Public Safety

In reversal, more areas allow high-speed police chases

Supporters of policy rollbacks say police pursuits can reduce crime; some experts aren’t so sure.

City-country mortality gap widens amid persistent holes in rural health care access

As rural health services continue to erode, population health declines and mortality rates increase. That endangers local economies and employment, rural health experts say.

Emergency alert: States confront EMS shortages

Minnesota declared an “EMS emergency” last month, but it’s far from alone. An outdated approach to funding the service is largely to blame, says experts.

2022 was the ‘worst year ever for bicyclist deaths,’ new data shows

Safety advocates blame the upswing in cyclist deaths on larger, more powerful vehicles that have become more common on American roads in the last decade.

Biden administration mandates two-person crews on freight trains

The new rules from the Federal Railroad Administration come after nearly a dozen states passed similar requirements in the last decade.

How teens can be safer drivers

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the U.S. Will raising the requirements for a driver’s license help?

In Georgia, inadequate housing can mean significantly longer stays in foster care

Even after resolving other safety concerns, parents can wait for months to be reunited with their children, often because of what advocates say are stringent requirements sought by the state’s Division of Family and Children Services.

Deadly fires from phone, scooter batteries leave lawmakers playing catch-up on safety

Lithium-ion battery fires move fast, blaze hot and are tough to extinguish.

One city's long and historic lawsuit against the gun industry appears to have met its end

After surviving 25 years of appeals, Gary, Indiana's efforts to hold firearm manufacturers responsible for illegal gun sales is likely over after the governor signed a bill aimed at extinguishing the suit.

With addiction bill passed, now Oregon faces biggest challenge

Counties have to build new treatment facilities to deflect people away from the criminal justice system but they only have a few months before possession is recriminalized.

‘Tough-on-crime’ policies are back in some places that had reimagined criminal justice

Several states are considering or have already enacted legislation undoing more progressive policies.

What’s the status of your EMS?

COMMENTARY | As rural communities struggle to keep Emergency Medical Services operating, how do we assess the condition of those services? Are we asking the right questions?

Why do our traffic laws prioritize speed over safety?

COMMENTARY | Reducing traffic accidents is not rocket science. Lower speeds mean fewer accidents and less severe injuries when crashes do occur.

4th traffic light would benefit pedestrians and drivers

Adding a white phase to stoplights that communicate with autonomous vehicles would decrease delays at intersections by 25%, researchers say, even when pedestrians are added to the model.

If schools won’t ban kids’ cellphones, some lawmakers say, they will

Florida now bans cellphones during class, and lawmakers elsewhere like the idea.

With AI, anyone can be a victim of nonconsensual porn. Can laws keep up?

States around the country are scrambling to respond to the dramatic rise in deepfakes, a result of little regulation and easy-to-use apps.

N.Y. governor sends National Guard troops into subway to tackle the “psychology of crime”

The New York governor's supporters say the specter of National Guard troops checking bags will make New Yorkers feel safer, but activists say it’s just a militarized version of stop-and-frisk.

As xylazine surges, some lawmakers want jail time for dealers and people who use the drug

The animal sedative is cheap, easy to get and sometimes winds up in other illicit substances.

Traffic deaths decline slightly, but remain higher than before the pandemic

Safety experts have struggled to pinpoint why traffic and pedestrian fatalities have remained so stubbornly high.

Chicago is the latest city rethinking disputed technology that listens for gunshots

More than 150 U.S. cities use ShotSpotter, but a growing body of research shows that the tool has not succeeded in reducing gun violence, has slowed police response times to emergency calls and often did not lead to evidence recovery.