Monthly Archives: April 2012

Disconnects in the Distracted-driving Blame Game

By Jayne O’Donnell  USA Today

WASHINGTON – In 1930, former Massachusetts state senator George Parker tried to ban car radios because they were too distracting. He invoked the ire of both the Radio Manufacturers Association and motorists, who loved driving to music, even though early radios were expensive and sometimes burst into flames. After consumers protested at his office, Parker dropped the effort and decided to focus on drunken driving instead.


Drivers today are similarly attached to their cellphones and in-car technology. But unlike the drivers of the 1930s, they’re conflicted over efforts to regulate them. While a survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found
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Hoffenblum sees same-party runoffs in 34 California districts

By Dan Walters  Sacramento Bee

Allan Hoffenblum, one of the state’s most experienced political campaign consultants and handicappers, says that nearly three dozen congressional and legislative contests could be runoffs between candidates of the same party, thanks to the state’s new “top-two” primary system.


For the first time, candidates from all parties will be listed on the June 5 primary ballots and the two top vote-getters, regardless of party, will face each other in the November election.


There are 80 Assembly seats, 53 congressional seats and 20 state Senate seats up this year, and Hoffenblum, publisher of the California Target Book, a bible for election handicappers, says as many as 34 could wind
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Bill Proposes Changes to California’s New Redistricting Process

By Jim Sanders  Sacramento Bee

Now that California’s legislative and congressional districts have been drawn for the first time ever by an independent citizens commission, the 14-member panel is recommending ways to smooth the process in years to come.

The commission’s recommendations are contained in gut-and-amended legislation, Senate Bill 1096, proposed by the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee.

The redistricting commission, created by voter passage of Proposition 11 in 2008, drew Assembly, Senate, Board of Equalization and state congressional districts last year that will be used in this year’s statewide election.

By law, the panel consisted of five Democrats, five Republicans and four independent or minor-party voters. Three votes from each bloc were
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Fatal traffic accidents more common on tax day

By Amina Khan  LA Times

A study finds that there are 13 more traffic deaths on tax day than on other days. But the mad dash to the mailbox is not necessarily to blame, but rather stress in general, experts say.

Benjamin Franklin once said there are two certainties in life: death and taxes. Now, researchers have found that taxes might make death just a little more certain.


Deaths from traffic accidents rise 6% on tax day, that mid-April paroxysm of collective financial agony, according to a study published in Wednesday’s edition of the Journal of the American Medical Assn.


A pair of Canadian researchers tallied up U.S. tax day traffic fatalities for each
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Companies weigh risks of distracted driving

By Larry Copeland  USA Today

Distracted driving has emerged over the past five years as perhaps the top road safety priority in the USA. April is National Distracted Driving Awareness month.


Most attention has focused on individual drivers, especially young ones. Now, many businesses — concerned about liability issues in the face of new laws and the impact of distraction-related crashes on their bottom line — are beginning to develop policies for their fleet drivers.

A new federal law that prohibits commercial vehicle operators from using handheld cellphones while driving affects about 4 million truck and bus drivers, plus tens of millions of other fleet drivers. A commercial motor vehicle is one that
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Hybrid Approach to Digital Media Needed to Reach Insurance Customers

By John Del Santo and Carlos Lugo, Accenture  Insurance & Technology

More and more insurers are finding that their relationship with customers begins online. Through digital media – including the Internet, social networking, blogs, video, smart phones and other channels – customers have broad, immediate access to an extraordinary amount of information. They are using this access to search for, learn about and get advice on insurance products, services and providers. In fact, more U.S. consumers now use the Web to engage with insurance companies than use telephones. Digital channels are becoming the first source in determining which insurance products and services to buy.


In the $158 billion U.S. auto insurance segment,
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CalChamber Releases their 2012 Job Killer Bill List

By Denise Davis  CalChamber

Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Contact: Denise Davis


​SACRAMENTO, CA — The California Chamber of Commerce today released its annual list of “job killer” bills calling attention to the negative impact that 23 proposed measures would have on California’s competitiveness and job climate if they were to become law.  CalChamber also unveiled a new, one-of-a-kind website — — which will highlight California’s job killing proposals, policies, regulations, and legislators.


“This year’s ‘job killer’ list includes 23 bills that threaten to create further hardships and costs for private sector job creators in a time of unprecedented unemployment,” said Allan Zaremberg, President and CEO of the California Chamber
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Teens Still Texting While Driving, Survey Says

By Larry Copeland  USA Today

The high-profile campaign against distracted driving, especially among young motorists, has seeped deep into the national culture: April is Distracted Driving Month, and tonight’s season premiere of the Fox teen hit TV show Glee features a distracted driving crash cliffhanger from last season.

Nearly half of drivers ages 16 and 17 say they’ve never texted while driving, a recent survey finds.


Despite all that focus, a new survey from insurer State Farm indicates that many teens might still be ignoring the message.

The survey, conducted for State Farm by Harris Interactive, finds that just 43% of drivers ages 16 and 17 say they have never
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