The topic of limousine safety has come up as of late because of recent incidents in the news. About a month ago, a tragic vehicle fire claimed the lives of five women on the San Mateo bridge, and this past weekend, a group of people escaped a different blaze which took place in Walnut Creek.
In an effort to ensure these types of incidents don’t become commonplace, California’s Senate Majority Leader has introduced a measure that seeks to bolster the safety of limousines. The Senator has called the fire from a month ago preventable and hopes that unnecessary fatalities can be avoided in the future with an expansion of limousine legislation.
Not only is the Senator critical of the safety measures currently in place for limos, but she also seems to question whether the California Public Utilities Commission was derelict in its duty to address the issues in place in the luxury transportation industry. For their part, the Commission has said that they may assess a penalty against the limo company involved in the aforementioned fire if it’s discovered that the seating capacity was misrepresented.
If eventually passed, the proposed law would make it mandatory for limos to have two windows that passengers in the back can push outward from the interior. It would also require the installation of two exit doors.
As states make a concerted effort to crack down on distracted driving, you’re seeing lawmakers pass ever-stricter measures on the practice. California is no different, with legislators recently looking into the possibility of banning handheld cellphones and raising the fines an offender could expect to pay.
But other states are attempting to affirm their ability to convict drivers who have been pulled over for committing a cellphone-based offense. A new report looks at the efforts of New Jersey lawmakers to do just that and also wonders about the future legal battle this could create.
Yesterday, the state’s Senate introduced a bill that would require drivers to hand their phones over to officers should a crash involving property damage, injury, or death take place. However, a legal professor at Seton Hall explains that such a move might be an overreach. As opposed to something like seeing a liquor bottle and confiscating that because of the suggestion that the driver is drunk, this measure, she explains, involves actually gaining access to a person’s information.
That professor believes that the United States Supreme Court may eventually have to weigh in on this measure or others like it that have been enacted throughout the country. Citizens interviewed for the story came down on both sides of the issue, with some worrying about the lack of privacy and others seeing a boost to safety.
Safety advocates and lawmakers have grown concerned about a potential loophole in the law that leaves a grey zone in the regulation of compounding pharmacies. Last year, over 700 people became ill and 50 died because they were exposed to contaminated steroid injections from a compounder. To make sure such an incident never happens again, a bill was drafted that would bolster the Food and Drug Administration’s ability to oversee such institutions. Now, that measure has received the unanimous approval of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Committee. As the bill currently stands, compounders would have to register and report adversity to the FDA. They would also be privy to inspections, the costs of which would be offset with a fee paid by the compounder itself.
For more about this initial approval, click here.
The Senate Commerce Committee is in the midst of determining whether or not it would be advisable to push forward a law that would require rental car companies to fix open recalls prior to offering them for sale or rent, but that bill has now drawn opposition from groups like the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the National Automobile Dealers Association. Those groups are arguing that instituting such a measure would potentially delay a consumers’ ability to get the necessary repairs in a timely manner on their vehicles. They say that automakers would essentially have to repair rental companies’ vehicles first or else face lawsuits from those companies. They also believe that not all recalls are created equal and offered examples of recalls that don’t pose a pending danger.
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Caregivers hope that a new law mandating new elder abuse reporting procedures will assist the police in investigating instances of crime and thus cut down on such incidents in the future. At the beginning of this year, a new measure was enacted that tasks caregivers with getting in touch with police the moment they suspect elder abuse has occurred. Prior to the law’s passage, caregivers were only required to inform adult protective services in the form of the ombudsman’s office. Caregivers from Shasta and Anderson both believe that this will be a good way to cut down on elder abuse, as police will be briefed as to the details of an incident much sooner than they otherwise might have.
For more information, follow this link.
Tomorrow, Californians will vote on an initiative that could have wide-reaching ramifications for food safety. Proposition 37, if passed, would require food manufacturers to label any food products that have been genetically modified. However, numerous food producers have gathered in a bid to fight this initiative, spending an estimated $46 million in ad space to get the proposition voted down by voters. Supporters of the measure say that consumers deserve to know how their food has been made and what’s inside it, while the opposition contends that prices will go up dramatically if the measure is passed.
Click here to learn more about Proposition 37.
The Las Vegas strip will hopefully become a little bit safer for pedestrians thanks to the recent passage of a law by County Commissioners. The ordinance takes aim at jugglers, flame tossers, and swordsmen who show off along the strip, limiting performances to those deemed safe by local police officials. Power cords will also no longer be allowed to be set up along walking paths. Although the law goes into effect in just a couple weeks, no citations will be issued until residents are given the opportunity to adjust.
To learn more about the law, click here.
Laws requiring the use of child safety seats are widespread, but New Zealand has one of the weakest in the world. The country previously only required kids up to the age of five to utilize some kind of safety seat. That’s likely why the residents of the Western Bay of Plenty are supporting a change to the law there that will raise the upper end of the age requirement to seven years old. The Associate Minister of Transport announced the law change.
Click here for more about the new law.
The Dunbar City Council of West Virginia addressed two potential hazards at a recent meeting: motorized scooter visibility and the use of cellphones while driving. The ordinances discussed passed their first readings. The mayor said scooters and carts, which will now have see use limited on city crosswalks and streets, will have to have reflective flags to make them more visible. Driving and using a cell phone without a handsfree device will also become a primary offense by July 1 of next year.
Click here for more information.
In a bid to reduce spinal injuries among Maryland children, a doctors’ group has advocated a new law requiring children to be buckled in a safety seat if they are younger than eight years of age. This new law, which will go into effect today, makes it so that children more than 65 pounds in weight are no longer exempt from safety seats. The only exemption occurs if a child is taller than 4 feet 9 inches in height.
To learn more about the law, click here.