Can deadly habits behind the wheel be changed by technology?
That’s the aim behind a package of bills before Congress that could stop drunk drivers before they can even start a car, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported Thursday.
As district attorney of Nassau County, she prosecuted drivers in avoidable tragedies.
Now, Rep. Kathleen Rice wants to mandate a change to cars that could conceivably end drunk driving.
Her bill says within ten years, all new cars sold in the U.S. must detect a driver’s blood-alcohol content. She said the fingertip or breath technology is within reach and worth the price.
“You tell me if people didn’t think it was worth paying a little extra for a car to have a seat belt in it, or an airbag. These are technologies that save lives,” Rep. Rice said Thursday.
It’s too late to save Boy Scout Andrew McMorris’ life. He was killed by an alleged drunk driver eight months ago, but his mother said she’s fighting to save 29 lives every day.
“Imagine if we grounded all alcohol-impaired drivers the way we did the 737 max planes. How quickly would culture change,” Alisa McMorris said.
The technology is currently being studied by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and leading car makers.
Long Islanders Gusoff spoke to seemed to agree with Rice’s proposal.
“I think it’s a good idea. It stops intoxicated people from getting in the car and driving home,” one person said.
“I believe it’s a violation of our right to privacy, however I agree with the idea behind it,” another said.
“How many people have to die before something is done?” another person asked.
Rice’s bill also addresses another killer — distracted driving. Think of how many times you’ve seen someone texting behind the wheel.
“Clearly, not enough people are getting the message, that this is not acceptable and there is absolutely no excuse,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said.
Perhaps a better message is needed. Rice’s bill would allocate $5 million for national education on distracted driving. She is seeking bipartisan support.
A third bill would make New York’s “Leandra’s Law” a national law, making it criminal to drive drunk with a child passenger.
9-year-old genius to graduate university
(CNN) – A child prodigy from Belgium is on course to gain a bachelor’s degree at the tender age of 9.
Laurent Simons is studying electrical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) — a tough course even for students of an average graduate age.
Described by staff as “simply extraordinary,” Laurent is on course to finish his degree in December.
He then plans to embark on a PhD program in electrical engineering while also studying for a medicine degree, his father told CNN.
His parents, Lydia and Alexander Simons, said they thought Laurent’s grandparents were exaggerating when they said he had a gift, but his teachers soon concurred.
“They noticed something very special about Laurent,” said Lydia.
Laurent was given test after test as teachers tried to work out the extent of his talents. “They told us he is like a sponge,” said Alexander.
While Laurent comes from a family of doctors, his parents have so far not received any explanation as to why their child prodigy is capable of learning so quickly.
But Lydia has her own theory.
“I ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy,” she joked.
The TUE has allowed Laurent to complete his course faster than other students.
“That is not unusual,” said Sjoerd Hulshof, education director of the TUE bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, in a statement.
“Special students that have good reasons for doing so can arrange an adjusted schedule. In much the same way we help students who participate in top sport.”
Hulshof said Laurent is “simply extraordinary” and praised the youngster.
“Laurent is the fastest student we have ever had here,” he said. “Not only is he hyper intelligent but also a very sympathetic boy.”
Laurent told CNN his favorite subject is electrical engineering and he’s also “going to study a bit of medicine.”
His progress has not gone unnoticed and he is already being sought out by prestigious universities around the world, although Laurent’s family wouldn’t be drawn on naming which of them he is considering for his PhD.
“The absorption of information is no problem for Laurent,” said his father.
“I think the focus will be on research and applying the knowledge to discover new things.”
While Laurent is evidently able to learn faster than most, his parents are being careful to let him enjoy himself too.
“We don’t want him to get too serious. He does whatever he likes,” said Alexander. “We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents.”
Laurent said he enjoys playing with his dog Sammy and playing on his phone, like many young people.
However, unlike most 9-year-olds, he has already worked out what he wants to do with his life: develop artificial organs.
In the meantime, Laurent has to finish his bachelor’s degree and choose which academic institution will play host to the next stage in his remarkable journey.
Before that, he plans on taking a vacation to Japan for an undoubtedly well-deserved break.
New award to honor arts and activism named after Lena Horne
Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem
Two gangbangers aimed their BMW like a missile at a father and his 8-year-old son on a Harlem sidewalk in a horrifying incident captured by video distributed by police Thursday.
The BMW — driven by a man police believe is a member of the Gorilla Stone Bloods Gang — was zeroed in on the father, a rival gang member, said cops.
Around 3:45 p.m. Nov. 6, the boy and his father were walking on W. 112th St. by Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. when the BMW jumped the sidewalk and slammed into them both, said cops.
🚨WANTED for ASSAULT: on 11/6 at approx 3:43 PM in front of 128 West 112th St in Manhattan, a 32 yr old male was walking with his 8 yr old son when a white BMW jumped the curb & hit the father & son. The driver then got out and slashed the father. Call @NYPDTips with any info. pic.twitter.com/cwd79rcM4c
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) November 15, 2019
Father and son were both knocked through a gate.
The BMW driver then backed up — and its driver and passenger, also believed to be a gang member, jumped out of the car and ran toward the father and the son.
One of the attackers slashed the father, identified by sources as 32-year-old Brian McIntosh, who’s served prison time for robbery and bail jumping.
McIntosh and his son went to Harlem Hospital. Miraculously, the boy escaped serious harm.
McIntosh was so adamant about refusing to help police catch his attackers that the young boy’s mother had to file a police report alleging he was the victim of a crime, police sources said.
Cops released video of the attack, and ask anyone with information about the suspects to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.
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