U.S. House Passes Sweeping Autonomous Car Bill

U.S. House Passes Sweeping Autonomous Car Bill

The U.S. House today unanimously approved a sweeping proposal to speed the deployment of self-driving cars without human controls and bar states from blocking autonomous vehicles. The bill now goes to the Senate and would allow automakers to obtain exemptions to deploy up to 25,000 vehicles without meeting existing auto safety standards in the first year, a cap that would rise to 100,000 vehicles annually over three...
California Extends Ignition Interlock Pilot Program

California Extends Ignition Interlock Pilot Program

In case you missed it, the California Legislature extended the IID Pilot Program until July 1, 2017. The pilot program–effective only in the counties of Los Angeles, Alameda, Tulare and Sacramento–requires every first-time DUI offender to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. Elsewhere in California first offenders are not required to install an...
California Eliminates Bail in Traffic Cases

California Eliminates Bail in Traffic Cases

Bail in traffic cases has long been a bone of contention between defense attorneys and superior courts. Here’s how it works. A motorist gets a speeding ticket and wants to fight it. She goes down to the courthouse to request a trial, and the clerk tells her she must pay $370 “bail” in order to secure a trial date. This practice is flatly unconstitutional, but has been imposed by almost every court in California for years. They call it “bail,” but what they’re really doing is collecting your anticipated fine in advance. (It can’t legally be bail in traffic cases, because bail is authorized only for crimes that carry a jail sentence.) Following last May’s stern rebuke by Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye of the California Supreme Court, the California Legislature last week passed a law (and Governor Brown approved) banning the practice statewide. A judge can still require bail in limited circumstances such as when a motorist refuses to sign a promise to appear or if the judge believes the motorist will not appear for...
DUI Drivers in Colorado Slow to Catch On

DUI Drivers in Colorado Slow to Catch On

DUI drivers in Colorado have been slow to catch on to the state’s new felony DUI law, which made fourth offense DUIs a felony in the Centennial State beginning last month. The story of David Randall Nance is typical of DUI drivers in Colorado arrested under the new law. Colorado Springs police arrested Nance for DUI two weeks ago following a car crash. Nance had eight prior “DUI-related convictions” (whatever that means). “Give me my ticket and let me get out of here,” he said, according to officer Michelle Nethercot, who wrote his arrest affidavit. Nance later said that he had stopped drinking and was getting...
Bill Would License 18-year-olds for Big Rigs

Bill Would License 18-year-olds for Big Rigs

According to Forbes magazine, truck driving is one of the country’s ten deadliest jobs. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teens are the country’s deadliest drivers. And Congress will soon put them together if it passes a new rider to the federal highway construction bill. True, teens are already able to drive big rigs within most states in the Union. Currently, however, federal law prevents them from driving across state lines in interstate commerce. The controversial provision was inserted in the 1,000-plus-page bill by the Senate Commerce Committee, chaired by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.). “Under current federal law, a 20-year-old holder of a commercial driver’s license in New York City can drive a truck to Buffalo, but not across the Hudson to Newark,” Hill said. “Similarly, a driver in Philadelphia can drive to Pittsburgh but not down the road to Wilmington or across a bridge to Camden. This legislation sets up a pilot program (with restrictions that include a prohibition on operating more than 100 miles from the border of the licensing state) so that states could consider limited changes to current restrictions on younger commercial drivers that would also have to secure the approval of the U.S. Secretary of Transportation before they could go into...
Illinois IIDs for All DUIs

Illinois IIDs for All DUIs

Illinois IIDs will be required for all DUI offenders if the Illinois Legislature has its way. House Bill 1377 will require all motorists convicted of DUI in the Prairie State to install an breath alcohol ignition interlock device in any vehicle they drive. The bill was passed unanimously by the Illinois House and Senate, and Governor Bruce Rauner is expected to sign it. If the Illinois IIDs bill becomes law, any motorist convicted of even a first offense DUI will be required to have a notation marked on their driver’s license requiring an IID to be installed on any car they drive–even a rental...