PRIMA RiskWatch
Apr. 24, 2014

First responders warn of 'high-tech rubbernecking'
WHTM-TV
First responders are concerned about a disturbing new trend with drivers and smart phones. They point to a recent fatal accident on Interstate 81 in Harrisburg, Penn., that affected traffic for more than four hours. Everyone has heard of drinking while driving, texting while driving, and overall distracted driving. Officials call this newest trend "videoing while rubbernecking," and they are pleading with drivers to stop.More

550 cited in Minnesota for texting while driving during crackdown
Claims Journal
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says law enforcement officers across Minnesota cited 550 people for texting while driving during a recent 10-day crackdown on distracted driving. The enhanced enforcement campaign by more than 400 departments this month also netted nearly 1,400 citations for failing to wear a seat belt and more than 400 citations and arrests for driving with a revoked or suspended license.More

First responders ask Mississippi residents to mark homes
WLOX-TV
It's not a problem exclusive to Diamondhead, Miss., but residents who fail to post their addresses on their homes and mail boxes are making it tough for first responders to find them during times of emergency. As WLOX News found out, Diamondhead's unique street names only compound the problem. WLOX News found several homes in Diamondhead with no street addresses posted on them or on the mail box. Add some tough Hawaiian street names to the mix, and you've got the recipe for a first responder's worst nightmare.More

6 NJ residents charged in staged auto accident scene
Insurance Journal
New Jersey authorities say six Passaic County, N.J., residents played roles in a staged-automobile accident scheme that defrauded two insurance companies out of more than $78,000. Acting state Attorney General John Hoffman announced the charges on April 21. He said five of the suspects were arrested last week, while the sixth was issued a summons.More

Glendale's request to cover upcoming Arizona Super Bowl safety costs rejected
The Republic via AZ Central
The Arizona Senate rejected a bill that would have reimbursed Glendale for its public-safety costs surrounding the Super Bowl. The measure, House Bill 2547, would have allotted up to $2 million for the host city of a major event for safety-related expenses. The bill, which failed 16-10, was Glendale's second attempt to secure funding for Super Bowl-related expenses.More

Researchers say western wildfires getting bigger, more intense
Claims Journal
Wildfires across the western United States have been getting bigger and more frequent over the last 30 years — a trend that could continue as climate change causes temperatures to rise and drought to become more severe in the coming decades, according to new research. The number of wildfires over 1,000 acres in size in the region stretching from Nebraska to California increased by a rate of seven fires a year from 1984 to 2011, according to a new study accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal published by the American Geophysical Union.More

Colorado deaths stoke worries about pot edibles
The Tribune
A college student eats more than the recommended dose of a marijuana-laced cookie and jumps to his death from a hotel balcony. A husband with no history of violence is accused of shooting his wife in the head, possibly after eating pot-infused candy. The two recent deaths have stoked concerns about Colorado’s recreational marijuana industry and the effects of the drug, especially since cookies, candy and other pot edibles can be exponentially more potent than a joint. More

Passenger safety on Staten Island Ferry 'trumps all else,' DOT pledges
Staten Island Advance
Alarm bells did not ring for riders of the Staten Island Ferry after a South Korean combined-use ferry and cargo ship capsized and sank Apr. 16, leaving 113 confirmed dead, and over 190 others either missing or believed trapped inside the vessel, the country's Yonhap News Agency reported. From daily commuters to tourists, Staten Island Ferry passengers feel in safe hands while traveling across the harbor on the fleet of vessels that the city Department of Transportation calls "the safest it can be." More

Security firms thrive as safety standards tighten for public events
Reynolds Center
Authorities won’t say how much the extra safety measures along the 26.2 mile course of the recent Boston Marathon cost, but we can imagine. And with similar public events, from fun runs to patriotic parades to summer concerts to Fourth of July fireworks about to take center stage as spring rolls toward summer, it might be worth taking a look at the events security industry in your area and how stepped-up concerns might be creating business opportunities for some companies. More

Senate passes Colorado traffic camera ban
The Associated Press via KBTV-TV
The Colorado Senate passed a statewide ban on red-light and speeding cameras despite objections from some lawmakers that the bill would decrease traffic safety. The Senate passed the bill April 21 on a 21-14 and the House will now consider it. Supporters say the cameras are used by local governments to generate revenue, not improve safety. Sponsors of the bill also argue the cameras infringe on people's privacy.More

Joplin, Mo., school district readies community safe rooms for storm season
The Joplin Globe
Thousands of Joplin residents will soon be able to stay safe during storms in some of the region’s newest shelters. Community safe rooms at Cecil Floyd, Stapleton, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools, which double as gymnasiums, and Junge Field, which will double as a field house, are expected to be open within the next few weeks, according to Mike Johnson, the school district’s director of construction. More

California bill to curb medical marijuana passes key hurdle
Reuters via Chicago Tribune
A measure to regulate California's chaotic medical marijuana industry passed a key legislative hurdle in a move that could lay the groundwork to tax and control recreational use of the drug if it ultimately becomes legal. U.S. states are increasingly moving to remove curbs on marijuana following landmark voter initiatives in Colorado and Washington state in 2012 that legalized the drug for recreational purposes. Many more states allow medicinal pot.More

Helmet safety scrutinized by Texas school districts
KENS-TV
One of the big topics in sports these days are the safety of the players, especially when it comes to football players. Concussions have become a hot button issue from the NFL, to college and of course high school programs. San Antonio school districts are doing everything they can to make sure players are as safe as possible. ”Safety is number one, so we are going to take it very seriously, we are going to make sure a protective piece of equipment , such as a shoulder pad or helmet is first class," NEISD Athletic Director Jerry Comalander said. More

Door men provide security, safety at Greek parties, other events
The Crimson White
Nightly gatherings in Tuscaloosa bars, weekly Greek events and parties comprise much of The University of Alabama’s offerings for entertainment and social events for students. Besides the common elements of alcohol and college students, security and bouncers are present at almost any event and are tasked with the job of maintaining order and safety. “Your job is to prevent the problem, not necessarily to intermediate after a problem has occurred,” Anthony Reinoehl, a former bouncer for Gallettes, said. “You need to be physically capable of being able to intermediate if an issue does occur between two individuals.” Reinoehl said “bouncer” is really a misnomer for the role most bar security providers play.More

Anti-bullying act gives Minnesota school district tools to keep students safe
Stillwater Gazette
When a child steps onto the school bus, enters a classroom or uses the internet, there is the expectation of safety. For the Stillwater Area Public Schools, the recently enacted Safe and Supportive Schools Act will provide the district with tools to promote positive behavior in the classroom and beyond, according to Director of Student Support Services Paul Lee. “The district is very supportive of the act, and is a very good bill for us and other school districts in Minnesota,” Lee said.More

New York's 'Electric Zoo' to return with stricter safety measures
Radio.com
After two drug-related deaths at New York’s EDM festival Electric Zoo caused the cancellation of the final day of the event last year, promoters have announced that it will return this summer, albeit with “tighter safety measures.” Gothamist reports some of these measures will include the hiring of plainclothes security guards who specialize in narcotics, freely available water, free/cheap electrolyte beverages and drug sniffing dogs. More

Senator nearly hit by train during a train safety event
Mashable
United States Sen. Richard Blumenthal was nearly struck by a speeding train during a recent press conference — at a conference about commuter safety, no less. The conference, which was held on a Metro-North train platform in Milford, Conn., was meant to draw attention to an overhaul in Metro-North safety. But it ended up being a dangerous situation itself. More