Public Safety

Fariss Samarrai

Urban planners in Virginia are trying to make bicycling safer, but they’re hampered by a lack of statistics about who’s riding where.

Alec Gosse rides his bike to work at a Charlottesville company that analyzes data, and this year he was working on a PhD in environmental engineering. Those interests led him to try and solve a problem daunting city planners.

“There was no data for how many bikes were using various roads in the city.  It just didn’t exist.”

Without that information, they didn’t know where to make road improvements for cyclists.

Over the last several weeks, Governor McAuliffe has had the daunting task of reviewing 834 bills that were passed and sent to him by the General Assembly.

One stack of legislation on his desk addresses public safety concerns, including creating a new crime for a vindictive act that’s peculiar to the digital age: “revenge porn.”

A construction site accident at Virginia Tech last week, once again highlights the importance of safety measures at commercial construction sites.

Five people suffered non-life threatening injuries, when a hydraulic scaffold collapsed and fell about 25 feet. No word yet on the cause of that accident.

Falls by workers are one of the major causes of fatalities on construction sites. And while there have long been fall prevention regulations for commercial construction, OSHA recently implemented safety requirements for RESIDENTIAL construction as well. 

Texting-while-driving was already against the law, but now police have a new tool that will enable them to hand out more citations.

Supporters of the revised Virginia law hope that steep fines will deter drivers from taking their eyes off the road to read and send text messages.

Lawmakers overcame privacy concerns about police peering into vehicles as the evidence piled up about the growing number of deadly accidents due to texting. Bill sponsor Delegate Rich Anderson says now the law has some teeth.

Lawmakers React to Phone Records Review

Jun 6, 2013

Virginia lawmakers are having mixed reactions to reports that the Obama Administration potentially tracked phone records of tens of millions of Americans.

Politicians aren’t a shy group. But after reports came out that the National Security Agency has access to the phone records of Verizon’s more than one hundred million customers, many lawmakers became uncharacteristically close lipped.

 Audio FileMatt Laslo has the story from Washington, D.C.Edit | Remove