Public Safety

News & Analysis as of

NC Legislative Update: 2015 Session in Review

2015 Session in Review - The North Carolina General Assembly adjourned just after 4:00 in the morning on Wednesday September 30th, 2015. Barring the Governor calling legislators to return for a special session, the...more

Health Alert (Australia) - November 16, 2015

In This Issue: -Judgments; Legislation; and Reports. - Excerpt from Judgments: Commonwealth. Federal Court 11 November 2015 - Ramsay Health Care Australia Pty Ltd v Compton [2015] FCA 1207 The Federal...more

The FAA (Re)Acts: Drone Registration, a Federal Task Force, and Hefty Fines

On October 19, 2015, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta announced a plan to require unmanned aircraft vehicle (UAV or “drone”) users to register...more

Senate committee examines unmanned aircraft system safety, privacy concerns

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development and related agencies held an Oct. 28, 2015 hearing on “Integrating Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System...more

Standard of Review in Discipline Matter

Professional Conduct Committee of the Saskatchewan College of Paramedics v. Bodnarchuk, 2015 SKCA 81, reinstating a decision of the College Discipline Committee. A paramedic was disciplined by a Discipline Committee of...more

USDOT’s Takeover of DC Metro Safety Program – Desperate Measure for a Desperate Time

In the face of repeated safety tragedies, a hyper-critical National Transportation Safety Board report, and general customer uneasiness, Secretary Foxx’s recent decision to have the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) assume...more

The Appropriate Punishment for Actual and Perceived Threats in the Workplace-Take Two; the Appellate Court (Sensibly) Speaks

Last year, I wrote about an unsuccessful attempt to vacate a puzzling arbitration award that overturned the termination of a school custodian who made threats of violence. In a decision that was officially issued on October...more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinion Affecting Local Government Law: September 17, 2015

The Virginia Supreme Court issued opinions on September 17, 2015 during its recent term.  This term resulted in one opinion affecting Virginia local government law, in the area of the Freedom of Information Act.  The opinion...more

New Study Says ... Pace of Adopting Active Safety System Should Be Picked Up

Vehicle safety systems are experiencing a period of development unlike any in the history of the industry. While the 20th century focused on passive safety systems, such as crumple zones, seat belts, and airbags, these...more

Ohio Now Permits Limited “Outdoor Refreshment Areas” for Open Containers

Recently, the Ohio legislature passed, and Governor Kasich signed into law, House Bill 47 which permits Ohio cities and townships to designate areas in which individuals can carry open containers to drink alcohol in public....more

Pennsylvania Appeals Court Reverses Lower Court Decision and Allows a Natural Gas Well Project to Proceed in a Residential...

On September 9, 2015, Judge Mary Leavitt of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania reversed the Court of Common Pleas of Lycoming County’s ruling, which had set aside the Board of Supervisors of Fairfield Township’s (the...more

EC Scientific Committee Will Consider Safety of Nano Titanium Dioxide in Sunscreens and Personal Care Spray Products

On September 14, 2015, the European Commission (EC) Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) posted a request from the EC for a scientific opinion on titanium dioxide (nano) as a UV-filter in sunscreens and personal...more

North Carolina General Assembly Week in Review

On Monday afternoon, 76 days after the new fiscal year (FY) began, Speaker of the House Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) and President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) held a press conference to unveil the details of the new...more

Support from the LA City Council for more public safety protections against drone use

The Los Angeles (LA) City Council (the Council) decided it would join the widespread efforts for more drone legislation, and endorse a series of federal and state legislation related to the use of drones and public safety...more

Connected and Autonomous Vehicles - Moving Forward in High Gear

This is my second and final installment in reporting on the Center for Automotive Research (CAR)’s 50th annual “Management Briefing Seminars” conference held earlier this month in Traverse City, Michigan....more

NHTSA Announces Record Setting Civil Penalty in Consent Order With Chrysler

In 2014, NHTSA collected a record setting amount of civil penalties. For 2015, NHTSA may be on pace to exceed last year’s record. On July 26, 2015, NHTSA announced a $105 million civil penalty against FCA US LLC, the former...more

Wireless Carriers and Text Messaging Providers Should Check PSAP Registry for Text-to-911 Readiness and Contact PSAPs

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) released its final public notice of updates to the Commission’s Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) Text-to-911 Readiness and Certification...more

T-Mobile Agrees to Pay FCC $17.5 Million to Settle 911 Outage Investigation

On July 16th, the Enforcement Bureau (Bureau) of the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) reached a $17.5 million Consent Decree with T-Mobile to resolve an investigation into two separate but related 911 service...more

Coders Oppose Government Access To Encrypted Data

A group of top coding specialists published a paper on July 6, 2015, arguing that law enforcement’s desire to access encrypted data is not only unfeasible, but would also possibly imperil the security and privacy of global...more

Status Updates: Driving while social; a small country’s Facebook ban; and Pinterest’s new purchasing feature

Driven to distraction. A frightening number of people are interacting with social media when they should be watching the road. As part of a public service campaign to stop distracted driving, the phone company AT&T recently...more

Keep Calm and Carry on with Nuclear Power, Part II

A little over two weeks after the 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, I wrote a column for The Hill, “Keep calm and carry on with nuclear power,” in which I stated: Now is not the time...more

FRA Issues Safety Advisory to All Passenger Railroads in Response to Recent Amtrak and Metro-North Derailments

On June 9, 2015, the Federal Railroad Administration ("FRA") issued Safety Advisory 2015-03 requiring passenger railroads to make operational and signal modifications to ensure compliance with speed restrictions. The FRA is...more

Minnesota Session Ends With Governor Threatening Veto

The Minnesota legislature concluded its business last evening with Governor Mark Dayton threatening to veto a $17 billion public education funding bill – a threat he carried through with earlier today. The governor issued the...more

Paul Watler Speaks: Save the Plane – Or Save Yourself From a Libel Suit?

Fear of liability may match fear of flying for many Americans. We all know that commercial aviation is one of the safest forms of modern transportation. But it only takes a gut-wrenching drop of an aircraft in the...more

As Drones “Take Off” Legal Consequences Remain Uncertain

Drones, also known as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), have received extensive media coverage over the past few years. Whether the discussions about drones are related to the unmanned...more

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