The Scourge Of The Speed Camera

Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today we have reports from Car and Driver, The New York Times, and The Truth About Cars.

In Australia, A Revolt Against the Almighty Speed CameraCar and Driver

Think speed cameras suck where you live? Wheels editor Stephen Corby sounds off about how bad they are in Australia — and what his publication did about it.

The Victorian cameras will automatically post you a fine if you exceed the limit by even the most piddling amount. Doing 39 mph in our 37-mph (60 km/h) zones is enough to get you booked. Thanks to a ­system of demerit points for each fine, thousands of residents lose their licenses each year after just a few extremely minor, unintentional infractions. The result is that driving in Victoria is like negotiating a clogged bowel. Everyone is paranoid about watching their speedometers, no one is game to overtake, and people who own high-powered cars are either escorted to the border or shot on sight.

Sochi or Bust: Have Niva, Need HammerThe New York Times

Driving a Lada Niva 1,000 miles from Moscow to Sochi doesn't sound easy. That's because it isn't!

With its snub nose and mile-apart headlights, the Niva looks like a dimwitted but scrappy puppy, and the ride is about as comfortable as a minor earthquake. When driving at highway speeds, the wheel squirms in your hands as if you've offended it. Gear changes are about as smooth as eating a spoonful of hot gravel, and the gas pedal might as well be made of soft cheese. The Niva is as drafty as a paper bag and about as fast as you'd expect of a Russian car that originated, for all intents and purposes, while Elvis was alive.

Ur-Turn: The World Of Counterfeit PlasticsThe Truth About Cars

On that weird Aston Martin recall over Chinese plastics: Here's how that went down.

Last week, Aston Martin announced the recall of more than 17,000 vehicles for defective throttle pedals. The term "counterfeit plastic", was frequently mentioned in the story, and for those not in the plastics business, the term may seem confusing. We usually associate the term "counterfeit" with consumer goods, specifically luxury items like watches, handbags and women's accessories. Despite being in the plastics industry, I wasn't sure what initial reports were referencing. But further research has shed some more light on the matter, and there seem to be two possible scenarios at play here.

Photo credit amandabhslater