Sunday, 30 December 2012

Increase in California DUI Arrests, Fatalities This Christmas Season


Both arrests for DUI, as well as fatalities and accidents caused by drunk motorists increased this holiday season.  According to information from the California Highway Patrol, between December 21 and December 25, the agency made a total of 1,170 arrests for DUI.  Last year, the number was 980.
This year, there was also an increase in the number of deaths caused in alcohol-related car accidents.  Last year, 14 people died in alcohol-related car accidents over the Christmas holiday season, while in this year, the number of deaths was 39.
These are California Highway Patrol statistics, and information from local police agencies across the state has not yet come in.
The number of people being arrested for DUI is only likely to increase over the New Year's holiday.  This holiday tends to be heavy on drinking, and therefore, the number of people driving under the influence of alcohol spikes during this time, keeping California DUI lawyers busy in the first few days of the new year.
The California Highway Patrol is already planning to help motorists ring in 2013 with a series of sobriety checkpoints and crackdowns as part of the Maximum Enforcement Period.  The Period is expected to begin on December 28 at 6 PM, and continue through midnight of January 1, 2013. 
Additionally, the California Highway Patrol is encouraging motorists to report to police when they see any motorists who look as if they're driving under the influence of alcohol.
Start off 2013 on the right note by avoiding driving under the influence this New Year's eve, and hiring a taxi, if you plan on drinking the night away.  If that's not possible, make plans to stay over at your host’s place.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

GAO Recommends States Be Allowed to Invest in New Motorcycle Safety Strategies


Florida, like many other states, receives funding from the federal administration to be used in developing and preventing motorcycle safety strategies.  However, the state is limited in the kind of initiatives that these funds can be used in.  The Government Accountability Office recommends that that situation be allowed to change.
Currently, states that receive federal motorcycle safety funding can only spend this money on certain approved programs, like investments in motorist awareness programs and motorcyclist training.   The Government Accountability Office has reviewed the situation, and recommended that states be allowed to expand the strategies that they use the money on, based on research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
 The federal highway safety agency is conducting a number of studies, including one on factors that have increased helmet usage in those states that do not have mandatory helmet laws for all adult motorcyclists.  The Government Accountability Office recommends that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration research more issues that affect motorcycle safety, and advises states about spending the federal funds on such strategies. 
For instance, more states would benefit from research that identifies how motorcyclists can make themselves more visible on the roads.  Every Florida motorcycle accident lawyer would agree that a motorcyclist’s chances of being involved in an accident are reduced if he is visible to other motorists.  Increasing visibility for motorcyclists is an important research area, and the Government Accountability Office wants the federal agency to invest in such strategies.
The bottom line is that we need to research more areas in order to develop newer innovative strategies to save lives in motorcycle accidents every year.  Further, states should be allowed to spend federal motorcycle safety funds on new initiatives that can actually help reduce accident rates.