Texas leads in traffic deaths. Proposed laws could make roads safer.

first_imgBy Matt LargeyKUT News “I’ve been working on Texas transportation policy for 15 years,” said Jay Blazek Crossley, executive director of Farm & City, a nonprofit spearheading a road safety campaign called Vision Zero Texas. “I am stunned and confused about the progress we are making.”He said he’s hopeful the commission will adopt a zero-death goal at its meeting next month. One proposal that has moved along in the process at the Legislature would reduce the default speed limit on neighborhood roads in urban areas.“If you look at just kids who are walking and biking, more kids are hurt or killed on 30-mile-an-hour streets than any other type of street,” said Blazek Crossley.House Bill 1287, filed by state Rep. Celia Israel, D-Austin, would lower the speed limit on roads that otherwise don’t have marked speed limits from 30 miles per hour to 25.“This is about saving lives, but it’s also about saving money,” she said. Right now, if a neighborhood wants to lower the speed limit on a street to less than 30 miles per hour, the city needs to do a traffic study. Under this measure, the speed limit in neighborhoods where there are no speed limit signs would automatically be 25 miles per hour without a traffic study.The bill, which has bipartisan support, has made it out of committee. It’s still waiting to get on the agenda for debate and a vote in the full House of Representatives.Meanwhile, a law that would ban all use of handheld electronic devices while driving has gotten less support in the Legislature.TxDOT says more than 100,000 crashes involved distracted driving in 2017 — which killed 444 people and seriously injured 2,889 others.Senate Bill 43, filed by state Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, would crack down on distracted driving by making state law look more like Austin’s hands-free driving ordinance. Right now, state law outlaws only texting while driving. You can still talk on the phone, fiddle with your GPS, browse the web or do whatever else you want to do — as long as you’re not using your phone to “read, write or send an electronic message.”Under SB 43, all uses of an electronic device while driving would be illegal (unless you’re using a hands-free device). Your vehicle would have to be stopped outside a travel lane for you to legally use your phone with your hands.But the proposal hasn’t even had a committee hearing in the Senate — the first step to getting passed. A statewide texting ban was passed only in 2017, so the Legislature’s appetite for beefing up the law may not be there quite yet.Another proposal would make a tweak in the state law that requires drivers to give pedestrians the right-of-way. Right now, the law simply says a driver must “yield” to a pedestrian in a crosswalk when there’s a walk sign or when there is no traffic light.House Bill 1289 would require drivers to “stop and yield” for pedestrians legally present in a crosswalk.“You have too many people who are just not respecting pedestrians — the right of a pedestrian to be in the crosswalk,” said Israel, who also proposed this bill. “Because you’re in a car doesn’t give you the right to close in on a pedestrian or hurry up a pedestrian with your car bumper. You have to stop and you have to yield.”There doesn’t appear to be open opposition to the proposal, but it remains stalled without a committee hearing.“Some things in the Legislature are a mystery,” Israel said.There’s been movement afoot in road safety circles for years now to get officials to stop using the word “accident” to refer to traffic crashes. The idea is that accidents are somehow inevitable — and that the word doesn’t hold anyone accountable for a crash.A New York-based safety group called Transportation Alternatives has a campaign for people to pledge not to use the “A-word.”The group describes it like this:“Before the labor movement, factory owners would say “it was an accident” when American workers were injured in unsafe conditions. Before the movement to combat drunk driving, intoxicated drivers would say “it was an accident” when they crashed their cars. Planes don’t have accidents. They crash. Cranes don’t have accidents. They collapse. And as a society, we expect answers and solutions. Traffic crashes are fixable problems, caused by dangerous streets and unsafe drivers. They are not accidents. Let’s stop using the word ‘accident’ today.”House Bill 4243 would change every instance of “accident” in the Texas Transportation Code to “crash.”So far, it hasn’t had a hearing.The Texas Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. texastribune.orgAt least one person has died on Texas roads every day since Nov. 7, 2000. Despite efforts to End the Streak, as the Texas Department of Transportation puts it, the state still leads the nation in traffic deaths.Fatalities did fall about 2% between 2016 and 2017, but more than 3,700 people died in 2017. Bills aimed at making a dent in traffic deaths have gotten mixed results at the Texas Legislature this year.There does seem to be some action on expanded road safety efforts at the Texas Transportation Commission.Last month, the commission heard a presentation from TxDOT’s director of engineering and safety operations that indicated the agency may be moving toward a goal of having no traffic fatalities in Texas by the year 2050. Austin adopted a so-called Vision Zero plan in 2016, with the goal of ending deaths and serious injuries on Austin’s roads by 2025. Other major cities have adopted similar plans, which aim to address the problem through better road design, better enforcement of existing laws and education programs.Washington state was the first to adopt a statewide goal of zero traffic deaths in 2000. Since then, more than half of states have set zero-death goals. But Texas has not.last_img read more

South Hook awaits Al Sadd LNG carrier arrival

first_imgThe Al Sadd LNG carrier, with a capacity of 210,000 cubic metres, is due to arrive in the UK’s South Hook terminal from Qatar on September 16, port data reveals.The South Hook LNG terminal, a part of the Qatargas 2 integrated value chain, is one of the largest LNG re-gasification terminals in Europe and provides the UK with a significant proportion of its natural gas requirements.South Hook LNG is comprised of three strong partners: Qatar Petroleum International, ExxonMobil and Total. LNG World News Staff, September 11, 2014; Image: MHPAlast_img

Clarke presses on with judges’ pension cut

first_imgThe lord chancellor has confirmed government plans to cut judges’ pensions to bring them in line with other public sector workers. In a written ministerial statement yesterday Kenneth Clarke said that the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne had confirmed to the House that the government would take forward legislation to introduce changes to pension schemes for the NHS, teachers and civil servants. Clarke said: ‘I have been considering the necessary reforms of the judicial pension scheme [JPS] in line with these wider public service pension reforms.’ He said: ‘The JPS is a critical element of the remuneration offered to the judiciary. Nevertheless we must ensure that the pensions provided are fair, sustainable and affordable.’ Accordingly, he said he has written to the heads of the judiciary setting out proposals that ‘will ensure that the pension provision for judges compares fairly with that offered to others in the public service’. Clarke said the changes will also meet government ‘expectations for reform’ and that he will be discussing the matter with the judiciary over the summer. The move follows the recommendations made by Lord Hutton in his report on public service pensions, published in March last year. Hutton said there needed to be ‘comprehensive reform’ balancing the legitimate concerns of taxpayers about the cost of public service pensions with the wider need to ensure decent levels of retirement income for public service workers. His main recommendation was to replace existing final salary pension schemes with career average schemes. From April this judges have for the first time been required to contribute towards their pension, at the rate of 1.28% of their salary. A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said: ‘We are developing proposals to reform judicial pensions so they are fairer to the taxpayer and consistent with wider public sector pension change.’ A spokesman at the Judicial Communications Office said discussions between the lord chancellor and the lord chief justice are ongoing, and that he could not comment further at this time. Meanwhile part-time judges have come a step closer to receiving pensions following a preliminary judgment from the Supreme Court in the case of retired recorder Dermod O’Brien against the MoJ. As a part-time judge, paid a fee rather than the salary received by full-time judges, O’Brien was not given a pension when he retired. He challenged the position, arguing that under EU law as a ‘worker’ he should be entitled to a pension. The MoJ claims that recorders are not entitled to the same pension rights as full-time judges as they work part-time and they are paid a ‘fee’ rather than a ‘salary’. In March, the European Court of Justice ruled in favour of O’Brien and returned the matter to the Supreme Court. In light of the European court’s ruling, the Supreme Court gave a preliminary ruling that O’Brien was a part-time worker. A further hearing in November will clarify what issues will go back to be determined by the employment tribunal.last_img read more

Moycullen’s Martin Mulkerrins wins Australian Open

first_imgMoycullen’s Martin Mulkerrins has been crowned the Australian Wall Ball Open Champion. Mulkerrins who is currently working in New Zealand travelled to Melbourne last Wednesday to play, and now win, the Australian Openprint WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Email The All-Ireland senior Wall Ball (One Wall) Champion had it all to do in Melbourne in the early hours of Sunday Morning, surviving a tie-break against Sydney’s Dylan King in the quarters, clawing back a 17-20 deficit in the semi to win 21-20, 21-4 to book a place in the final against New York’s Ed Dotsenko which the Galway and Moycullen ace won 21-17, 21-8.last_img

Over The Line Including On The Verge From The Earl Inn

first_imgPresented by John Mulligan, George McDonagh and Barry Cullinane with Ollie Turner at the Earl Inn. This week’s Over The Line featured The First On The Verge of Season Two from the 2018 defending champions The Earl Inn as well as Gaelic Games with Jason Byrne and David Collins, Soccer with John Brennan, Rugby with William Davies and Noel Mannion and Racing with Barry Orr. The Earl Inn receiving their plaque as champions of On The Verge Season One from Head of Sport at Galway Bay FM Ollie Turnerprint WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Emaillast_img

Rockets roll, clinch at least share of Cloverbelt

first_imgTo watch Hub City Times’ video coverage of the game, click here.By Paul LeckerSports ReporterMARSHFIELD — Big offensive plays have been the norm for the Spencer/Columbus Catholic football team, but yards were harder to come by against a steady Altoona defense on Friday night.The Rockets defense, however, was dominant, and despite a pair of turnovers and a blocked punt, Spencer/Columbus was able to pitch its second shutout of the season, rolling to a 39-0 victory at Beell Stadium.Spencer/Columbus improves to 7-0 overall and in the Cloverbelt Conference, clinching at least a tie for its first Cloverbelt championship. Altoona is now 4-3 and 3-3 in the conference.The Rockets play a nonconference game at home against Edgar (6-1) next Friday before finishing their regular season with a game at Osseo-Fairchild as they search for the outright Cloverbelt title.“It’s a big moment,” Spencer/Columbus coach Jason Gorst said in regards to clinching at least a tie for the conference title. “We still have a lot of work to do. This is definitely a goal on our list.”The Rockets scored on three of their first four possessions to put the game away early.Hunter Luepke capped a six-play, 53-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown run, and Noah Zastrow ripped off a 50-yard run on the next drive to put Spencer/Columbus up 16-0.Luepke ran 9 yards for a score on the third play of the second quarter to make it 24-0, and the Spencer/Columbus defense took it from there.The Rockets allowed just two first downs in the first half and held the Railroaders to 54 total yards in the first half and 116 for the game.A methodical 10-play, 60-yard drive ended with a 15-yard touchdown run by Jonny Tomke on fourth-and-3 to put Spencer/Columbus up 32-0 with 1:47 to go in the third quarter.The Rockets finished the scoring on a 25-yard touchdown run by quarterback Calvin Lenz with 4:42 remaining in the game.“The defense was absolutely terrific,” Gorst said. “They (Altoona) are big up front, but we shut them down. They are very good at running in between the tackles, but I thought our guys stayed in there for the whole night and played a good game.”Zastrow led the Spencer/Columbus rushing attack with 94 yards on eight carries. In all, the Rockets racked up 292 yards on the ground.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)Rockets 39, Railroaders 0Altoona 0 0 0 0 – 0Spencer/Columbus 16 8 8 7 – 39First QuarterSC – Hunter Luepke 6 run (Luepke run), 9:28.SC – Noah Zastrow 50 run (Zastrow run), 5:47.Second QuarterSC – Luepke 9 run (Calvin Lenz run), 11:19.Third QuarterSC – Jonny Tomke 15 run (Zastrow run), 1:47.Fourth QuarterSC – Lenz 25 run (Elijah Welsh kick), 4:42.Team StatisticsFirst downs: Altoona 6; Spencer/Columbus 13.Rushing (att-yards): Altoona 38-78; Spencer/Columbus 36-292.Passing (comp-att-yards-int): Altoona 5-8-38-1; Spencer/Columbus 4-12-56-1.Fumbles (total-lost): Altoona 1-0; Spencer/Columbus 3-1.Penalties (no.-yards): Altoona 11-74; Spencer/Columbus 4-21.Punting (no.-avg.): Altoona 4-25.0; Spencer/Columbus 1-0.Individual StatisticsRushing: A, Hunter Bowman 5-31, Connor Klatt 6-23, Trent Peterson 12-20, Kolten Wright 6-12, Mitch Adrian 2-10, Dakota Hickok 3-5, Sam Roeske 1-3, Wesley Boyarski 3-minus 14. SC, Noah Zastrow 8-94, Hunter Hildebrandt 6-60, Hunter Luepke 9-50, Calvin Lenz 9-45, Jonny Tomke 3-33, Tim Bauer 1-20.Passing: A, Boyarski 5-8-38-1. SC, Lenz 4-12-56-1.Receiving: A, Adrian 1-25, Wright 1-7, Peterson 2-5, Hickok 1-1. SC, Ryan Busse 2-17, Hildebrandt 1-33, Tomke 1-6.Fumble recoveries (defense): A, Trent Sell.Interceptions (defense): A, Peterson. SC, Elijah Welsh.Punting: A, Dallas Ystebo 3-19.0, Peterson 1-43.0. SC, Zastrow 1-0 (blocked).Records: Altoona 4-3, 3-3 Cloverbelt Conference; Spencer/Columbus 7-0 overall and Cloverbelt Conference.last_img read more

World to serenade Madiba

first_imgHundreds of South Africans gathered on Nelson Mandela Square to sing and record the happy birthday song for the former president.(Image: Ray Maota) Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola speaks at the launch of the song.(Images: Cadine Pillay)MEDIA CONTACTS • Sello Hatang, Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory+2711 547 5600RELATED ARTICLES• Madiba birthday song a group effort• How does Mandela Day inspire you?• Schools to benefit for Mandela Day• Brand SA plays its part for Mandela Day• Make every day Mandela Day’ in 2011Cadine PillayAs the one-month countdown to International Mandela Day 2012 kicked off on Monday 18 June, the video of the special birthday song for former president Nelson Mandela was launched.Mandela turns 94 on 18 July, and every year his birthday is celebrated around the world, with the date officially declared by the UN in 2009 as an internationally recognised commemorative date.“The countdown has started – there is one month to go,” said social movement Lead SA’s Yusuf Abramjee, who spoke at the launch at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg.Last year, Lead SA, the Department of Basic Education and the foundation garnered the support of South Africans to sing to Mandela on his big day. This year they decided to go bigger by encouraging the whole world to participate in the singing – which will take place simultaneously, at 8am South African time.A special tributeOn 29 May hundreds of people, among them TV, radio and sports personalities, gathered in Sandton for the recording of the song. Also present were basic education minister Angie Motshekga; Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the minister of home affairs; and Anitha Soni, trustee of the board of directors at Brand South Africa.Lead SA, the department and the foundation, supported by the Shout Foundation, Proudly South African and Brand South Africa, partnered to get the world movement going to sing the song and engage in 67 minutes of community service.Mobile provider Vodacom has also donated their infrastructure to provide a platform for people to download the song – by texting ‘Madiba’ to 44009, people will be able to download the song via a link sent in a reply.“We are exploring the possibility of breaking a social media world record. We want to mobilise South Africans and the world to sing and pledge their 67 minutes,” said Abramjee.South African Rugby has also pledged its support, saying that national team the Springboks, along with thousands of spectators who will be present at the test match against England in Port Elizabeth on Saturday 23 June, will also sing to Madiba.Footballs fans will also be getting involved. The song will be sung ahead of matches scheduled on the day, as well as half-time on the following Saturday in Durban and Cape Town respectively, when local teams take on Manchester United FC.Viewers of DStv will also be treated to the song as satellite operator MultiChoice pledged to play the recording on all its channels at 8am on the day.“This is in the true spirit of doing it for our country and honouring Madiba,” said Abramjee, thanking Imitiaz Patel, CEO of Multichoice.Goodwill and support for MandelaOver 100 community radio stations will play the song, while the Caxton and Independent newspaper groups will lend their support by promoting the movement in the lead up to the day.Lead SA and its partners have further invited companies, universities, NGOs, government departments and individuals to join in, while also calling on foreign media to put aside the differences and support the initiative.They have also called on representatives of foreign organisations in South Africa to assist in getting 67+ countries to join the initiative and sing happy birthday at 8am, their local times, and also to get their people to do 67 minutes of community service.Mandela’s grandson Luvuyo Mandela said he and his family will hand out blankets and plant trees as part of their 67 minutes project. South African news presenter Leanne Manas also assured her 67 minutes of goodwill and encouraged others to do the same.CEO of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory Achmat Dangor said no government can meet all the challenges by itself and the citizens of South Africa need to be active in making a difference.“When civil society realises its strength, it can make a difference,” added singer Kabelo, who is part of Shout.Speaking at the launch, Miller Matola, CEO of Brand South Africa, one of the biggest partners of the initiative, said that in the spirit of Ubuntu, the people in his organisation are ready to roll up their sleeves and do their part for Mandela.94+ schools projectThe primary objective of the 94+ Schools Project for Madiba is to celebrate Mandela’s 94th birthday by giving hope and dignity to children at at least 94 schools across South Africa, by improving school infrastructure.The campaign to alleviate the infrastructure backlog in primary schools in poor communities across the country will make a significant contribution to fulfilling Mandela’s dream for every child in South Africa to be educated.“Let’s make his 94th birthday the magic of legends and an enduring memory,” said Abramjee.“We want to give him his best birthday present ever – the love of the world.”last_img read more

iPhone 2.0, Video Highlights

first_imgThe Apple Worldwide Developers Conference keynote is underway. For some crazy reason Apple doesn’t broadcast the keynote in live video, but there’s an army of bloggers reporting live from the event. Here at RWW we’d like to think that we’re patient enough to wait until all the news comes out before we pay too much attention. That’s not entirely true, though. This blogger is very happy to hear that there will in fact be a 3G iPhone available on July 11th for only $199. Live audio surreptitiously streamed can be heard below the fold. Now that the presentation is over, we’ve got a recorded video of the iPhone highlights below.So far it’s been relatively uninteresting showcase partner app demonstrations. Some of the medical applications are interesting. Apple is really trying to sell the iPhone as a serious device. Check out the audio below, provided by iPhone Alley.We’re waiting to hear about faster service by 3G, some carrier unfreezing and/or a rumored $200 subsidy by ATT. What are you hoping to hear?Update: The presentation is over! Below you’ll find some recorded video, via TechCrunch. Highlights included 3G service, availability in 71 countries and a shockingly low price point starting at $199. Yay!Push notification for all app developers is very cool, allowing notifications to be sent to app users even when they aren’t using the app. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Events Guide#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… marshall kirkpatricklast_img read more

Google I/O: Google+ Gets Native Android App; iOS Coming Soon

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… jon mitchell To close out the Wednesday keynote at Google I/O, SVP of engineering Vic Gundotra retook the stage to talk about Google+, which reaches its first birthday tomorrow. Gundotra announced the first native tablet app for Google+. It’s an Android-centric experience available today, but Gundotra says the iPad version will have the same features and is coming soon.It uses a sideways-swiping stream, making for a magazine-like browsing experience with the same bold photo views available on the smartphone app. The Google+ tablet app also includes a casual, lean-back interface for video Hangouts. Gundotra updated the stats on Google’s social layer: 200 million users have upgraded, 150 million log in monthly, and 75 million go to Google+ daily.Gundotra also unveiled the new Google+ Events, a long-awaited feature that will make Google+ a more useful replacement for some of Facebook’s most important features.Invitations use bold photos Google calls “cinemagrams.” It integrates completely with Google Calendar, and it doesn’t require email recipients to use Google+. But for Google+ users, invitations unfold like physical invitations right in the stream. It uses the Google Calendar integration to see if you’re available before you RSVP.During the actual event, Google+ Events go into “party mode.” Anyone at the party who takes photos in party mode will be able to automatically upload their pics to an album for the event on Google+. Photos stream in in real time for people watching on Google+, and there’s also a slideshow mode that still fills instantly as pictures are uploaded.center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#conferences#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

P2P and Streaming Video Gobble Up Increasing Corporate Bandwidth

first_imgTags:#Analysis#enterprise david strom 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Related Posts IT + Project Management: A Love Affaircenter_img Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Since we wrote about Palo Alto Networks’ applications study in January, the company has continued to track corporate networking trends with their customers and today is releasing a new data visualization tool, as well. Somewhat surprisingly, they are seeing very large jumps in use of peer-to-peer file sharing and video streaming services at the enterprise level.Palo Alto conducted network traffic assessments in 2,036 organizations worldwide between November 2011 and May 2012, and found that streaming video bandwidth consumption increased more than 300%. Since its last report covering the time period from April to November 2011, “total bandwidth consumed by streaming video quadrupled to 13% of all bandwidth on enterprise networks and now represents a more significant infrastructure challenge to organizations.” And this jump doesn’t even take into account this summer’s Olympics, which may push the numbers for streaming video even higher.The issue is pervasive, too. Palo Alto found streaming video use across 97% of its customers, using both Netflix and P2P video streaming services. In the Americas, YouTube, Netflix and generic HTTP video were the top three consumers of bandwidth. Almost half of this traffic was found on nonstandard ports (other than ports 80 and 443), making this traffic more difficult to potentially block. This is probably not due to users understanding how to hop among ports, but rather to more sophisticated streaming software that can find unblocked pathways to the Internet, as Skype and other file-sharing programs currently do. This means that monitoring and blocking tools are going to have to improve to keep track of this usage.Palo Alto also found a similar, major jump in P2P file-sharing usage: “P2P filesharing bandwidth consumption jumped 700% to represent 14% of overall bandwidth observed, growing more than any other application category.”At least one browser-based file-sharing application was detected on 89% of the participating organizations’ networks, and an average of 13 different file-sharing apps were found on each customer’s network. What is even more sobering is that the takedown of popular file-sharing site MegaUpload in January 2012 didn’t really put a dent in this kind of traffic. Palo Alto found that Putlocker, Rapidshare and Fileserve each benefited from the demise of Megaupload, with big jumps in usage after the takedown.You can find the full study results here. Their new visualization tool can be found here.You can navigate to various screens that show you a “radar” plot of different protocols and data types from the data they have collected. This screenshot shows you the rise of P2P traffic that they have observed.What does this mean for enterprise network admins? They will have to get better and more efficient at running their networks and squeezing as much bandwidth as they can from their existing connections. Video and peer sharing isn’t going away, and the use of both is only going to continue to grow. And those admins that don’t employ tools like Palo Alto’s and others probably need to start gaining some experience with them very soon.last_img read more