laws

Utah May Be Next State To Ban Smoking In Cars With Kids
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»

Texting while driving
Ford Is First To Support Cell Phone Ban. Will Sync Sales Soar?

Yesterday, Ford announced its support of a federal law banning the use of handheld cell phones by drivers. It's the first automaker to do so, and as a result, it's received praise from advocacy groups. But the clever move also offers Ford some advantages in showrooms, too. Background The "Safe...Read More»

1997 Mazda MPV LX
U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Lets Mazda Seatbelt Lawsuit Proceed, But What Does It Mean?

The United States Supreme Court today ruled that the family of a woman killed in an accident in 2002 would be allowed to proceed with its suit against Mazda despite Mazda's compliance with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regulations on rear-seat safety belts. The federal ruling...Read More»

U.S. Capitol
112th Congress Goes To Washington, Lobbyists Follow. Will The Right To Repair Act Finally Pass?

If you read the news yesterday, you probably saw a recap of the day on Capitol Hill, with lots of attention given to the freshman Representatives. But journalists aren't the only ones keeping an eye on the 112th Congress; lobbyists and advocacy groups are watching, too, hoping that this will be...Read More»

FDNY Ambulance
New York City To Institute 'Crash Tax' For First Responder Costs

We all hope we're never involved in a serious car accident, but every day, some of us are. Those of us unfortunate enough to have an accident in New York City will soon face not only injury, the loss of our transportation, and the expense of medical treatment, but a bill from the city. Say what?...Read More»

Texting while driving
Is The Federal Government Planning To Disable Our Cell Phones?

"Is the Government About to Block Cell Phone Signals in Cars?" That's the molotov cocktail of a headline that Time magazine ran yesterday when it announced that U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is looking at new ways to curb distracted driving. (He's been doing so for ages, but apparently...Read More»

Red light camera in Beaverton, Oregon, from Wikipedia
Friendly Helpful Speed Camera To Ticket You, Then Text You Too?

We've written a lot about traffic enforcement cameras, both the ones that nail red-light runners and those that send automatic tickets to drivers who exceed the speed limit. Now a new wrinkle in evolving technology has been proposed: Wouldn't it be nice if the camera system not only sent you an...Read More»

U.S. Navy drunk driving deterrence display
New Jersey Court May Prevent Drunk Drivers From Suing Bars

The scenario: a drunken driver slams into another motorist, suffering serious injuries. The other driver is unhurt. The drunken driver sues the bar that served him, arguing it should be the one liable for his drunken state. That's actually the law in most states, but New Jersey is considering...Read More»

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