Thursday, May 21, 2009
Motorists' Group: 'Watch Your Wallet' in These 10 States
Lots of people will be driving on holidays this weekend, and the National Motorists
Association, a group that opposes revenue-generating speed traps and intersection traffic surveillance cameras, issued a report on the best and the worst states
"when it comes to exploiting the motoring public," the group said.
This is also useful for business travelers who rent cars, and sometimes are astonished to find a surreptitiously issued traffic ticket in the mail weeks later, giving them little recourse but to pay.
Here are the worst ten states:
1) New Jersey
5) New York
The National Motorists Association says the state rankings were calculated using seventeen criteria related to specific traffic laws, enforcement practices, and the
treatment of traffic ticket defendants. The rankings are designed to provide guidance to travelers who do not want their vacation ruined by speed traps, arcane laws or "kangaroo" traffic courts.
The group's statement said:
"The state most likely to find its way into your wallet is New Jersey. With its toll roads, roadblocks, and speed traps, New Jersey has left almost no stone unturned when it comes to extracting cash from motorists. The state has also recently pushed through a red-light camera pilot project at a time when many states are banning the ticket cameras because they've proven to have a negative effect on traffic safety. Add in "driver responsibility" fees, which are ineffective and have a disproportionate effect on the poor, and you have the worst state in our rankings.
"On the opposite end of the spectrum, the five states that treated motorists most fairly are Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, and Kentucky. The complete list of rankings can be found on the National Motorists Association website at wwww.motorists.org/rankings.
"Jim Baxter, President of the National Motorists Association, said '"It is not exactly a well kept secret that many traffic laws, enforcement practices, and traffic courts are more about generating revenue and political posturing, than they are about traffic safety. During holidays, like the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, we're bombarded with messages about intensified enforcement, _click it or ticket,' and horrendous fines when in fact most vacation-related traffic accidents are caused my inattention, distraction and fatigue. However, these are accident causes that don't generate much in the way of government revenue, so instead our highways are overrun with unmarked police cars and ticket cameras.'
"Baxter added, 'The long term solution to aligning legitimate public interests with government policies is to remove the money from traffic regulation, enforcement, and adjudication. Until that happens, the focus on revenue generation will continue to trump effective traffic regulation and ethical enforcement practices.'"
The group maintains a during the holiday may want to check out the NMA's National Speed Trap Exchange - a listing of speed traps across the country - at