Jan 06 by GJEL

Feds Urge Safety Improvements Following California Pipeline Explosion

It’s clear that the PG&E pipeline explosion in San Bruno in September was an unfortunate mistake. But it was also an avoidable mistake that killed eight people, which led the National Transportation Safety Board Monday to suggest seven important steps the gas and electric company can make to prevent future pipeline explosions. Six of the suggestions were confidential, but the seventh, asking PG&E to verify its records, indicates little operational faith in the agency and provides a clue into the type of scrutiny likely to overtake PG&E in the coming months and years.

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Dec 06 by GJEL

The (Misguided) Case Against Motorcycle Helmet Laws

In his manifesto against motorcycle helmet laws in the Chicago Tribune last week, columnist Steve Chapman listed a number of actions people can legally take to endanger their health: smoking cigarettes, eating fast food, and living among bears. Chapman then asks why, if we can engage in these activities, are state governments beginning to crack down on motorcyclists who ride without a helmet? The answers are clear: to save lives, and to cut down on emergency room costs for taxpayers.

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Nov 18 by GJEL

Helmet & ‘Lane Split’ Laws Could Reduce Motorcycle Accident Deaths & Injuries

The National Transportation Safety Board is taking on a tough crowd in its effort to implement a national law requiring motorcycle helmets for all ages. The Wall Street Journal reports that motorcycle deaths “more than doubled” in the decade before 2008, a troubling statistic the NTSB blames partially on insufficient helmet laws. The most recent data, from 2008, indicates that about 65 percent of people killed on motorcycles were not wearing helmets. The agency hopes the helmet law will reverse this deadly trend.

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Nov 10 by GJEL

National Transportation Safety Board Probes Aging Driver Safety

In the past, study of age-related driving dangers has generally focused on teenagers and twenty somethings, the demographics with the most questionable driving records. More recently, safety experts have begun to investigate the effects of aging on driving skills. This week, for example, the National Transportation Safety Board is hosting the country’s first forum on aging drivers and steps that can be taken to ensure that such drivers get the help they need, and stop driving when it is no longer safe to do so. The two-day Washington DC event includes the testimony of experts and government officials with an emphasis on reducing fatal car accidents.

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