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Posts from the ‘Safety’ Category

Smart cities can be vulnerable: That Dallas emergency siren hack is a warning of things to come

Salon, 15 April 2017
By infrastructure-hacking standards, the overnight triggering of the Dallas storm-warning system on April 7 was relatively benign. Starting at about 20 minutes before midnight more than 150 sirens across the city of 1.3 million people blared periodically, alarming residents in this tornado-prone part of the country. Worried that something was amiss, locals overloaded the city’s 911 emergency-calling system, causing what could have been harmful delays, while officials scrambled to figure out what was going on. They shut down the system at 1:17 a.m. and worked overnight with West Shore Services, a Michigan-based company hired by the city last year to maintain the network, to fix the problem, according to local news reports.
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Did Seattle’s mandatory helmet law kill off its bike-share scheme?

The Guardian, 18 April 2017
A small group of supporters, journalists and a city councilman gathered at the end of last month to take Seattle’s cycle share bikes out for one last spin. Mayor Ed Murray had pulled the plug on the Pronto system after two-and-a-half years of low ridership, financial troubles and waning political support.
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Where are they now? What public transport data reveal about lockout laws and nightlife patronage

The Conversation, 11 April 2017
It is vital that public policy be driven by rigorous research. In the last decade key policy changes have had profound impacts on nightlife in Sydney’s inner city and suburbs. The most significant and controversial of these has been the 2014 “lockout laws”. These were a series of legislative and regulatory policies aimed at reducing alcohol-related violence and disorder through new criminal penalties and key trading restrictions, including 1.30am lockouts and a 3am end to service in select urban “hotspots”.
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Air passengers face a bumpier ride due to climate change

RE neweconomy, 10 April 2017
Air passengers face various irritations when flying, from lost luggage to unappetising food. But one problem – turbulence – is not only unsettling for passengers but potentially dangerous too. What’s more, it is expected to worsen in future.

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VW ‘dieselgate’ [UK] payout offer outrageously low, says Sadiq Khan

The Guardian, 12 December 2016
Sadiq Khan has called on the government to secure proper compensation from Volkswagen for the “dieselgate” scandal, saying the £1.1m pledged so far was outrageous. The London mayor said the settlement was far too low compared with the £12bn payout achieved by US authorities for VW’s use of sophisticated “defeat devices” to cheat emissions tests.
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Clear air plans won’t punish drivers of older diesel cars, [UK] PM promises

The Guardian, 5 April 2017
Theresa May says she will not punish drivers of older diesel cars who were encouraged to buy the polluting vehicles under the Labour government. A crackdown on the vehicles to tackle poor air quality has been announced by the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, with drivers of polluting vehicles facing £24-a-day charges to drive in central London from 2019.
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Uber suspends self-driving car program after Arizona crash

ABC News, 27 March 2017
Uber has suspended its pilot program for driverless cars after a vehicle equipped with the self-drive technology crashed on an Arizona roadway. The accident, the latest involving a self-driving vehicle operated by one of several companies experimenting with autonomous vehicles, caused no serious injuries, Uber said.
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Minimum overtaking distance of cyclists rejected by Victorian Government

ABC News, 23 March 2017
The Victorian Government has rejected a recommendation to introduce a minimum passing distance for motorists overtaking cyclists, saying it will try a public education safety campaign first.
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Contested spaces: ‘virtuous drivers, malicious cyclists’ mindset gets us nowhere

The Conversation, 13 March 2017
I turn on the car radio and the radio station host asks listeners to call in to comment on the idea of introducing compulsory registration for cyclists. The conversations that follow illustrate once again that our roads are a highly contested urban space. As I expected, those calling in argue emphatically in favour of the radio host’s proposal. They claim it’s unfair that motorists pay for the roads cyclists use, that motorists should be able to report cyclists running red lights, and that cyclists should have insurance to compensate the cost of injuries or damage to cars.
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WA election: Cyclists to be protected by one-metre overtaking law under Labor promise

ABC News, 10 February 2017
Drivers will be required to leave a gap of at least one metre when overtaking cyclists under rules to be trialled if WA Labor wins the March State election.
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