PRIMA RiskWatch
Sep. 4, 2014

In DC, most gunshots happen near schools
Governing
A new report sheds light on how often children in one city's public schools encounter gunfire in a year's time. The Urban Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, looked at gunfire within 1,000 feet of public schools and public charter schools in Washington, D.C., during school hours in the 2011-2012 school year. The report suggests that government officials should pay attention to guns fired near a school, even if no police report is filed — and tracking homicides or other common metrics from police reports may not be enough.More

9 years after Katrina, New Orleans seeks to lend a hand to other disaster-afflicted metros
The Times-Picayune
It might have been after Hurricane Sandy delivered havoc to the Northeast in 2012 that the realization came into focus. When other states needed help grappling with disaster aftermath and planning to weather future storms, people in Louisiana got calls. The Greater New Orleans Inc. economic development group has tallied $327 million in Sandy rebuilding work where Louisiana architecture, construction, engineering and planning firms became prime contractors for state governments and the federal government.More

Chicago is working to prevent train suicides
McClatchy News Service via Governing
Signs on railway station platforms in Boston, New York and Toronto are intended to offer help to anyone who is emotionally distressed or suicidal — a last-ditch effort to keep people from taking a final, fatal step onto the train tracks. Increasingly, commuter rail agencies in those cities and in Europe have decided it's good public policy to partner with local suicide prevention organizations by posting 24/7 hotline numbers and urging counseling for those who are troubled.More

Brutality focus of suit against Ferguson, Missouri, police
The Associated Press via Claims Journal
A federal lawsuit filed on Aug. 28 alleges that police in Ferguson, Missouri, and St. Louis County used excessive force and falsely arrested innocent bystanders amid attempts to quell widespread unrest after the fatal shooting of a black 18-year-old by a white police officer. The five plaintiffs in the suit in St. Louis include a clinical social worker who said she and her 17-year-old son were roughed up and arrested after not evacuating a McDonald's quickly enough.More

Slowing down streets with art under your feet
Fast Company Exist
People have tried to control traffic and speeding since the invention of the car — maybe since the domestication of the horse. And for good reason: research has shown that when America got a nationwide 55-mile-per-hour speed limit in 1974, driving fatality rates plummeted, and when it was lifted in 1987, deaths increased. The good news is, in more and more places, art is coming to the rescue.More

Don't toke and drive: Marijuana-related accidents remain a hazy subject for insurers
Property Casualty 360
The liberalization of marijuana laws in states across the country has led to concerns that there will be a spike in weed-related traffic fatalities, but so far the numbers have shown that road fatalities have actually gone down in states with legalized marijuana, though testing positive for cannabis has gone up. Really? Actually, it isn't that straightforward.More

School starts in Chicago with more guards lining routes children walk in crime-ridden areas
The Associated Press via U.S. News & World Report
Chicago children returned to school walking past even more guards than last year, when concerns about safety prompted the city to line the streets with 1,200 adults every day. Thanks to an infusion of $1 million from the city, another 100 "Safe Passage" workers were lining routes that students walk through crime-ridden neighborhoods to get to school. And after Gov. Pat Quinn pledged $10 million, officials said another 600 of the workers would be hired and on the streets over the next several weeks.More

Drug testing and safety: What's the connection?
Occupational Health & Safety
Born some 30 years ago, drug testing in the workplace connects to occupational safety as a key component in protecting the safety, health, and welfare of employees, as well as the general public. Drug testing programs can contribute to the reduction of employee injury- and illness-related costs, including medical care, sick leave, and disability benefit costs.More

Massachusetts tells drivers their LOLs, OMGs can wait
The Associated Press via Claims Journal
Massachusetts state transportation officials first got the attention of drivers in June when they posted electronic highway signs that implored Bostonians to "use yah blinkah." The latest effort to combine a serious safety message with a touch of humor took place over the Labor Day weekend. This time the target was distracted drivers. It read: "Put down the phone! Your LOLs and OMGs can wait."More