laws

Motorcycle Helmet Law Repeal Could Cost Michigan Taxpayers Money
Motorcycle Helmet Law Repeal Could Cost Michigan Taxpayers Money

On April 12, 2012, Michigan's longstanding helmet law went down in flames. Many motorcyclists were happy to see it go, but others might not be singing the same tune, since the move could cause an insurance rate hike. According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, only 19 states require all riders to...Read More»

Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Automakers & Auto Dealers Oppose Recall Bill For Rental Cars

For years, advocates have been pushing for legislation that would require rental car companies to fix recalled vehicles before loaning them to customers. The rental car industry helped kill such a bill last year, but a new version has been drafted, and it's now working its way through Congress...Read More»

The founders of Google and one of their autonomous Toyota Prius hybrids
Autonomous Cars Will Probably Hit China First -- And That's Okay

Here's what we know about autonomous cars: A. They're coming. B. They'll wreak havoc among automakers, with upstarts like Google emerging as viable competitors. C. They'll have an effect on related sectors, too -- like auto insurance. What we don't know about autonomous cars is when they'll arrive...Read More»

Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Beware: Rental Companies Can Still Rent Recalled Cars -- For Now

Nearly ten years ago, Raechel and Jacqueline Houck were killed in a horrific accident when the Chrysler PT Cruiser they'd rented from Enterprise Rent-A-Car caught fire, causing the sisters to lose control of the vehicle and collide with an 18-wheeler. Later, the Houck's family and friends learned...Read More»

Google Glass
Google Glass: Not Yet Available, But Possibly Banned In West Virginia

We've all heard about Google Glass, we've all seen it, we all know (vaguely) what it's capable of doing. And that has encouraged one state legislator in West Virginia to propose banning Google Glass for drivers long before the device goes on sale. Like many Americans, Republican Gary G. Howell has...Read More»

The founders of Google and one of their autonomous Toyota Prius hybrids
When Autonomous Cars Collide, Who's At Fault? Vaccines Could Provide An Answer

The matter is settled: autonomous cars are coming. But they raise a serious question that no one's been able to answer: when a self-driving car is in an accident, who's to blame? The manufacturer? The software engineer? The owner? Earlier today, the folks at NPR addressed this very issue, and they...Read More»

Austin, Texas (by Flickr user milpool79 via Wikimedia)
Everything's Bigger In Texas -- Even Privacy Protections

If you're worried about personal privacy in the digital age, keep reading: there may be some good news ahead. Cell phones, laptops, and other modern conveniences have been a boon to civilization, but they've also put our lives on display. Sometimes we're active participants in that process, like...Read More»

No smoking
Utah May Be Next State To Ban Smoking In Cars With Kids

In Utah, a bill that would outlaw smoking in cars when children are present is making its way through the state legislature. If passed, Utah would become the sixth state to enact such a law -- though many more are set to follow suit. Utah's bill prohibits adults from smoking in any vehicle...Read More»

Long gas lines in Summit NJ in aftermath of Hurricane Sandy
Should Gas Stations Have Backup Power For Pumps? Some Say No

In the areas of the U.S. affected by Hurricane Sandy, lines for gasoline have been long. The problem isn't really one of supply; rather, it seems to be one of electricity. After all, if there's no power, there's no way to run the pumps. Several elected officials have proposed a legislative solution...Read More»

First Scene Car Blackbox Traveling Data Recorder
NHTSA's New Rules For 'Black Box' Recorders Debut September 1

Back in April, we told you that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would soon require "black boxes", or event data recorders, on all new cars sold in the U.S. by the 2015 model year. Such recorders can already be found on 91.6% of vehicles in America -- including all GM, Ford, and...Read More»

U.S. Capitol
House Debates Drastic Changes To Auto Patents: Good Or Bad?

When we think of patents, we often think of things like drugs and cell phones -- things perfected in high tech labs over many, many years. But patents and patent law affect nearly every part of our daily lives, from the design of our alarm clocks to the shape of our toothbrushes to the designer DNA...Read More»

Traffic
Surface Transportation Bill Finally Passes. So, What's In It?

After a long, grueling slog through both houses of Congress, the highly anticipated, two-year surface transportation bill has finally passed. But now that it's been hacked to shreds by the House and the Senate, then stitched back together in joint committee, what, exactly, is in it? Hard to say...Read More»

Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Enterprise, Avis, Dollar Thrifty Balk At Repairing Recalled Cars

Should rental car companies be required to repair recalled vehicles before loaning or selling them to the public? That may seem like a no-brainer, but according to Detroit News, three of America's biggest rental firms have balked at the idea, with Hertz the lone voice of support. History Back in...Read More»

U.S. Capitol
Consumers Union Pushes Car-Safety Rules On Capitol Hill

The surface transportation bill that's been slowly and not-so-surely winding its way through both houses of Congress has been called many things. Notably, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called the House version "the worst transportation bill I’ve ever seen during 35 years of public...Read More»

Police car with headlights on
Florida Judge Says Flashing Headlights Is Free Speech: Discuss

When someone flashes his headlights at you, it usually means one of two things: (a) you forgot to turn on your own headlights, or (b) there's a speed trap around the next curve. There's no arguing that the first of those warnings is important for safety reasons. Driving at dusk without headlights...Read More»

Angry Driver with Road Rage
Don't Get Mad, Don't Get Even: New Jersey Outlaws Road Rage

On Friday, New Jersey governor Chris Christie signed into law a bill that stiffens penalties for drivers convicted of road rage. The law is known as "Jessica Rogers' Law" (PDF), named for a young woman who was paralyzed in 2005 when the car in which she was riding hit a telephone pole. The driver...Read More»

GPS tracking device
Supreme Court: GPS Tracking By Cops Without Warrant Illegal, Unconstitutional

Antoine Jones, a nightclub owner in Washington, D.C., was sentenced to life in prison on a drug conspiracy conviction. Prosecutors built their case around police GPS tracking of Jones’ Jeep, which was followed to a residence used as a stash house for money and drugs. Jones appealed his...Read More»

Police officers run identity checks at a sobriety checkpoint in Escondido, CA
This Sunday, California Stops Towing Cars Of Undocumented Drivers

If you're an illegal immigrant to the U.S. and you live in California, life is about to get a tiny bit better. As of Sunday, if you're stopped at a checkpoint, the police will no longer be able to tow your vehicle so long as you're not violating any other laws. Backstory Until 1993, undocumented...Read More»

Texting while driving
NTSB Recommends Nationwide In-Car Phone, Texting Ban

It shouldn't take a government agency to figure out that texting while driving is dangerous. There's ample evidence to support the claim. But today the National Transportation Safety Board nonetheless recommended a nationwide ban on the use of handheld cell phone and text messaging devices while...Read More»

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