Chad’s Morning Brief: Lubbock City Council Meetings Shouldn’t Be Split Up, Parents Who Backed Over Their Own Kids Sue the Federal Government, and Other Top Stories
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of September 26, 2013. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am. Remember, you can listen online at KFYO.com or on your iPhone/Android with the radioPup App.
Splitting Up City Council Meetings? No!
Tonight the Lubbock City Council will meet and according to Cole Shooter's KFYO News story, they will discuss splitting up the council meetings going into the future. The reason for this is because many council meetings have gone late into the night and even some after midnight.
Mayor Glen Robertson has said that this puts a strain on council staff and even elected officials who I guess can't think straight after 9pm.
Everyone who is currently serving on this council supported the idea of evening meetings. And it was the right move. The point of having evening meetings is to allow members of the community to attend and to participate in local government. The Mayor has said that his idea would allow for citizen comments but then tackle the agenda on Friday morning. That is a bad deal for the citizens of this town. Not many people can make it to a meeting on Friday mornings.
Government needs to be as open and transparent as possible. Evening meetings help to make this happen. If some members of the council can't deal with staying up until midnight once a night every other week then they can resign. Trust me, there aren't many on this council that we would miss.
Parents Blame The Government Because They Backed Over Their Kid
Wow. How about this as a key example of people running to the government to solve their problems. Parents are actually suing the Federal Government because not all cars have back-up cameras installed. These parents are mad because they backed over their kid.
Consumer advocates and parents who accidentally backed over their children plan to sue the federal government, forcing it to issue a long-anticipated rule requiring automakers to help drivers see behind their vehicles.
"If it takes this kind of action, that is what we're going to have to do," said Greg Gulbransen, a New York pediatrician who accidentally backed over and killed his son, Cameron, in 2002, and is a plaintiff in the lawsuit expected to be filed Wednesday. "We've tried so hard for so long, and now we're stuck."
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did not respond to a request for comment but announced plans Tuesday to start listing backup cameras as recommended safety equipment through its New Car Assessment Program, best known for its 5-star rating system. The agency also said it would immediately start identifying vehicle models with cameras on its website.
Officials said the recommendations will not supplant the regulation, which is now more than 2½ years past due.
The announcement by the federal agency comes two days after a Houston Chronicle report about repeated delays in the law.
"While adding this technology to our list of safety features is important, I remain committed to implementing the rear visibility rule as well," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill, who co-sponsored legislation to reduce backovers, called on transportation officials to release the rule. "With the technology available, we should not be asking parents and families to wait any longer," she said in a statement. "I hope that whether through the courts or the rulemaking process, we can act as soon as possible so that not another one of these precious children are injured or killed in preventable accidents."
As part of the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2007, Congress gave transportation officials three years to issue regulations that would help reduce backovers, which the government estimates kill about 100 children younger than 5 each year.
With the law in regulatory limbo five years after its passage, advocates from safety organizations includingConsumers Union and KidsAndCars.org announced plans to ask the 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals to order transportation officials to release the regulation.
After years of study, the transportation agency in December 2010 proposed a rule that would have required backup cameras on all new vehicles by September 2014.
But the Feb. 28, 2011, congressional deadline to issue a final rule came and went. Then-Transportation SecretaryRay LaHood used his power, written into the law, to announce delay after delay.
For 582 days, the rule stalled in a little-known White House agency, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which reviews significant regulations to make sure their benefits outweigh their costs. On June 20, transportation officials withdrew the rule from that office, saying, "further study and data analysis are needed to ensure the most protective and efficient rule possible."
At the same time, transportation officials pushed the deadline out another 18 months, to January 2015.
Janette Fennell, president of KidsAndCars.org, said the government's announcement about the safety recommendations is insufficient.
"Adding it to a list of recommendations is so far away from issuing a regulation," she said. "Recommendations mean nothing. There is nothing to stand behind them."
Advocacy organizations have successfully sued the government in the past to compel agencies to comply with congressionally mandated rulemaking deadlines, said Jeffrey Lubbers, a professor of administrative law atAmerican University's Washington College of Law.
Lubbers said a provision in the Administrative Procedure Act gives people the opportunity to sue agencies for actions that are "unlawfully withheld or unreasonably delayed." To settle the suit, the government can enter into a consent decree with the advocacy group and issue its regulation with court oversight.
The practice has rankled the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has lobbied Congress to ban what it calls the "sue and settle" process.
Gulbransen marked what would have been Cameron's 13th birthday this week. "Can't we just get this thing passed, get this thing through?" he said. "There are so many children running around that are about to be backed over and killed by the parents because they can't see them."
Other Top Stories:
These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.