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  • Problems With Privatized Law Enforcement's New Frontier | NJPIRG
    even found that red light cameras can increase injuries Since company profits depend on driving up ticket revenue it s not surprising that companies also wield political power to influence local decisions According to the Orlando Sun Sentinel the company American Traffic Solutions spent over 1 3 million on lobbying activities in the past four years Since 2006 Redflex hired over 100 registered lobbyists to represent their interests in 18 states These kinds of abuses have sparked a citizen backlash Sixteen municipalities have held public referenda against these programs all successful Major cities like Los Angeles Atlanta Raleigh and Houston have rejected red light cameras after initially approving them Almost every state with red light cameras has spurred citizen opposition groups with mad as hell names like BanTheCams Wrong on Red and Highway Robbery Drivers of course should obey the law and have always griped about tickets but Americans rightly feel outraged when they believe others game the system to use the law as a way to pick their pockets If people are forced to pay fines they want to know that police charges against them are fair They get incensed to discover that contracts with private camera vendors can dictate policing and safety practices even when the public has weighed in against those practices It s not that police are entirely removed from camera ticketing they still must view the photo and stamp their final approval on the final approval but the judgment of public officials is removed and after the fact People can also rail against camera vendor contracts that seem unreasonable or motivated by greed For all their human frailties police officers are expected to act justly not merely to follow contractual limits when exploiting people Back in 1980 social scientist Michael Lipsky coined the phrase street level bureaucrats to describe how front line public servants like police and firefighters inevitably must exercise judgment to decide how to translate the law Police treat a driver that races through a red light at a crowded school zone differently from a right turn at a deserted corner in the middle of the night It s not that automated ticketing technology is fundamentally evil If a city has recurrent problems with injuries from red light running at particular intersections and they have already tried alternative measures such as lengthening yellow light intervals and improving visibility then an automated deterrent may prevent future injuries The program can even be operated fully by the public The Illinois State Police operate their own program using cameras to ticket dangerous speeders near highway work sites That program has been without controversy The report suggests basic reforms to prevent problems with automated traffic enforcement contracting Local officials considering the use of red light traffic cameras should Put public safety first in decisions regarding enforcement of traffic laws this includes evaluating privatized law enforcement camera systems against alternative safety options without regard to potential revenues Ensure that contract language is free from potential conflicts of interest

    Original URL path: http://njpirg.org/blogs/blog/njp/problems-privatized-law-enforcements-new-frontier (2016-04-29)
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  • About NJPIRG | NJPIRG
    a rule to reign in the payday lending industry We along with AFR are working to make sure the rule is a strong one Keep Reading Blog Post Consumer Protection Lowering your APR might be easier than you think Kathryn Lee Many Americans are walking around with a balance on their credit card because of high interest rates or annual percentage rate APR charges for unpaid balances It s best to pay off your balance in full but if you don t or can t a higher APR makes your debit grow faster What most people don t realize is this APR can be negotiated to a lower rate Keep Reading Pages first previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next last Media Hit Public Health Food Rutgers NJPIRG Students help kick off campaign Keep Reading News Release U S PIRG Consumer Protection Letter to Congress 212 Groups Call On You To Oppose HR 4018 and Support a Strong Payday Rule Keep Reading News Release N J PIRG Law Policy Center Consumer Protection 30th Annual Survey Finds Dangerous Toys on Store Shelves Dangerous or toxic toys can still be found on America s store shelves according to NJ Public Interest Research Group Law Policy Center s 30th annual Trouble in Toyland report The survey of potentially hazardous toys found that despite recent progress consumers must still be wary when shopping this holiday season Keep Reading News Release U S PIRG Public Health Medical Professionals Call for Action to Save Antibiotics Nearly six hundred medical and health care professionals from across the nation are calling on major restaurant chains to set strong antibiotics policies that protect public health Keep Reading News Release U S PIRG Consumer Protection PIRGs Others Ask CFPB FTC To Investigate Experian T Mobile Data Breach In a letter sent today a number of state PIRGs and other leading privacy and consumer groups urged the CFPB and FTC to fully investigate the recent breach of an Experian subsidary that exposed 15 million T Mobile customer and applicant records to the threat of new account identity theft The letter asked whether the regulators could require Experian and the other two nationwide credit bureaus TransUnion and Equifax to give victims free security freezes to protect their credit reports Keep Reading Pages first previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next last Report NJPIRG Law Policy Center Transportation The Innovative Transportation Index This report reviews the availability of 11 technology enabled transportation services including online ridesourcing carsharing ridesharing taxi hailing static and real time transit information multi modal apps and virtual transit ticketing in 70 U S cities It finds that residents of 19 cities with a combined population of nearly 28 million people have access to eight or more of these services with other cities catching up rapidly Keep Reading Report NJPIRG Law Policy Center Consumer Protection Trouble in Toyland 2014 Among the toys surveyed this year we found numerous choking hazards and five

    Original URL path: http://njpirg.org/njp/about?page=1 (2016-04-29)
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  • About NJPIRG | NJPIRG
    expected to release its fiscal year 2017 budget proposal tomorrow U S PIRG and various state PIRGs joined a coalition of more than 100 groups that sent the following letter calling on President Barack Obama and all 535 members of Congress to oppose any federal appropriations bill that contains ideological policy riders Keep Reading Blog Post Financial Reform CFPB Criticizes Banks Re Account Opening and Overdrafts Offers Consumer Tips Ed Mierzwinski Today the CFPB is holding a field hearing in Louisville on problems consumers face when opening bank accounts It finds that big banks frequently offer consumers expensive accounts where they risk overdraft fees instead of affordable accounts Further the CFPB finds that the practices of specialty bad check credit bureaus make it harder to open accounts The CFPB issued warnings to both the banks and credit bureaus while providing consumers with new tips and advice Keep Reading Pages first previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next last News Release U S PIRG Consumer Protection Over 7 000 Comments Submitted to Department of Labor Every year over 17 billion is lost from retirement savings to fees and charges according to the Council of Economic Advisors Today we submitted over 7 000 PIRG member comments urging the U S Department of Labor to finalize a strong rule requiring retirement advisors to put the interests of their customers first We also submitted a detailed expert comment of our own in the important conflicted advice rulemaking Keep Reading News Release US PIRG Education Fund Consumer Protection Top 10 List How the CFPB Works for Consumers The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau CFPB turns 4 on July 21st To celebrate and increase public awareness of the agency U S PIRG Education Fund released a new webpage Meet the CFPB Just Ten of the Ways It Works for You Keep Reading News Release US PIRG Education Fund Consumer Protection New Report Mortgage Problems Rank 1 at CFPB for Consumer Complaints Mortgage problems were the top source of complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau CFPB according to a report released today by the U S PIRG Education Fund The report also found that Bank of America was the most complained about company in 45 states and Washington D C for mortgage problems It s the sixth in a series of our reports analyzing nearly 500 000 complaints posted to the CFPB s Public Consumer Complaint Database Keep Reading News Release U S PIRG Consumer Protection We Commend CFPB For Adding Consumer Stories To Public Complaint Database Yesterday the CFPB published the first batch 7 700 of consumer narratives or stories to the Public Consumer Complaint Database it began in 2011 We ve used the database to publish five reports so far analyzing complaint trends in markets ranging from credit cards to student loans but we have also long urged the voluntary addition of stories to the data fields Now consumers can learn if what happened to them happened to anyone else Now

    Original URL path: http://njpirg.org/njp/about?page=2 (2016-04-29)
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  • About NJPIRG | NJPIRG
    8 9 next last News Release U S PIRG Consumer Protection PIRG Commends Supporters of Duckworth Amendment to Protect Our Troops From High Cost Loans Last night on a 32 30 bipartisan vote the House Armed Services Committee supported the Tammy Duckworth IL amendment to strike language from the National Defense Authorization Act that would have delayed Pentagon proposed improvements to the Military Lending Act of 2007 It s a critical victory for servicemembers veterans and their families although the fight to protect our troops from high cost loans will continue Keep Reading News Release U S PIRG Consumer Protection PIRG Commends Release of Labor Dept s Proposed Rule To End Conflicted Retirement Advice PIRG today commended the public release of the Department of Labor s proposed rule that would strengthen the ability for Americans to save for retirement by addressing conflicts of interest that arise when brokers and financial advisers give retirement advice Wall Street will fight the rule hard because it requires them to put consumers first Keep Reading News Release NJPIRG Law and Policy Center Budget NEW REPORT New Jersey Receives B in Annual Report on Transparency of Government Spending New Jersey received a B when it comes to government spending transparency according to Following the Money 2015 How the 50 States Rate in Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data the sixth annual report of its kind by the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group Law and Policy Center New Jersey s grade improved since last year jumping from a C to this year s B Keep Reading Media Hit Financial Reform Credit Bureaus Deal to Improve Accuracy Huge for Consumers Bloomberg Buying homes getting jobs and borrowing money will be easier after an agreement by the three biggest U S consumer credit reporting services with New York It s a sea change in the way the credit bureaus treat complaints said U S PIRG s Ed Mierzwinski The credit bureaus have been run by computers for years now They re going to have to hire more people and actually verify that what a creditor said is true Keep Reading News Release U S PIRG Consumer Protection FCC NET NEUTRALITY ORDER PROTECTS THE OPEN INTERNET Today the FCC took not one but two critical actions to make sure that the Internet works for everybody First it issued a Net Neutrality order guaranteeing a free and open Internet This Internet freedom order will prevent the phone and cable companies from granting fast lanes or other preferences to already powerful firms The FCC also acted to override state laws that prevented local governments from building out broadband networks to compete with the phone and cable companies Keep Reading Pages first previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next last Report NJPIRG Law Policy Center Budget Following the Money 2014 This report NJPIRG LPC s fifth annual evaluation of state transparency websites finds that states are making progress toward comprehensive one stop one click transparency and

    Original URL path: http://njpirg.org/njp/about?page=3 (2016-04-29)
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  • About NJPIRG | NJPIRG
    forever That s wrong because the states have always been key first responders and leaders on privacy threats that Congress has ignored from credit report accuracy and identity theft to data breaches and do not call lists Keep Reading Blog Post Public Health The Phantom and Other Menaces Anya Vanecek In the midst of warnings that the post antibiotic era is quickly approaching we see evidence that it has already arrived Keep Reading Pages first previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next last News Release U S PIRG Consumer Protection USPIRG Commends Department of Labor s Rule On Conflicted Retirement Advice Today we joined President Obama Senator Elizabeth Warren CFPB Director Rich Cordray Labor Secretary Tom Perez and others at AARP as the President announced his strong support for a proposed Labor Department rule to close loopholes and to require Wall Street and other financial advisors to put consumers first when they give retirement advice Wall Street has already launched a misleading attack Read more to see our statement supporting the proposal which will put billions of dollars back into retirement accounts Keep Reading News Release NJPIRG Law Policy Center Democracy Big Money Playing an Outsized Role in New Jersey Elections In New Jersey s congressional primaries bigger wallets give a small set of mega donors an outsized voice according to new information released today by NJPIRG Law and Policy Center and Demos Just 383 donors who gave 1 000 or more to candidates in the primaries outspent the at least 6 871 small donors who gave less than 200 and 66 percent of all candidate contributions came from donors giving chunks of 1 000 or more Keep Reading News Release NJPIRG Law Policy Center Transportation New Report Shows Mounting Evidence of Millennials Shift Away from Driving The 2000s saw a marked decrease in the average number of miles traveled by young Americans and that trend appears likely to continue even as the economy improves due to the consistency of Millennials surveyed preferences a continued reduction of Millennials driving to work and the continued decreases in per capita driving among all Americans Keep Reading News Release U S PIRG Public Health Some Good Some Bad in Obama Executive Order on Protecting Antibiotics Today President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria While the order takes several important steps necessary to control the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria it misses the opportunity to call for critical reforms in the agricultural sector that are essential to protect public health Keep Reading News Release NJPIRG Law Policy Center Public Health Food Health Care Stop the Superbugs NJPIRG gathered outside St Michaels s Medical Center in Newark Thursday to call on the Obama Administration to immediately restrict the use of antibiotics on factory farms when animals are not sick NJPIRG Law Policy Center released a new report Ending the Abuse of Antibiotics in Livestock Production The Case for Reform Keep Reading Pages first previous 1 2 3

    Original URL path: http://njpirg.org/njp/about?page=4 (2016-04-29)
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  • About NJPIRG | NJPIRG
    U S PIRG Education Fund releases Trouble in Toyland a report on toy safety which examines toys bought at major national retailers looking for safety hazards including toxic toys choking hazards labeling violations powerful magnets and excessibely loud toys We continue to find these hazards on store shelves which indicates the need for continued vigilance and adequate enforcement of safety regulations But despite lingering dangers in the last 30 years we ve come a long way in terms of both policy and compliance with standards Keep Reading Pages first previous 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next last News Release NJPIRG Citizen Lobby Budget Tax Offshore Tax Havens Cost Average NJ Taxpayer 1 560 a Year NJ Small Business 4 982 As hardworking Americans file their taxes today it s a good time to be reminded of how ordinary taxpayers pick up the tab for loopholes in our tax laws NJPIRG was joined today by Congressman Frank Pallone Jr NJ 6 Geetha Jayaraman owner of Grab Em Snacks and member of the Main Street Alliance and Rutgers students to release a new study which revealed that the average New Jersey taxpayer in 2013 would have to shoulder an extra 1 560 in taxes to make up for the revenue lost due to the use of offshore tax havens by corporations and wealthy individuals New Jerseyans extra tax burden is the eighth highest in the nation Keep Reading News Release NJPIRG Law Policy Center Consumer Protection Transportation Report Spirit Is Most Complained About Airline Spirit Airlines passengers are most likely to complain about their experience according to a report released today by the NJPIRG Law Policy Center Among major airlines Spirit generates the most complaints for its size and generates an increasing number of complaints each year Other most complained about firms include Frontier Airlines who recently made Trenton NJ their East Coast hub and United Airlines who recently expanded service to Atlantic City in addition to their major hub of Newark NJ Keep Reading News Release NJPIRG Law Policy Center Budget New Report New Jersey Receives a C in Annual Report on Transparency of Government Spending New Jersey received a C when it comes to government spending transparency according to Following the Money 2014 How the 50 States Rate in Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data the fifth annual report of its kind by the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group Law Policy Center NJPIRG LPC Keep Reading News Release NJPIRG Democracy TODAY SUPREME COURT RULED FOR ANOTHER FLOOD OF BIG MONEY Today the U S Supreme Court ruled in McCutcheon v FECto strike down overall or aggregate contribution limits to candidates and political committees NJPIRG research found that this ruling could bring 1 billion in additional campaign contributions from fewer than 2 800 elite donors through the 2020 election cycle Keep Reading News Release NJPIRG Law Policy Center Public Health Consumer Protection Food NJ Consumers Call on Stop Shop to Label GMOs On Anniversary of

    Original URL path: http://njpirg.org/njp/about?page=5 (2016-04-29)
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  • About NJPIRG | NJPIRG
    Why You Should Get Security Freezes Before Your Information is Stolen Here are tips for preventing ID theft and using a security freeze How To Avoid Identity Theft How To Use a Security Freeze Keep Reading Blog Post Public Health A Sub stantial Achievement Steve Blackledge On October 20 Subway announced its plan to phase out antibiotics from its entire meat supply This victory is just the next step of our mission to save antibiotics Keep Reading Pages first previous 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next last News Release NJPIRG Public Health Community Public Health and Labor Leaders Urge Federal Agencies to Prevent Chemical Disasters at Newark Hearing Today residents community labor and environmental leaders gathered at a federal listening session to push the Obama administration to take bold steps to reduce the danger posed to millions of people by high risk chemical facilities in the New York New Jersey metropolitan area Keep Reading News Release NJPIRG Law Policy Center Financial Reform Report Mistaken Identity Tops Debt Collection Complaints Debt collectors trying to collect debt from the wrong person were the top source of New Jerseyans complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau CFPB according to a report released today by the NJPIRG Law Policy Center The report also found that New Jersey consumers are 8th most likely nationwide to file complaints to the CFPB about debt collection and that debt collection is a top source of complaints Keep Reading News Release NJPIRG Law Policy Center Transportation University Campuses Like Rutgers Are Transportation Trailblazers as Students Lead Shift From Driving As Millennials lead a national shift away from driving universities like Rutgers are giving students new options for getting around and becoming innovators in transportation policy according to a new report released today The report titled A New Course How Innovative University Programs Are Reducing Driving on Campus and Creating New Models for Transportation Policy was released by NJPIRG Student Chapters today Keep Reading News Release NJPIRG Law Policy Center Budget Tax NJ could save nearly 60 million with simple proven method to curb offshore tax dodging new study finds New Jersey taxpayers could save 59 8 million from a simple reform to crack down on offshore tax dodging according to a new report released today by the NJPIRG Law Policy Center The reform which has already been proven effective in Montana and passed in Oregon would require companies to treat profits booked to notorious tax havens as domestic taxable income Keep Reading News Release NJPIRG Public Health Transportation New Safety Recommendations a Good Step Forward Statement of Jen Kim NJPIRG State Director on new NTSB recommendations for oil transport on trains Keep Reading Pages first previous 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next last Report NJPIRG Public Health Consumer Protection Health Care Top Twenty Pay For Delay Drugs Too often consumers are forced to shoulder a heavy financial burden or even go without needed medicine due to the high cost of brand

    Original URL path: http://njpirg.org/njp/about?page=6 (2016-04-29)
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  • About NJPIRG | NJPIRG
    the use of forced arbitration clauses in consumer financial contracts which give companies what the CFPB s director said was a free pass from being held accountable by their customers Meanwhile on Capitol Hill powerful bank interests escalated their campaign to defund and defang the bureau because it works for consumers not them Keep Reading Blog Post Consumer Protection House holds stacked hearing to attack retirement savings rule proposal Ed Mierzwinski The House Financial Services Committee is holding a typically stacked hearing one consumer side witness against four Wall Street backed lobbyists to attack the important retirement savings rule proposed by the Department of Labor The rule simply requires retirement advisors to put the customer s needs not their own compensation first Keep Reading Pages first previous 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next last News Release NJPIRG Law Policy Center Consumer Protection Financial Reform Report Capital One Most Complained About Credit Card Company in NJ New Jersey consumers file more complaints about Capital One than any other credit card company according to a report released today by NJPIRG Law Policy Center The report which looked at data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau s CFPB public Consumer Complaints Database also found that New Jersey consumers are 5th most likely to file credit card complaints Keep Reading News Release NJPIRG Consumer Protection Financial Reform New CFPB rules will protect homebuyers and homeowners On Friday January 10 new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau CFPB rules will go into effect that will help protect homeowners and homebuyers from the mortgage abuses that led to the housing crisis In particular consumers will get protections from lenders that make risky loans without checking a borrower s income assets or ability to repay a loan Keep Reading News Release NJPIRG Law Policy Center Transportation Report Shows Newark NYC Region Driving Less Using Transit and Alternatives More A first of its kind report by the NJPIRG Law Policy Center shows reduced driving miles and rates of car commuting in New Jersey s urbanized areas including the Newark NYC and Philadelphia areas and greater use of public transit and biking Keep Reading News Release NJPIRG Law Policy Center Public Health Consumer Protection Survey Finds Dangerous Toys on Store Shelves Dangerous or toxic toys can still be found on America s store shelves according to the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group s 28th annual Trouble in Toyland report The survey of hazardous toys found that despite recent progress consumers must still be wary when shopping this holiday season Keep Reading News Release NJPIRG Consumer Protection NJ Coalition for Affordable Power Calls On Board of Public Utilities To Reject PSE G s 3 9 Billion Energy Strong Proposal NJPIRG and the NJCAP formally announces its opposition to the PSE G Energy Strong Program and urgest the NJ BPU to reject the proposal Keep Reading Pages first previous 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next last Report NJPIRG Law Policy Center Budget Tax Following

    Original URL path: http://njpirg.org/njp/about?page=7 (2016-04-29)
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