Last week, a judge threw out criminal charges filed against a photographer accused of driving dangerously while attempting to take photos of pop star Justin Bieber.
It's no secret that some of the most despised vehicle traffic laws in New York have to do with where and when people can leave their vehicles. In other words, there is nothing more infuriating for many people than getting a parking ticket.
Every morning thousands of parents here in New York and across the country drop their children off at the local school bus stop, trusting that the bus driver will transport their precious cargo to school safely. While this is exactly what happens the overwhelming majority of the time, there are unfortunate exceptions.
While it's certainly a hassle to get a ticket for parking or a traffic violation, maybe there's some small consolation in knowing that those in positions of power aren't immune to them either. Such was the case recently when Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia received not one, but two tickets in Philadelphia.
Last week, our blog discussed how the nation's capital saw a rather large profit this past fiscal year -- $84.9 million to be exact -- thanks to so-called traffic camera enforcement, meaning both red light cameras and speed cameras. However, we also discussed how area motorists were less than thrilled with this trend, calling it nothing more than a backdoor commuter tax designed to generate revenue for the cash-strapped city.
As Texas' first 85 mile-per-hour highway makes its debut, not everyone is on board with the new road, which now has the highest regulated speed limit in the United States. According to critics, the 40-mile stretch of road could be a dangerous highway that leads to even faster and more rampant speeding than is already seen on other state highways. Increased highway speed limits have become common practice in Texas, which has increased speed limits to 75 or 80 miles per hour on almost 6,500 miles of highway. This has been done despite warnings from safety experts that an increase in roadway fatalities is likely to occur and despite the fact that Texas already has a high traffic fatality rate compared with other states.In regard to the 85 mile-per-hour speed limit, state officials say they aren't worried about an increase in highway deaths, indicating that data shows previous speed limit increases across the state did not produce catastrophic results.
From New York to Los Angeles, drivers in any big city are accustomed to dealing with certain realities while navigating their respective streets. One of these realities is that at some moment they will take their eyes off the speedometer and find themselves being handed a speeding ticket by a police officer.
Most New Yorkers who own cars are very familiar with the wide range of emotions that accompany a parking ticket -- shock, anger, and ultimately acceptance. While many people elect to simply pay the ticket, there are plenty of others who choose to flout the city's vehicle traffic laws by refusing to pay. In fact, there are some whose refusal to pay parking tickets has resulted in the accumulation of hundreds of thousands of dollars in outstanding fines.
It often seems like everyone has their own story of watching a police officer blow through a stop light even though there is no apparent emergency. In fact, this traffic violation often goes unpunished, with officers able to dismiss tickets issued by red light cameras that catch them red-handed. But at least one major American city is seeking to put an end to this practice. City police officers in Denver will now be forced to follow the same traffic laws as ordinary citizens, even when it comes to running a red light. Specifically, police officers will be forced to either challenge the traffic violation or pay the fine. The new rule replaces a prior policy that essentially exempted officers from paying traffic violations. Here, they would receive an oral reprimand after the third offense, followed by a written reprimand on the fourth offense.
One of the realities of living in a city the size of New York is that you are bound to encounter a television or film crew shooting scenes on a public street sooner or later. Sometimes this can prove to be a real thrill and provide a much-appreciated look at life behind-the-scenes. Other times it can prove to be a real nightmare, tying up traffic and temporarily eliminating entire blocks of valuable parking spots.