Earning State’s HEARTSafe Designation Can Be Key to Saving Lives; UConn Is Most Recent Participant, Some Municipalities Remain Absent

Earning State’s HEARTSafe Designation Can Be Key to Saving Lives; UConn Is Most Recent Participant, Some Municipalities Remain Absent

The University of Connecticut was recently named a “HEARTSafe Campus” – the first institution of higher education in the state of Connecticut to earn the designation. The “HEARTSafe” program recognizes communities, workplaces, and campuses that improve the chances for individuals to survive a sudden cardiac arrest. Not every town is on board.

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Task Force to Review Mental Health Services for College Students Approved by Legislature

Task Force to Review Mental Health Services for College Students Approved by Legislature

In the state legislature’s final hour of the 2019 session, the House voted without objection, following unanimous support in April by the Senate, to create a task force to study of the policies and procedures adopted by each institution of  higher education in Connecticut regarding the prevention and treatment of mental illness in students. 

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UConn Earns Defense Industry Dollars, Research Designation

UConn Earns Defense Industry Dollars, Research Designation

Connecticut’s economic dependence on the defense industry is evident not only across the industry, but at the state’s flagship university. In recent months, the University of Connecticut has been re-designated as a National Security Agency/Department of Homeland Security Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research and landed a four-year, $5.4 million contract with the Air Force

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Banks, Regulated by Federal Government, Obliged to Say No To Marijuana Businesses - States Urge Congress to Act

Banks, Regulated by Federal Government, Obliged to Say No To Marijuana Businesses - States Urge Congress to Act

Attorney General William Tong has joined a bipartisan coalition of 38 states and territorial attorneys general urging Congress to pass the federal Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act or similar measures that would give legal marijuana-related businesses access to the federal banking system. Today, banks say no to marijuana-related businesses due to the ongoing conflict between state and federal law.

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Municipalities Can Apply for Federal Bridge Repair Funds From State Through May 31; Hundreds of Projects Eligible

Municipalities Can Apply for Federal Bridge Repair Funds From State Through May 31; Hundreds of Projects Eligible

There are more than 3,400 bridges and culverts on municipally maintained roads, according to the state Department of Transportation. Construction and maintenance is the responsibility of the cities and towns who own them. Currently, 688 bridges or culverts located in the state’s municipalities are considered to be functionally obsolete and 205 are categorized as structurally deficient. 

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Will Legislature Act to Re-open Highway Rest Stops? Maybe, Maybe Not

Will Legislature Act to Re-open Highway Rest Stops?  Maybe, Maybe Not

Legislative testimony says highway “rest areas are more than a public convenience” - they also “provide a public safety benefit.” Whether the state’s closed rest facilities will re-open is uncertain, as the fate, timing and impact of legislative proposals suggest change may not be imminent.

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Pedestrian Deaths Climb in Connecticut, Nationwide

The number of pedestrian deaths in Connecticut in the first half of 2018 jumped by 53 percent compared to the same period the previous year, according to preliminary data released by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association. There were 29 pedestrian deaths between January and June in Connecticut in 2018, compared with 19 between January and June 2017.  Based on population, Connecticut’s fatality rate was 16th among the states.

Nationwide, there was a 3 percent increases, as the number of pedestrian deaths climbed from 2,790 to 2,876 during the six month periods.  Five states (Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, and Texas) accounted for almost half — 46 percent — of all pedestrian deaths during the first six months of 2018.

Overall, pedestrian fatalities during the first half of 2018 declined in 23 states compared with the same period in 2017.   Six states (Alabama, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, Oklahoma and Wisconsin) reported double-digit declines in both the number and percent change in pedestrian fatalities from the same period in 2017. Three states (Iowa, New Hampshire and Utah) reported two consecutive years of declining numbers of pedestrian fatalities.

During the 10-year period of 2008 to 2017, according to the National Highway traffic Safety Administration, the number of pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. increased by 35 percent, from 4,414 deaths in 2008 to 5,977 deaths in 2017. This translates into more than 1,500 additional pedestrian deaths in 2017 compared with 2008. At the same time that pedestrian deaths have been increasing, the number of all other traffic deaths combined decreased by six percent.

In its review of state efforts to promote pedestrian safety, an initiative in Connecticut is highlighted:  “Connecticut introduced the “Watch for Me CT” campaign, which is a statewide educational community outreach campaign involving media components and community engagement in partnership with CT Children’s Medical Center.” A statewide signage project was recently completed to ensure pedestrian signage was up to date with current standards, including near schools and bus stops, the report states, indicating that “every state is addressing pedestrian safety using a combination of engineering, education and enforcement.”

In addition, the GHSA report indicates that nationwide “about 75 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur after dark, and increases in pedestrian fatalities are occurring largely at night. From 2008 to 2017 the number of nighttime pedestrian fatalities increased by 45 percent, compared to a much smaller, 11 percent increase in daytime pedestrian fatalities.”

The change in the prevalence of various vehicle-types on the road is also noted, with the report pointing out that pedestrians struck by a large SUV are twice as likely to die as those struck by car.