National Motorists Association Asks Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board to Investigate Possible Unlawful Actions of Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Share Article

Use of speed cameras to surveil drivers is apparent violation of Virginia DOT regulations

What makes this especially egregious is that the information was used as justification to examine DMV records of individual drivers

In a letter to two prominent members of the Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board, the National Motorists Association (NMA) asked the CTB to look into whether VDOT regulations were violated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Brekford Corporation. The September 28, 2016 NMA letter, addressed to Virginia Secretary of Transportation Aubrey L. Layne, Jr. and Charles A. Kilpatrick, Commissioner of VDOT, requests that the Board impose whatever sanctions are appropriate under the law if IIHS and Brekford used VDOT property illegally.

IIHS released a report titled, “Effects of Vehicle Power on Passenger Vehicle Speeds,” earlier this year in which the insurance-industry-funded organization describes setting up Brekford speed cameras at eight Northern Virginia state road locations in the spring of 2013 to gather vehicle and driver data. VDOT responded to a subsequent Freedom of Information Act request by the NMA to determine if IIHS or Brekford received authorization to use the cameras on state property by stating, “. . . after a rigorous search we found no information related to your request.”

Virginia Administrative Code Title 24, Agency 30, Chapter 21, Section 20 – General Provisions Concerning Permits – and Title 24, Agency 30, Chapter 151, Section 20 – Authority – establish that, “. . . no work of any nature shall be performed on any real property under the ownership, control, or jurisdiction of VDOT until written permission has been obtained by VDOT.”

NMA President Gary Biller noted in his September 28, 2016 letter to Secretary Layne and Commissioner Kilpatrick, “What drew our attention to their (IIHS’s) effort is the description of setting up Brekford Corporation speed cameras in multiple locations on roadways in Northern Virginia in spring 2013 to photograph “faces of drivers” in addition to measuring vehicle speeds and collecting license plate numbers. That information was then used by IIHS to gain access to individual driver records at the Virginia, Maryland, and District of Columbia departments of motor vehicles to compare facial images and to determine each driver’s age, gender, and zip code.”

Biller continued, “What makes this especially egregious to advocates of motorists’ rights is that the information gathered in Northern Virginia by IIHS and Brekford was used as justification to examine sensitive records of individual motorists at driver licensing agencies in multiple states. This is not only a violation of privacy, but of trust in state institutions to protect DMV records from access through unsanctioned means.”

The letter from the NMA to the Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board members can be found here.

Gary Biller, President
National Motorists Association
Email: nma(at)motorists(dot)org    
Telephone: 608-849-6000

About the National Motorists Association:
Founded in 1982, the National Motorists Association is a North American grassroots advocacy organization dedicated to the protection of motorists’ rights and freedoms. The membership-based organization advocates for traffic laws fairly written and reasonably enforced, full due process rights in traffic court, traffic penalties based on sensible standards and not revenue collection, reasonable highway user fees, traffic safety based on proven engineering solutions, and a focus on improved early advanced driving-skill development.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Gary Biller