Public Safety

Teens say distracted driving messages need to be catchier, more frequent and blunt

Young adults typically underestimate the risk of distracted driving, making it difficult for public safety officials to craft effective messaging.

Highway humor is over some drivers’ heads

States to drivers: READ OUR WITTY HIGHWAY SIGNS. Feds to states: YOU’RE NOT FUNNY.

Greater focus on crime sparks another wave of juvenile justice bills

Nearly every state this legislative session considered changes in juvenile age limits, detention or education programs.

To drive revenue, cities turn to tech to fix their parking problems

Parking brings in $3 billion a year for state and local governments. That's why they are using new technologies to help push parking reforms aimed at streamlining enforcement and increasing revenues and environmental friendliness.

Spike in pedestrian deaths hits nearly all metros

The Memphis area leads the nation in pedestrian deaths, but almost all metropolitan areas have become more dangerous for walkers, according to a new report.

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New veteran justice program aims to steer veterans back to ‘hero status’

Nebraska is the first state to adopt recommendations from a commission on veteran justice that calls for treatment and case plans that address military service-connected conditions that contributed to criminal offenses.

Can a ‘sprint’ to a medical emergency solve states’ EMS shortages?

Minnesota lawmakers have approved a so-called sprint paramedic program to confront the state's worsening rural emergency response.

Skateboarding’s latest trick: Reviving cities

New skate plazas are proving that making spaces skateable makes them safer and more dynamic, too.

Florida’s school safety dashboard helps parents and teachers address root causes of misbehavior

COMMENTARY | School leaders can use the dashboard to identify areas of concern in their own school—such as an increasing pattern of fights—and then develop evidence-based solutions and training to address the issues.

Amid campus protests nationwide, DC’s response stands out

The capital city’s police department cleared an encampment at a local university following pressure from House Republicans to be more forceful. But the District’s reluctance to take action sooner underlies lessons officials learned decades ago about the perils of aggressive enforcement.

The possibility of parole: A powerful incentive that makes us all safer

COMMENTARY | Researchers have found that offenders incarcerated under truth-in-sentencing laws racked up more disciplinary infractions and engaged in fewer rehabilitation programs. And after release, they were much more likely to reoffend.

Mandatory reporting laws meant to protect children get another look

Some states are considering rolling back these laws, saying the result has been too many unfounded reports that disproportionately harm families who are poor, Black, or Indigenous or have members with disabilities.

States are required to background check child care workers. Many are falling short.

Dozens of states are out of compliance with at least one component of a federal law’s requirements, a congressional report found. But the problems are so complicated, it’s unclear if anyone has a solution.

911 call centers cope with more calls, fewer workers

Staff shortages are forcing emergency call center workers to pick up more overtime, work longer hours, adding extra pressure to an already stressful job, a new survey found.

To stop fentanyl deaths in Philadelphia, knocking on doors and handing out overdose kits

City officials hope that this proactive approach will normalize naloxone as an everyday item in the medicine cabinet, and prevent people from dying of overdoses, especially Black residents.

Majority of American teachers worry about shootings at their schools, survey shows

Most educators favor more mental health screening for students and oppose arming teachers, though their views are more divided when it comes to whether security officers should have weapons.

8 years into America’s e-scooter experiment, what have we learned?

The climate benefits of shared e-scooters depend upon how companies deploy and manage them, and what steps are taken to keep riders safe.

Powering down: To prevent wildfires, states try turning off the grid

COMMENTARY | The trend started in California, but now more states are opting to shut off power to parts of the grid in extreme conditions.

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.