The Tri-State Transportation Campaign -- a non-profit organization "dedicated to reducing car dependency in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut" -- released an eye-opening report earlier this week concerning road design, vehicle traffic law and pedestrian safety.
What started with an attempt to pay $50 for a traffic violation ended with an Indiana woman being sent to jail for cursing to herself. This rather unusual story has a happy ending, though, with the woman freed from jail and the contempt charges against her dropped.
Two weeks ago, we discussed how federal prosecutors had filed a multitude of criminal charges against nine sitting and former judges of the Philadelphia Traffic Court, alleging that these officials engaged in an intricate scheme to fix or reduce traffic violations for business, social or political associates. According to the 77-count indictment, the judges allegedly threw out tickets for such offenses as speeding and/or turned these tickets into lesser offenses from July 2008 through September of 2011. In other cases, the judges are accused of finding certain defendants not guilty despite the existence of incontrovertible evidence or granting them continuances of trial dates such that they could "judge shop."
The legal and social ramifications of such a DUI conviction are incredibly far-reaching. This may help explain why one attorney here in New York City is being so persistent in his demand for records from the New York Police Department, records that he believes will reveal that some people slapped with DUI convictions were actually convicted using information from faulty breathalyzers.
It's very rare that a single traffic violation garners attention around the globe, but that is exactly what happened earlier this month when an Israeli woman was given a traffic ticket under circumstances that can best be described as unbelievable.
Federal prosecutors recently filed fraud charges against nine current and former judges of the Philadelphia Traffic Court, alleging that these officials reduced traffic violations for several well-connected drivers. According to sources, the judges are accused of fixing traffic citations for what prosecutors call business, social or political associates. And in return? According to the charges, these judges received such perks as free car repairs or even free shipments of fresh seafood. The 77-count indictment filed against the judges includes conspiracy, mail fraud and wire fraud charges. Prosecutors are alleging that they threw out tickets for such offenses as speeding and/or turned these tickets into lesser offenses. In other cases, the judges are accused of finding drivers not guilty despite the existence of incontrovertible evidence.
In vehicle traffic law news, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute recently released its annual report examining traffic congestion levels here in the United States, and ranking the ten cities in which motorists are most likely to find themselves sitting motionless during rush hour.
If asked to describe the typical driver arrested for DUI, there is a very good chance that most of us would describe a man. As if turns out, however, that isn't entirely accurate. While plenty of male drivers do indeed get arrested for DUI, so do many female drivers. In fact, a recent story in Time Magazine shows that the number of female drivers arrested for drunk driving is actually on the rise. Time covered a recent meeting of the Transportation Research Board, in which members discussed a growing epidemic of female drunk driving. The members of the board, however, conceded that it was sometimes difficult to find statistics on this issue.