Vermont improves in traffic safety laws review

first_imgHighway safety advocates today released the 2011 Roadmap Report, the eighth annual report card grading all 50 states and the District of Columbia on their performance when it comes to adopting 15 basic traffic safety laws. This year the report’s publishers, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates), focused on the state budgetary impact of highway safety gaps. Vermont moved up to a grade of “yellow,” mostly for its addition of a text-messaging prohibition.”As states debate about keeping their treasuries solvent, lawmakers and governors in many states are blind to obvious legislative actions that will help with the budget crisis,” said Judith Lee Stone, president of Advocates. “The 2011 Roadmap To State Highway Safety Laws shows that adoption of effective state traffic safety laws saves lives and saves taxpayer dollars.”Among the 15 model laws Advocates evaluated in its 2011 Roadmap To State Highway Safety Laws are seat belt, booster seat and motorcycle helmet measures, in addition to restrictions and requirements for teen drivers, all-driver texting bans and tougher impaired driving laws.The federal government estimates that motor vehicle crashes cost society $230 billion every year. In 2009, nearly 34,000 people died in crashes throughout the nation and millions more were injured. This is equivalent to a “crash tax” of more than $800 for every person.”There are both obvious and hidden costs in the millions of deaths and injuries that occur on the nation’s roads every year. Motor vehicle costs are diverting and depleting our nation’s resources at an alarming rate,” said Ted Miller, Principal Research Scientist, Pacific Institute of Research and Evaluation. “The Medicaid bill for crashes alone is $8 billion per year. In addition, catastrophic injury patients pour onto the Medicaid rolls to pay their hospital bills. And once they convert to Medicaid, not only do we pay that hospital bill, we pay for all their health care.””Legislators can do more to save lives and prevent serious injuries by passing traffic safety laws than I can ever hope to save in a lifetime of treating patients in the emergency room. For example, Virginia should pass a primary enforcement seat belt law this year to save money from unnecessary Medicaid and other medical expenditures which are accelerating annually. It’s a matter of dollars and sense,” said Dr. Mark R. Sochor, an emergency physician and Associate Professor and Research Director, University of Virginia Department of Emergency Medicine.In this year’s report states were given one of three ratings based on how many of the 15 optimal laws they have: Green (Good); Yellow (Caution – state needs improvement); and Red (Danger – state falls dangerously behind). Placement in one of the three ratings was based solely on whether or not a state had adopted a law as defined in the report, and not on any evaluation of a state’s highway safety education or enforcement programs.In 2010, five states improved their rating from Yellow to Green, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana and Michigan. Two states upgraded from Red to Yellow, Vermont and Wyoming. In all, the District of Columbia and 15 states were rated in the highest rated category of green including New Jersey, Illinois, Oregon, Maryland, New York, Georgia, Delaware, Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee, Washington, Kansas, Minnesota, California and Louisiana. The states with the worst rating of red are South Dakota, Arizona, North Dakota, Virginia, Nebraska, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Explanations for assigning the best and worst ratings can be found at www.saferoads.org(link is external).”Having just participated in the most challenging budget session I’ve experienced in Illinois where we made extremely difficult decisions to get our finances back on track, I can tell you that it is a painful process. There aren’t many stones left unturned in the quest to save our state money,” said Illinois State Senate President John Cullerton (D-6th District, Chicago). “If we hadn’t already passed the great majority of laws rated in Advocates’ Roadmap Report, I would have recommended that we do so right away. States pay a steep price for not having these safety laws and it can add up to many millions of dollars in Medicaid and other health care costs.”In 2010, 13 states enacted one or more of Advocates’ recommended highway safety laws for a total of 22 new laws. No state enacted an all-rider motorcycle helmet law although there were 9 unsuccessful attempts to repeal existing laws. The new laws enacted in all state legislatures are:Primary Enforcement of Seat Belts: Georgia (eliminated pick-up truck exemption) and KansasBooster Seats (children ages 4 through 7): Colorado (upgraded to primary enforcement)Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) for teen drivers: Alabama (passenger and cell phone restrictions), Georgia (cell phone restriction), Kentucky (cell phone restriction), Massachusetts (cell phone restriction), Michigan (nighttime and passenger restriction), Oklahoma (cell phone restriction), Vermont (cell phone restriction), and Washington (cell phone restriction)Impaired Driving: Wisconsin (mandatory BAC testing for drivers who survived)All-Driver Text Messaging Restriction: Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and WyomingThe 2010 report found that an additional 362 new laws need to be adopted in all states and D.C. to fully meet Advocates’ 15 legislative recommendations:19 states still need an optimal primary enforcement seat belt law;30 states still need an optimal all-rider motorcycle helmet law;23 states still need an optimal booster seat law;No state meets all the criteria of Advocates’ recommended GDL program;45 states and DC are missing one or more critical impaired driving laws; and,24 states still need an all-driver text messaging restriction.Addressing today’s National Press Club news conference was Marlene Case, who became a highway safety activist after her 17-year old son Andrew, was killed in a crash involving a teen driver in 2009. “We know that at ages 16 and 17, teens just don’t understand the consequences of reckless behavior,” said Case. “We want parents to hear our story and to join with us to urge lawmakers in Pennsylvania and other states to pass strong laws that limit the number of teen passengers with new drivers, strengthen seatbelt rules, and outlaw use of cell phones. We strongly support federal adoption of the Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection Act (STANDUP) so every teen in every state is protected. It’s too late for Andrew, but it’s not too late for others. These laws don’t cost states any money and only require political leadership.”Bill Martin, Senior Vice President of Farmers Insurance and Insurance Co-Chair of Advocates’ Board of Directors said, “For insurers, the idea that preventing injury and saving lives actually also saves money is not new. But nothing the insurer does can fully bring their customer back from the emotional tragedy suffered by families and friends when car crashes take lives and inflict debilitating injuries.”Also participating in the news announcement was Dr. Grant Baldwin, Director of Unintentional Injury Prevention at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) who described a new system that will be available in February to map death rates and estimate costs associated with injury-related deaths at state and county levels.Electronic Press Kit and WebcastAn electronic press kit including the complete 2011 Roadmap to State Highway Safety Laws, speaker statements and a replay of today’s news conference webcast can be found at www.saferoads.org(link is external).Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety is a coalition of insurance, consumer, health, safety and law enforcement organizations that work together to advance state and federal highway and vehicle safety laws, programs and policies.SOURCE Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety WASHINGTON, Jan. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —last_img read more

Chilean Navy Seizes Cocaine Coming from Bolivia

first_img Latin Governments are routinely supporting and protecting drugs dealers.Ismael Maldonado of Tarija, for example, is widely known in Bolivia and Argentina for his Cocaine trafficking activity. Through Cocaine trafficking, Maldonado has become so strong financially that he has bought significant high level patronage and support/protection. He has a team of lawyers constantly fighting investigations and warding off convictions with technical objections. For example, the Bolivian public prosecutor and the police anti drugs unit conducted investigations against Maldonado for illicit earnings. The investigation was suspended only when Maldonado´s lawyers heard and fought to identify technicalities to suspend the investigation. Prior to the Bolivian government expelling the DEA in 2009, Maldonado was the subject of a Cocaine trafficking and money laundering investigation and he was also the subject of cross border trafficking investigations with Argentina and other known traffickers Kim Yong Soon and Miguel Busanich. There are many others. BUt each and every time, he escapes conviction. Maldonado launders the proceeds of this activity through his 26 stores called Fair Play where he sells athletic equiment and clothing. In Santa Cruz alone there are 4 identical stores within a 200m square box. Two of the stores are next door to each other. The Chilean Navy has seized more than 500 kilos of cocaine, hidden in a truck coming from Bolivia and headed for Europe, in the port of the city of Arica, an official source announced on May 16. “The drugs, more than 500 kilos of cocaine, were in a shipment of scrap metal transported by a truck coming from Bolivia and that was going to be loaded onto a ship that had Europe as its final destination,” Cristina Vidal, an operations officer for the Arica port captaincy said. The cocaine seizure took place on the docks in Arica, following an investigation that began the week before and involved the Navy, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, and Customs, which had been monitoring the truck since it crossed the border between Bolivia and Chile at the Chungará border crossing, Vidal added. The officer said that arrests had been made, but she did not provide more details, because the information is part of an ongoing investigation by the Public Prosecutor’s Office. The Chilean border with Bolivia and Peru extends over a distance of 1,300 km and has become a nexus between the producers of drugs and their final destination, according to the Chilean government. Chilean authorities have detected around 30 unauthorized crossing points along the border with Peru and 106 along the border with Bolivia. By Dialogo May 21, 2012last_img read more

Demise of cash greatly exaggerated

first_img 12SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » Well, the marketing dust has settled. Hopefully the chip on your credit or debit card has cooled off since Black Friday, your keyboard (or Buy Button thumb) didn’t lock up on Cyber Monday, and your fingers didn’t get pinched by the dispenser on “Withdraw Cash Wednesday.”Wait—hadn’t you heard about that last one?Withdraw Cash Wednesday, a brainchild of the ATM Industry Association, is a campaign to encourage consumers to keep their wallets stocked with cash and to use it for everyday purchases, touting its budgeting benefits and freedom from interest charges.Designed as a year-round effort, it got an added push in November coinciding with the holiday shopping season.last_img read more

Military denies claims Army hospital denied care, caused death of unborn baby

first_imgThe military command in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara, assured that Wira Bhakti Army Hospital staffers are following proper procedures in treating patients amid reports that COVID-19 rapid test requirements had delayed treatment for a woman in labor. The unborn baby of resident Gusti Ayu Arianti reportedly died in the womb on Tuesday after the hospital allegedly turned her away and told her to go to a community health center (Puskesmas) first to take a COVID-19 rapid test, even though her water had broken and she had lost a lot of blood.Maj. Dahlan, the spokesperson of the 162 Military Region Command Wirabhakti Mataram, said the medical staff in the army hospital had handled the patient according to standard procedure. “Upon arriving at the hospital, staggers questioned the patient, who said [she wasn’t] experience any pain, thus giving the impression that she was in good condition. She could also communicate well,” Dahlan wrote in a statement obtained by The Jakarta Post on Saturday.Read also: Doubts loom over widespread use of rapid tests in virus-stricken IndonesiaHe added that Gusti had been told to go to Mataram General Hospital, where here obstetrician was practicing. Wira Bhakti Army Hospital also recommended that she take a COVID-19 rapid test at a nearby Puskesmas, as the test was free of charge there and would ease the referral process.“Upon leaving the army hospital, the patient asked whether it was better for her to go to the obstetrician or take the rapid test first. The staffer answered that she should go to the obstetrician first,” Dahlan went on to say.It was previously reported that Gusti had gone to the Puskesmas to take a rapid test first. She later had a C-section at Permata Hati Hospital, where the doctor claimed the baby had died in the womb a few days earlier, which the family denied.Topics :last_img read more