook Road does not fully Larry Edwards
application; the company does not. follow the county line in Illinois. Some New York, NY
Now for further impressions: portions of the road are fully in Cook
► A windshield or dash-mount for County and others are in Lake County.
your smartphone while using Trapster In towns such as Barrington and Deer- The NMA email alert to Michigan
should be considered a requirement! field, the westbound lanes are in Lake members on May 27, 2010 (http://www.
Likewise for plug-in power. Don’t County and the eastbound lanes are in tinyurl.com/michalert) is exactly
even think about driving around with Cook County. the type of information that makes it
smartphone in hand and trying to run But don’t think these anamolies are worthwhile to be an NMA member.
Trapster; it would be too distracting. only limited to county lines. Rather, While overall topics that affect us all
► Be advised that some states they occur every time you are at or near are useful, having this type of state/local
may have specific laws regulating where the boundary of a municipality. focus with pertinent info for members is
you can attach a smartphone to your Always note the specific location invaluable. With so many variations of
windshield. Reportedly, California where cited, and check that location on state and local laws, this is empowering
already has such a law that is extremely a copy of the village or city zoning map. information for me regarding my state
restrictive – although you can circum- The map will show official boundaries law. Keep up this type of work!
vent it by making the attachment to your between counties or municipalities, and In my opinion, the NMA has
dashboard instead. you will be able to determine if the tick- the potential to become the de facto
► Properly set up, actual use of eting jurisdiction really had the authority standard for the best advice short
Trapster becomes much easier and less to issue you a citation in the first place. of professional legal representation.
distracting with experience, although Scott Buening Maybe it is already. The NMA seems to
reporting/confirming/denying speed- St. Charles, IL have the clout and merit that sets it apart
traps or other items of interest remains from the rest.
more challenging that it should be. It may serve the NMA’s ability to
Hopefully, program revisions with larger Since when did it become a grow by considering the publication
buttons and simpler procedures for basic privilege to drive? of state-specific books, CDs, DVDs
reports will be made in the near future. As I recall, the law said you cannot or even subscription-based online
All-in-all, my enthusiasm for the drive until a certain age. In my state, it streamed content for ticket fighting.
future of Trapster remains high, particu- is 18 in NYC and 17 with a drivers Ed The primary focus could be speeding
larly with the suggested improvements. course. tickets to begin with and possibly grow
Spike Roberson You passed the driving test and from there if demand is favorable.
Ann Arbor, MI you were given a drivers license with I really do believe and appreciate
the right to drive. Just follow some the efforts of the NMA, and plan to be
common sense rules which vary from a member as long as you guys keep up
the good work.
Your letters are welcomed and should not exceed 300 words. They may be Scott Shafer
edited for length or clarity. Full-length articles will also be considered for
Lowell, MI
publication and should not exceed 600 words. Submissions may be emailed
to nma@motorists.org or mailed to 402 W 2nd St., Waunakee, WI 53597 
Great Deals At The NMA Store!
Shop Online - http://store.motorists.org/

State and local governments are increas- NMA Foundation Legal Defense Kit
ingly relying on traffic ticket revenue for Represent yourself in traffic court and win! In addition to covering
daily operations. This book gives respon- court procedures and strategy, this ten-pound kit includes techni-
sible motorists the means to protect their cal information on speed enforcement devices, and state-specific
rights by addressing many types of tickets: information on Discovery and Public Records Laws (this is how
speeding, reckless driving, defective you get information from the police on your case!). Remember, this
equipment, and more. resource is being constantly updated and improved.
Call 800-882-2785 to order the Kit and tailor it specifically to your ticket!
Beat Your Non-Member Price: Member Price: Rental Fee
Ticket $19.95 $11.95 $155 Refundable Security Deposit
Members: $30/month
$10 S&H Non-Members: $50/month

Ever wondered just how close that police


officer has to be to get you on his radar? Order Toll-Free: 1-800-882-2785
Have you heard that lasers can’t be aimed Fax Your Order: 1-608-849-8697
through car glass? Are you getting your Order Online: http://store.motorists.org
money’s worth from your detector? These
Mail To: NMA Foundation, 402 W 2nd St, Waunakee, WI 53597
are just some of the questions answered in
Driver’s Guide To Police Radar. NMA Member? Yes No Visa
Driver’s Guide
Mastercard
Non-Member Price: Member Price: Member #
To Police Radar $19.95 $14.95
Credit Card #

Exp. Date 3-Digit Security Code


Represent Yourself In Court is written for
the non-lawyer. This book offers a step- Signature
by-step guide to representing yourself in
Name
a civil trial, from start to finish. It does
double duty in that you can use this infor- Address
mation for any civil matter, not just traffic
tickets. City

Represent Your- Non-Member Price: Member Price: State Zip


self In Court $29.95 $21.95
Phone ( )
-
Email
Many laws and statutes that you need
to prepare your case are state specific,
US Shipping & Handling Charges by Order Size
which means that you will have to do the
$0 - $5 - $15 - $25 - $35 - $50 - $75 - $100
research. This book gives you the basic Order $5 $15 $25 $35 $50 $75 $100 +
understanding of how to conduct legal
S&H Free $4 $5 $6 $7 $8 $9 $10
research. The book explains everything in
easy-to-understand terms.
Product Qty Price
Legal Non-Member Price: Member Price:
Research $29.95 $22.95 Beat Your Ticket
Driver’s Guide To Police Radar

This book is a helpful, enjoyable read on Represent Yourself In Court


how to fight a traffic ticket. The author not Legal Research
only explains how to fight a traffic ticket,
but also offers amusing anecdotes along Winning In Traffic Court
with his justification for fighting every Subtotal
ticket you receive.
S&H
Winning In Non-Member Price: Member Price: Total
Traffic Court $19.95 $9.95