A University of Winnipeg geology professor will be studying ways to reduce the damage caused by future floods.
A University of Winnipeg geology professor will be studying ways to reduce the damage caused by future floods.
As a Manitoba Grand Chief threatens to ramp up Idle No More demonstrations across the country, a local professor worries the prime minister could be “playing with fire” if he doesn’t act soon.
Car manufacturers have been introducing new safety features to market their products and to create safer roadways. From seat belts to air bags, safety features help prevent injuries when a car is involved in a Miami car accident. However, the latest wave of safety features for cars is aimed not just at preventing injuries, but also at preventing accidents from occurring in the first place.
One of the latest of these features has exciting implications for possibly preventing Miami pedestrian accidents in the future. The new features include what are known as advanced safety vehicles (ASV) as well as specially-developed car bodies that reduce the impact when pedestrians are hit.
One system, the Eye Sight system, used in Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. cars, sounds a large alarm when the car approaches too closely to an object or a person. If the car continues to move forward, the device automatically applies the brakes slightly. If the driver still does not move to prevent a car accident, the car automatically brakes at a distance from the object. The system works in conjunction with a camera and sensors. When the car approaches any object too closely, the device automatically acts to prevent a collision. The device may be less sensitive in bad weather and may not work in cases where pedestrians jump in front of a car suddenly, however.
Some models of cars in Japan already have the system as of 2008 and an updated version of the Eye Sight system was released in 2010. The system was developed as part of a larger effort to develop ASV cars, an imitative supported by the then- Transport Ministry in Japan in 1991. Among other developments created as a result of that initiative are devices which sound an alarm if a car swerves. That device is developed to wave fatigued drivers if they nod off at the wheel.
Another development involves increasing the shock absorbency of car hoods and increasing the space between the hood and the engine. These innovations are meant to reduce some of the injuries which occur in pedestrian accidents. In these accidents, fatal injuries mostly occur when pedestrians sustain injuries by crashing through the hood into the engine. The new developments are meant to reduce this type of fatal injury.
While manufacturers and experts agree that the new devices will not prevent all accidents and are no substitute for good driving, the devices are intended to help drivers. Currently, only luxury cars have the features. This means that in Japan less than 1% of cars have the special features. However, if the devices prove useful in preventing car crashes and injuries, they may eventually become more standard on both sides of the Atlantic. They may eventually help prevent Miami traffic accidents and injuries as well.
Coming to your state soon…
B.C. Senior Snared by Draconian Drunk Driving Law
Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Jan. 12 — To bully and berate an innocent senior then punish her without a trial for a crime she clearly didn’t commit.
This, apparently, is what Alberta has to look forward to under draconian drunk-driving laws inspired by our neighbouring province, where suspected motorists are guilty until they prove themselves innocent.
Fortunately for 82-year-old Margaret MacDonald, tears brought on by allegedly obnoxious B.C. RCMP officers didn’t blind her to protecting herself.
"I came into the house and burst into tears — then I stood here at three o’clock in the morning and thought ‘my word means nothing’," said MacDonald. "Three officers don’t believe me, so I phoned the hospital and took a taxi over to have a blood test. I’m not going to let the Mounties get away with saying I was drunk."
At the Cranbrook, B.C., hospital, she obtained a laboratory document proving what she’d desperately been trying to tell police a few minutes before. There was no alcohol in her system — not a drop — and yet MacDonald’s failure to provide a proper breath sample meant her car was taken away for a month and her licence suspended for 90 days.
Now, ,000 out-of-pocket and in fear of losing her home, the Cranbrook senior will wait another six months for a ruling on her case…
It was May 21 when MacDonald was approached by an off-duty RCMP officer, just outside her home. MacDonald, a near-teetotaler, was returning from an engagement party at a friend’s house when she mistakenly turned into the wrong lane. She assumed that’s why the police officer was there.
Even when the off-duty cop told MacDonald a breathalyzer was coming to test her for drinking and driving, she didn’t worry — her last serious drink was 60 years ago. "I really don’t drink," she said. What she didn’t count on was the lung power needed to properly blow into a police breathalyzer. Having suffered from serious pneumonia a few years ago, she couldn’t manage.
That didn’t stop RCMP from making her try — over the next two hours, MacDonald says she was forced to stand in the chill and told to blow 15 times by increasingly snotty RCMP officers.
"He pounded on the hood of his car and shouted at me to blow. He shoved this thing in my mouth and it fell on the ground, and he picked it up and put in back in again," said MacDonald.
"I said, ‘I don’t drink, I haven’t been drinking,’ and he said, ‘you’re sticking your tongue in there because you don’t want do this — you’re slurring, you’re drunk and you stink of alcohol.’"
RCMP officials are now reviewing the conduct of officers that night, but try as they might, the Mounties couldn’t get a sample from the shivering, teary-eyed senior, who was wearing only sandals and a thin dress.
Thus, MacDonald was cited for failing to provide a breath sample, given a Notice of Driving Prohibition for three months, fined 0 and told her car was to be towed.
MacDonald wept, but she was sharp enough to obtain proof of her innocence, because in Canada that used to be enough to make those in power see sense.
Not anymore. Under a system about to be adopted in Alberta, drivers suspected of driving drunk, even under .05%, can lose their licences and cars without a trial.
Even after MacDonald took her blood test to the RCMP station, she was told nothing could be done…
Despite proof of alcohol-free blood, B.C.’s superintendent of motor vehicles adjudicator still found her guilty…
The ordeal took a massive toll on MacDonald — a few days later, she suffered what doctors in Calgary told her was a mild, stress-related heart attack, leaving her bed-ridden in hospital.
Back in Cranbrook, all she can do is wait.
"I’m nearly 83 and you have to cope with life, but through my years I’ve never been this traumatized over anything," she said.
"Especially when I’m totally innocent."
The War on Drunk Driving continues….
The 2010 Monitoring the Future Study was released yesterday. It shows a continuing decrease in underage alcohol consumption by American youth
An annual survey funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse and conducted by the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, Monitoring the Future study revealed that fewer teens are consuming alcohol. It continued to reflect a long-term, gradual decline in underage drinking among American youth.
Past month alcohol consumption and binge drinking combined for all three grade levels decreased significantly 2009 to 2010 (1.6 and 1.2 percentage points, respectively).
In addition, the survey reported that in 2010, 12th graders had the lowest recorded level of alcohol consumption since the inception of the Monitoring the Future study in 1975. Furthermore, 8th and 10th graders also experienced the lowest levels since 1991, when they were added to the study sample.
Since the inception of The Century Council in 1991, the proportion of students who have reported consuming alcohol in their lifetime either annually, in the past 30 days, or binge drinking has decreased among eighth, tenth and twelfth grade students.
To find out more about The Century Council’s programs and initiatives for parents and youth to stop underage drinking, please see our work.
In the wake of their recent success in requiring mandatory ignition interlock devices (IIDs) in the cars of drivers who have been convicted of drunk driving, Mothers Against Drunk Driving has been planning the next push: requiring IIDs in all cars. In other words, no car could be sold in the U.S. without devices which would require you to pass a breath test every time you wanted to start the vehicle. See All U.S. Cars To Have Ignition Interlock Devices?
I’ve posted in the past about how such devices are, at best, inaccurate and problematic. See, for example, Will Ignition Interlock Devices End Drunk Driving? These are not the expensive, constantly-calibrated high-tech machines used in police stations, but rather assembly-line equipment made by car manufacturers, subject to endless sources of false readings and failures — which can, ironically, cause accidents. See Ignition Interlock Devices: Dangerous But Profitable.
And I’ve documented that 3 of MADD’s 6 biggest corporate contributors are auto manufacturers who stand to make big profits from mandatory IIDs (another of the 6 major contributors is MADD’s telemarketing company). See The Truth About Ignition Interlock Devices..
MADD is now finally making their push for federal legislation. And based upon past successes with legislators unwilling to oppose MADD, the their chances are good. In today’s news:
MADD Lobbying for Device to Keep Cars From Starting in Driver is Intoxicated
Dallas, TX. Nov. 15 — …Now in its 30th year, MADD has a new plan and wants to end drunken driving for good. The nonprofit is pushing for the development of alcohol-sensing technology that prevents cars from starting if the driver is intoxicated.
Would you trust Detroit to mass-manufacture sophisticated breathalyzer technology for your dashboard?
From our neighbors to the north, a preview of things to come…
Cops Now Judge, Jury, Prosecutor
Vancouver, B.C. Sept. 24 –
B.C.’s tough new drunk-driving laws are giving police too much power and are putting a serious chill on the restaurant business, critics say.
There’s also widespread confusion over what the average person can consume, and safely drive. But supporters of the new penalties rolled out this week, which are the toughest in Canada, say one drink at dinner is one too many.
Under the new rules, testing for a blood-alcohol reading of 0.08 and failing a roadside test means an immediate 90-day driving ban, along with a 30-day vehicle impoundment. Drivers may face a criminal charge, and up to ,060 in penalties.
And being in the warning range of 0.05 to 0.079 means an immediate three-day driving ban, a 0 fine, 0 to get your licence back and a possible three-day vehicle impoundment — all for a first offence.
David Eby, executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, says everyone wants drunk drivers off the road — but handing police the sole power to impose fines, plus take away cars and licences without giving the driver a day in court, is dangerous.
"The police officer at the side of the road has become judge, jury and prosecutor," Eby said.
SFU criminologist Neil Boyd said on the one side, too many drunkdriving charges were being "evaded" in court by well-heeled citizens in B.C. — a problem the government can solve with new powers and penalties.
But "there has to be some recourse to the courts," he said. "There’s something a little awry with giving the police a rather extraordinary administrative power."…
By drunk driving charges being "evaded in court", I assume the criminologist meant defending yourself against charges — "a problem the government can solve with new powers and penalties". By turning the "trial" over to the cop.