Bus Safety Subject of Legislative Attention Following Last Weeks Charter Bus Crashes

In 2009, the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) released the Motor Coach Safety Action Plan setting forth concrete steps for improving motorcoach safety. The action plan addresses major safety issues such as driver fatigue and inattention, vehicle rollover, occupant ejections and oversight of unsafe carriers. With the two recent fatal charter bus accidents, efforts are being speed up the implementation of the safety improvements. Available technology includes collision warning systems that alert drivers to obstacles in their paths and tell them when they are swerving from their lanes, strengthening bus roofs so that they aren’t sheared off, as … Read the rest

Trade Group That Oversees the Refurbishing Of Used Football Helmets Announces It Will No Longer Accept Helmets More Than 10 Years Old

The safety, or more specifically the lack thereof, of football helmets has been a source of concern for some years. One of the problems is that it is common for a football helmet to be used for many years when its condition can deteriorate such as its foam cushioning becoming too stiff or the plastic helmet becoming too brittle from aging, leaving the players more vulnerable to concussions and other head trauma. There are no laws that place a time limit on how long a helmet can be used. Football helmets more than 10 years old are worn by about … Read the rest

Court of Appeals Broadens Ability of Persons To Recover for Injuries Caused by Negligently Operated Emergency Vehicles

A bit of a chill swept through the plaintiffs bar in 1994 when the Court of Appeals, New Yorks highest court, held that persons injured in motor vehicle accidents could not recover damages for injuries caused by municipal motor vehicles responding to an emergency responsible for the damages unless it could be proven that the driver a showing of reckless disregard for the safety of others, a much higher standard than the usual negligence. The court’s interpretation in Saarinen v. Kerr, 84 N.Y.2d 494 of section 1104 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law (“VTL”) caused attorneys to give great … Read the rest

Non-Profit Watchdog Group Issues Annual Report Card on New York State’s Protection of Nursing Home Residents

Every year the Long Term Care Community Coalition (LTCCC), a nonprofit that monitors nursing homes and assisted living facilities, publishes a report card on the previous year’s performance of the various government entities charged with protecting New Yorkers who rely on long term care services.

LTCCC just released its report for 2010, with mixed findings. LTCCC was impressed with the aggressiveness of New York State Attorney General’s Office (A), Office for the Aging (A-) and Medicaid Inspector General (A) in combating nursing home neglect and abuse.

LTCCC found that both the State Senate (D-) and State Assembly (C) were essentially … Read the rest

Now You Can Use Your Smartphone To Scan Quick Response Codes On Construction Permits To Get Instant Access To Property And Project Data

Quick Response (QR) codes provide smartphone users who have downloaded a free application with immediate access to data by scanning the displayed code with their device. Similar to how a barcode provides information through a scanner, scanning the QR code of any construction permit willallow the user to learn details about the ongoing project including the approved scope of work, identities of the property owner and job applicant, other approved projects associated with the permit, the complaints and violations related to the location and user will have the ability to click a link that will initiate a phone call to … Read the rest