Operation Lifesaver notes increase in 2014 crossing and trespass fatalities

WASHINGTON, DC, March 11, 2015 – Vehicle-train collisions and deaths at highway-rail grade crossings and from pedestrians trespassing on railroad tracks rose across the U.S. in 2014, while crossing-related injuries and rail trespass injuries were lower compared to 2013, Joyce Rose, the President and CEO of Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) said today.

The national nonprofit rail safety education organization cited preliminary 2014 Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) statistics showing that U.S. crossing collisions rose 8.8 percent in 2014, to 2,280 from 2,096 in 2013; crossing fatalities increased 15.6 percent to 267 vs. 231 in 2013; and crossing injuries fell 14.4 percent to 832 from 972 in 2013. Fatalities caused by persons trespassing on railroad tracks and property surged 21.8 percent in 2014 to 526 (vs. 432 in 2013), while trespass injuries dropped 2.8 percent in 2014 to 419 (vs. 431 in 2013).

For 2014, the rail trespass casualty rate (deaths and injuries per million train-miles) is 1.23, its highest level in the last decade, and the highway-rail incident rate (incidents per million train-miles) is 2.98, the highest since 2008, Rose noted.

“Historically, highway-rail grade crossing collisions have dropped greatly in recent decades,” Rose pointed out. “While the number of people injured in crossing crashes and pedestrian-train incidents dropped in 2014, the statistics show that challenges remain in our mission to educate a busy, distracted public about the need for caution at train tracks,” said Rose.

States with the most crossing collisions in 2014 were Texas, Illinois, California, Indiana and Georgia. States with the most pedestrian-train casualties (deaths and injuries combined) in 2014 were California, Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania and New York.

“These preliminary 2014 statistics demonstrate the continuing need to raise public awareness through our national ‘See Tracks? Think Train!’ campaign ,” Rose continued. “Operation Lifesaver, in partnership with major freight railroads, commuter and light rail systems, state and local law enforcement, and transportation agencies, will be expanding the campaign and developing new educational materials to encourage Americans to make safe decisions around tracks and trains,” she concluded.

About Operation Lifesaver

Operation Lifesaver’s mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and along railroad rights of way. A national network of trained volunteers provides free presentations on rail safety. Learn more at http://www.oli.org ; follow OLI on Facebook , Twitter , Instagram and Pinterest .

Testing City Phone Lines

On Tuesday March 10th, 2015 between 7 pm and 9 pm the business line for the Bryan Police Department will undergo testing. There could be some outages on this line.

Our business non emergency number is 419-633-6050.

The testing will be for Primary Rate Interface (PRI)

This should not cause trouble with the 9-1-1 system. If you have trouble calling us on the business line during this time frame and need police assistance please use the 9-1-1 system.

Drowsy Driving – Who’s Most at Risk?

Anyone who drives is at risk of falling asleep at the wheel, but some groups of people are more at risk than others. They include:

• Young drivers – Combining inexperience with
sleepiness and a tendency to drive at night
puts young people at risk, especially males
aged 16-25 years.

• Shift workers and people working long
hours – People who work night shifts,
rotating shifts, double shifts or work more
than one job have a six-fold increase in drowsy
driving crashes.

• Commercial drivers – Those who drive a high
number of miles and drive at night are at
significantly higher risk for fall-asleep crashes.
Commercial drivers have also been found to
be at a high risk for sleep disorders.

• People with untreated sleep disorders
such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) –
People with untreated OSA are up to seven
times more likely to have a drowsy driving
crash. For some people insomnia can
increase fatigue.

• Business travelers – Frequent travelers who
may be suffering from jet lag and crossing time
zones, spending long hours behind the wheel
or getting too little sleep.
continued

Facts About Drowsy Driving
DDPW_banner_2http://www.DrowsyDriving.org

BBB Top Ten Scams of 2014

Better Business Bureau hears from thousands of consumers and business owners every year about a variety of scams and frauds. Many are new twists on existing scams, but scammers get more sophisticated every year in how they spoof trusted names and how they fool consumers.

While BBB doesn’t have specific numbers about how many people were defrauded or for how much, here are the scams we think were most pervasive this past year:

#10 Sweepstakes Scam: You’ve won a contest! Or the lottery! Or the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes! All you have to do to claim your prize is to pay some fees or taxes in advance so they can release your prize… This is not a new scam, but it is a perennial problem.

#9 Click Bait Scam: This one takes many forms, but the most notorious of the past year was when the Malaysian Airline plane went missing (“click here for video”). Other click bait schemes use celebrity images, fake news, and other enticing stories to get you to unintentionally download malware.

#8 Robocall Scam: The notorious “Rachel from Cardholder Services” made a resurgence in 2014. This scam claims to be able to lower your credit card interest rates and takes personal information – including your credit card number – and then charges fees to your card.

#7 Government Grant Scam: You get a call saying you’ve been awarded a government grant for thousands of dollars. It may even mention a program you’ve heard about in the news. All you have to do to collect your grant is pay a couple hundred in fees by wire transfer or prepaid debit card…

#6 Emergency Scam: This one is sometimes called the “grandparent scam” because it often preys on older consumers. You get a call or email from your grandchild or other relative who was injured, robbed or arrested while traveling overseas and needs money ASAP.

#5 Medical Alert Scam: Another one that preys on older folks. You get a call or a visit from a company claiming a concerned family member ordered you a medical alert device in case you have an emergency. They take your credit card or banking information but you never receive anything.

#4 Copycat Website Scam: You get an email, text message or social media post about a terrific sale or exciting new product. You click through and it looks just like a popular retailer’s site. But when you order, you either get a cheap counterfeit or nothing at all… and now they have your credit card number!

#3 “Are You Calling Yourself?” Scam: Scammers can make a call look like it’s coming from anywhere. The latest trick puts your number in the Caller ID, which piques your curiosity and gets you to pick up the phone or return the call… and then they’ve snagged you in whatever scam they are running.

It was almost a tie for the top spot this year, because BBB sees this one every day:

#2 Tech Support Scam: You get a call or a pop-up on your computer claiming to be from Microsoft (or Norton, or Apple) about a problem on your computer. They say if you give “tech support” access to your hard drive, they can fix it. Instead, they install malware on your computer and start stealing your personal information.

And the top Scam of the Year, because it’s just so terrifying, is:

#1 Arrest Scam: You receive an ominous phone call from someone claiming to be a police officer or government agent (often the IRS in the United States or the CRA in Canada). They are coming to arrest you for overdue taxes or for skipping out on jury duty… but you can avoid it by sending them money via a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. Another variation on this is that you’ll be arrested for an overdue payday loan. Whatever the “violation,” it’s scary to be threatened with arrest, and many people pay out of fear.

Why Scams Work:

There is a science to scams, and it may surprise you to know that scammers use many of the same techniques as legitimate sales professionals. The difference, of course, is that their “product” is illegal and could cost you a fortune. Here are the major techniques they use to draw you in:

Establishing a connection: The scammer builds rapport and a relationship with you. This is usually used face-to-face, as in home improvement scams and many investment scams, but also online romance scams.

Source credibility: The scammer uses techniques to make themselves look legitimate, such as fake websites or hacked emails that come from a friend’s account. Most email phishing scams spoof real companies, and many scammers pretend to be someone they are not in order to add credibility.

Playing on emotions: Scammers rely on emotion to get you to make a quick decision before you have time to think about it. An emergency situation or a limited time offer is usually their methodology. They count on emotional rather than rational decision-making.

What You Can Do:
•Don’t be pressured into making fast decisions.
•Take time to research the organization. Check them out on bbb.org, search online, etc.
•Never provide your personal information (address, date-of-birth, banking information, ID numbers) to people you do not know.
•Don’t click on links from unsolicited email or text messages.
•If you are unsure about a call or email that claims to be from your bank, utility company, etc., call the business from the number on your bill or the back of your credit card.
•Never send money by wire transfer or prepaid debit card to someone you don’t know or haven’t met in person.
•Never send money for an emergency situation unless you’ve been able to verify the emergency.

For more information:
•For more information on these and other scams, go to BBB Scam Stopper (bbb.org/scam). Sign up for our weekly Scam Alerts to learn about new scams when we do. You can report scams here, too.
•For more information on investment scams, go to BBB Smart Investing, a partnership with the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.
•To search for a business in the U.S. or Canada, or to find your local BBB, go to BBB.org.
•For information on charities, go to Give.org (BBB Wise Giving Alliance).
•For information on U.S. government services, go to: USA.gov.
•For information on Canadian government services, go to Service Canada.

Be a Saint. Drive Sober.

[Bryan Ohio]—St. Patrick’s Day brings to mind shamrocks, leprechauns, pots of gold, and good luck. But no amount of luck can save you from a drunk-driving crash. Unfortunately, March 17 has become a deadly day in the United States, with a dramatic spike in drunk-driving fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, during the St. Patrick’s Day weekend in 2013 (6 p.m., March 16 to 5:59 a.m., March 18), more than a third (40%) of all crash fatalities involved drunk drivers. The night of March 17—St. Patrick’s Day—was especially bad. In the post-celebration hours between midnight and 5:59 a.m. March 18, half of all crash fatalities involved drunk drivers. And we’re not just talking about a little bit too much to drink here; from 2009 to 2013, almost three-fourths of the drunk-driving fatalities on St. Patrick’s Day involved drivers who were twice the legal limit. So whether you’re buzzed or drunk on St. Patrick’s Day, it doesn’t matter. NHTSA wants to remind everyone that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving—drive sober. In 2013, there were 31 people killed in drunk-driving crashes on St. Patrick’s Day. All in all, during the St. Patty’s Day period from 2009 to 2013, there have been 276 drunk-driving fatalities. Every one of those lives was lost because of bad decisions.

Bryan Police offered this advice to partygoers: “Get ahead of the decision this year. If you know you’re going to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with alcohol, then figure out a plan ahead of time for how you’ll get home. Don’t wait until you’re too buzzed to decide, and don’t let your friends drive drunk.” Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving, so if you have anything to drink, count on a sober friend, taxi, or public transportation to drive you home safely. Not drinking? Maybe this St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll be the saint who drives your friends sober.

The bottom line is this: Too many Americans fail to designate sober drivers. NHTSA is working hard to make sure every driver knows the dangers of getting behind the wheel after drinking. According to NHTSA, in 2013 on average one person was killed every 52 minutes in a drunk-driving crash in the United States.  That totaled 10,076 drunk-driving fatalities that year. Let’s make 2015 different. Use this party-planning checklist to stay safe this St. Patrick’s Day.

NOW: Even if you don’t have plans yet, plan to drive sober or designate someone else to. Save the number of a taxi company in your phone so you always have a backup plan. 

WHEN YOU MAKE PLANS: A sober driver is an essential part of any party plan. Once you know where you’ll celebrate, decide whether you’re drinking or driving. You can only choose one.

ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY: Before you take your first sip of green beer, leave your keys at home or give them to a friend. If you’re the designated driver, don’t drink. Enjoy non-alcoholic beverages and brag about your VIP (very important partygoer) status online using the hashtag #designateddriver. Only drive sober or ride with a sober driver. Drunk driving has fatal consequences.

If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local police immediately. You could save a life.

Buzzed-pr

Search warrants at three Northwest Ohio locations for illegal gambling OIU, Bryan and Montpelier police departments worked jointly during the investigation.

(Toledo) – Agents with the Ohio Investigative Unit and officers with the Bryan and Montpelier police departments conducted three search warrants in Northwestern Ohio today as a result of a joint illegal gambling investigation.
Search warrants were conducted at two Cut Rate Tobacco Shops located at 1121 West High Street in Bryan and 1424 Whitaker Way in Montpelier, as well as the Petro 2 Truck Stop, 900 American Road in Napoleon.
Agents have issued administrative citations against Petro 2 Truck Stop’s liquor permit for seven counts each of acquire, possess, control or operate a gambling device; game of chance for profit or scheme of chance; operating a gambling house; and recklessly permitting public gaming.
Criminal charges will be presented to the prosecutors in each jurisdiction for their consideration.
During the search warrants Bryan and Montpelier officers seized slot machines, quarter push machines, records and money associated with the illegal gambling operation. Agents seized eight slot machines, one quarter push machine, records and money associated with the illegal gambling operation.
Once all criminal proceedings are complete, the administrative case will be presented to the Ohio Liquor Control Commission for their consideration. Possible administrative penalties include fine, suspension or revocation of the liquor permit.
Both departments requested OIU to assist them with the Cut Rate Tobacco Shop investigations. The departments and OIU secured a memorandum of understanding to assist with the cases.
The Ohio Investigative Unit agents are plain-clothed fully sworn peace officers. OIU is charged with enforcing the state’s liquor laws and is the only state law enforcement agency specifically tasked with investigating food stamp fraud crimes. Agents also investigate tobacco violations.
Follow OIU on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ohio-Investigative-Unit/165782203506269 and on Twitter by logging onto http://twitter.com/Ohio_OIU

Game Plan for Super Bowl Sunday: Are You Drinking or Driving? Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk

The Super Bowl is America’s most watched national sporting event. On Super Bowl Sunday, February 1, there will be lots of game day socializing that may include drinking. That’s why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and law enforcement officials are urging football fans to choose sides now: drinking OR driving. If you plan on drinking on Super Bowl Sunday, designate a sober driver to get you home safely.

NHTSA’s Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk campaign encourages people to make plans ahead of time that will prevent them from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking. Driving impaired could result in injury or death for you or others on the road.

According to data from NHTSA, in 2012 there were 10,322 people killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes in the United States—31 percent of all crash fatalities in the nation. A driver is considered alcohol-impaired with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, the legal limit in all states. This February 1, don’t become a tragic Super Bowl stat.

“Drunk driving is completely preventable,” said Matt Arnold of the Bryan Police Department. “All it takes is a little planning. We want fans to remember that it’s a choice. Drink or drive—but never do both.”

For those who plan to drink, leave your keys at home. Designate a sober driver, whether it’s a friend, relative, taxi, or public transportation. For those who plan to drive, refrain from any alcohol. Instead, enjoy the game with food and non-alcoholic drinks. Being a sober, designated driver is a key role on Super Bowl Sunday. You might just save a life.

Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk

Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk