What Kind of Driving Is Worse Than Drunk Driving?

distracted driving

Driving is something that pretty much every single adult does every day. They drive to get to work, to run errands, and take their kids wherever they need to go. Driving is such a part of everyone’s day to day life that no one really bats an eye at it. Everyone is used to driving, which makes driving more dangerous.

When people deal with something on a daily basis, they tend to forget how risky that something can be. This is definitely the case with driving. On its own, driving can be very dangerous. When travelling that quickly, it doesn’t take much for something to go wrong. This is why a driver needs to keep their focus on the road and the task at hand. Looking away for even a second can have deadly consequences.

Distracted Driving Isn’t Harmless

Distracted driving often seems harmless, which is why millions of people do it every single day. However, these people often fail to realize that by distracting themselves like that, they are increasing their chances of being in an accident. Cellphone use while driving is responsible for roughly 1.6 million car accidents in the US each year. This is around 64% of all car accidents in the US.

Cars are large, heavy objects moving at very high speeds. They need precise control to keep them operating the way we want them to. One small jerk of the steering wheel while driving at 50mph can send the car careening in an unintended direction. If a person takes their eyes off of the car in front of them, they might not see it slam on the brakes, which means they won’t have time to stop their car before slamming into the one in front.

It doesn’t cause much to cause a distraction, which is why certain activities should never be performed while driving. Some of these activities include:

  • Texting
  • Phone calls, hands-free or not
  • Smartphone usage
  • Eating
  • Applying makeup
  • Looking for something in the car
  • Talking to other passengers

All of these activities seem harmless, but reduce a driver’s concentration, thereby increasing their chances of being in an accident.

In some studies, it has been found that texting and driving actually reduces a driver’s response time more than being drunk. This means that texting and driving is more dangerous than driving drunk.

California Laws against Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is such a big deal that the state of California even has laws against it. What started out as laws against using a cellphone, expanded to cover other, common activities that could be considered distracted driving.

If any over the age of 18 is caught using a cellphone or other electronic devices, without hands-free, while driving will face infraction level charges, which means some small fines. Anyone under the age of 18 using any sort of electronic device, even hands-free, while face an infraction and possible suspension of their driver’s license or permit.

Don’t Drive While Distracted

When driving, it is very easy to become distracted. In most cases, looking away for a second seems harmless, and sometimes it is. However, there are plenty of examples of when a person looked away for a second and caused a car accident. If the driver is lucky, they will be able to walk away for the incident. Unfortunately, not all drivers are lucky.

Distracted driving affects everyone, from fresh new drivers to seasoned veterans. It is every driver’s problem, and everyone needs to commit to the idea of remaining focused while behind the wheel of a vehicle.

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Don’t Let Road Rage Ruin Your Life

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With summer in full swing, people from all over the state of California, and the rest of the country, are busy enjoying summer their vacation. While this is fun for a lot of people, the trips can be a bit taxing. Nobody likes to be stuck in a car for extended periods of time. Doing that can make just about anyone cranky. If this affects the driver, it can easily lead to a bit of road rage.

Pretty much every driver out there assumes they are better than everyone else at driving. Their feelings often get “proven” when another driver makes a bad decision. This can lead to road rage, which if not kept in check, can quickly spiral out of control. One Alabama woman recently learned this fact the hard way.

Road Rage Shooting Incident

In Dodge City, Alabama, couple were driving their car when things got a bit heated between them and another driver. As their road rage grew worse, the woman pulled a gun out. She attempted to shoot the other driver, but missed. She somehow ended up shooting her husband.

The wife was arrested and her husband taken to a local hospital in critical condition after being shot in the head. The wife is facing charges of attempted murder, second-degree assault, and reckless endangerment.

Tips to Deal with Road Rage

The fact that people have very little patience when they are tired and stressed is no secret. Everyone gets a bit cranky like this. For many people, they are most cranky and stressed when they are behind the wheel of vehicle. A person has to deal with so many people while driving, and it’s a good chance that they are just as upset. This is why driving creates prime conditions for road rage.

At the end of the day, no one wants to drive while angry. It just isn’t fun. Luckily there are ways to avoid and/or manage road rage.

  • Be kind. A person can prevent road rage from spreading by not shouting at other drivers or using rude gestures.
  • Drive safely. This not only means following the rules of the road, but expecting other drivers to not follow those rules. By being prepared for another driver to make a bad decision, a person is less likely to be caught off guard and become enraged.
  • Plan ahead. While not always possible, planning ahead and leaving at a decent time will make drives less stressful. When a person is running late, they become stressed and more susceptible to road rage.
  • Remain calm. This can be done by taking deep breaths and either listening to calming music or podcasts that get a person thinking about things other than driving. This also includes being understanding of other drivers and recognizing that everyone makes mistakes from time to time.
  • Stay safe. If an angry person ever gets out of their car to talk to a person, that person should make sure their doors are locked and keep on driving. If the other driver begins to follow the person, don’t stop. That person should keep driving and either call the police or drive to the nearest police station.

By doing these things, a person stands a better chance of not getting upset themselves, and not upsetting other drivers as well.

Stay Calm and Safe This Summer

Driving is a big part of everyday life, especially if someone is driving to their vacation. A person should never let road rage ruin their summer vacation, or their life. Things can change in an instant, especially when someone is angry. Don’t let that happen. Stay calm and remember that every other driver on the road is just trying to get to somewhere alive like you are.

Do you have a favorite summer vacation drive? Have you ever had a terrifying road rage encounter before? If so, tell us about it in the comments below.

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Are You Ready for Your Kids to Go Back to School?

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Summer is drawing to a close, and for many parents, this means that their child is going back to school soon. As far as parents as concerned, this is a great day. The kids will soon be out of their parents’ hair and preoccupied with their own daily studies. This can make a parent’s life just a little bit easier, which is always appreciated.

However, as calm as things can be when the kids are away, parents will always worry about their little ones. Parents are always concerned for their kids’ safety, even when they are a school. So while the new school year brings some peace and quiet, it does come with some extra worry too. Luckily, there are some things that parents can do to help their child stay safe at school.

Some Tips to Keep Kids Safe and Healthy This School Year

A parent’s biggest goal is to ensure the health and safety of their child. This can be a bit difficult to do though when the child isn’t with the parent, like when the child is at school. Luckily, there are still things that a parent can do to keep their kid safe when they aren’t around.

One of the biggest aspects of school, is a child’s backpack. The simple device will hopefully hold everything that a student will need during their day at school. This means that choosing and properly packing a backpack is very important. Here are some backpack tips to consider this school year:

  • A full backpack should not weigh more than 20% of the child’s body weight.
  • Always use both straps to carry a back and evenly spread the weight across both shoulders.
  • Choose a backpack with wide shoulder straps and a padded back to ensure comfort and good weight distribution.
  • Use all of the compartments in the backpack to help spread out the weight within the pack itself.
  • If a backpack has a waist strap, use it.
  • Don’t put a child’s name on the outside of a backpack, strangers could use that to their advantage.
  • Avoid roller backpacks as they can cause tripping hazards for other students.

When a child is walking, or biking to school, there are plenty of things that they should know. Somethings that parents should teach their kids include:

  • Never take shortcuts, especially through areas with low visibility. Kids should stick to parent approved routes in case the parent needs to find the child.
  • Walk in groups.
  • Wear bright colored clothes to be more visible to drivers.
  • Always wear a helmet while biking.
  • Use hand signals while riding a bike.
  • Follow the rules of the road.
  • Don’t listen to music while biking.

A few extra tips include:

  • Reinforce Stranger Danger rules.
  • Don’t pack lunches and snacks that can spoil.
  • Talk to kids about bullying.

Give Kids a Brighter Future

As a parent, it can be hard to not worry about kids when they aren’t around. If a parent follows the tips listed above, they can help keep their child safe this school year. That is all any parent wants. By keeping their kids safe, their children will be able to do well in school this year. This will, in turn, help set the kid up for a brighter future.

Do you have any school safety tips that aren’t on this list? If so, add them in the comments down below and help out other parents.

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Do You Know What to Do When a Traffic Light Stops Working?

downed traffic light

With all of the technology around us that helps keep the world running, it can be hard to imagine what things used to be like before that tech existed. How could people have lived without all of this amazing stuff? Well, every once in a while we get to find out. As amazing as all of this tech is, it isn’t indestructible, and can sometimes come crashing down.

Take for instance one of the most important bits of technology for drivers, especially those traveling through cities: Stoplights. These simple bits of tech may not seem like a big deal, but when they go down, they can cause quite a commotion.

Who Would Have Thought Traffic Lights Would Have Such an Impact

As drivers, everyone expects that everything will go their way. Cars will drive on the right side of the road, drivers will stay in their lanes, and use turn signals when needed. When something like this doesn’t work properly, such as a driver not signaling their turn or lane change, it can be frustrating.

What can be more frustrating, and even confusing for some, is when a traffic light goes down. Traffic lights can go down for a few different reasons, such as:

  • Power outage
  • Computer failure
  • Maintenance

When this occurs, all of the lights in the intersection will either blink the red light on and off, or they will go black entirely. This can cause a lot of confusion for drivers who were expecting the light to be working and telling them how to proceed through the intersection.

So, what are drivers supposed to do when they come across and intersection with stoplights that are not working?

How to Drive Through Downed Stoplights

The answer to that questions is actually very simple and straight forward. When stoplights go down, drivers are supposed to treat the intersection the same way they would one controlled by stop signs.

This means that drivers need to come to a full stop before entering the intersection. They should allow other drivers who reached the limit line before them to go first. So long as everyone is polite and takes their turn, things will move smoothly.

Some drivers assume that if the road they are on is a main road, and the other one a minor one, they on the main road do not have to stop. This is wrong. All cars in all directions have to stop before entering the intersection. Ironically, by stopping this keeps traffic moving in all directions.

Everyone has seen a working stoplight intersection before, and can reproduce it on a smaller, turn-based scale. For example, the traffic could proceed as follows, one car at a time per lane:

    1. Cars on the up and down road seeking to make a left can go first.

    2. Cars going straight on the up and down road go next.

    3. Cars making left turns on the right and left road go next.

    4. Cars going straight on the right and left roads go next.

    5. Repeat the process.

So long as everyone works together, things will run smoothly.

Just Take Turns

Dealing with a downed traffic light isn’t exactly fun. When people are driving, they expect everything to be working properly so that they can get to their destination on time. With all of the technology at our disposal, this should be easy, but sometimes, tech fails.

Something as small as a traffic light going down can greatly slow down a person’s commute. However, trying to rush through a down intersection only create more problems for everyone else. It is in everybody’s interest to work together and take turns.

Do you have another good example of when a small bit of tech goes down that had a bigger impact than you might have guessed? Share it in the comments down below.

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What Kind of Video Games Is Your Child Playing?

video game rating

Parenting is not an easy task, but at least school is there to take the kids away for a few hours each day. That helps. However, summer is now here and the kids are free from school for the season. It can be tough for parents to figure out how to keep their kids busy and entertained over the summer.

Nowadays, many kids are easily entertained with a video game of some sort. Luckily, there are plenty of games to choose from to keep the kiddies entertained. However, a parent needs to make sure that the game their kid is playing is appropriate for them. Some parents don’t realize that there is a way to determine what is in a game without having to play it.

How to Rate a Game

Video games come in all sorts of “shapes and sizes.” There truly is something for everyone, so long as they are willing to look for the right game. One of the ways that people can tell what is in a game, aside from reading the back of the box, is to look at the rating system. Every single game in the United States has a rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB).

The ESRB is tasked with providing consumers with the information to determine what kind of audience the game is made for. The ESRB examines a game and determines if its content is meant more for kids, or adults. Once a decision has been decided on for a game, the game receives a letter rating.

While some people may be confused by the letter system used for rating video games, it is actually pretty straightforward. The following letters can be used for ratings:

  • EC – EC stands for early childhood and are usually meant as educational games for very young kids. This rating isn’t used much in most games.
  • E – E stands for everyone, meaning that the game is suitable for all ages. An E game can contain minimal cartoon, fantasy, mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language. Games like Pokémon fall into this category.
  • E10+ – E10+ stands for everyone age ten and up. These games can contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes. Minecraft falls into this category.
  • T – T stands for teen, meaning the game is meant for anyone 13 and older. These games can contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language. The popular battle royal style game Fortnite falls into this category.
  • M – M stands for mature, meaning a player should be 17 or older to buy or play the game. These games contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language. Any first-person shooter (FPS) game, like Call of Duty, typically fits into this category.
  • AO – AO stands for adults only, meaning a person should be 18 or older to play the game. Admittedly, this rating is very rarely used. These games can contain prolonged scenes of intense violence, graphic sexual content and/or gambling with real currency.
  • RP – RP stands for rating pending, meaning the game hasn’t gotten an official rating yet. This is usually seen on adds for games long before their official release and therefore will never be on a game once it is available to purchase.
  • More information can be found on the ESRB website, as well as a helpful lookup tool, here.

    Be Wary of Loot Boxes

    Another thing a parent should be wary of in their child’s games, are loot boxes. Loot boxes are highly controversial at the moment with many people debating whether or not they constitute gambling.

    Loot boxes typically work as follows: A player acquires a box in game, sometimes by earning, though usually through purchasing the box with real world money. The player then opens the box is given a random in-game reward. If a player didn’t get the reward they wanted, they can always purchase another loot box to try again. This can very quickly add up to a lot of money.

    Some popular games that include loot boxes include:

    • Apex Legends
    • Counter-Strike
    • FIFA
    • Fortnite
    • Overwatch
    • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)
    • Star Wars Battlefront 2

    Due to these questionable practices, many governments around the world are weighing in on whether or not loot boxes count as gambling. Until governments can come to any sort of decision on this front, parents should pay attention to games with these, as kids have been known to use their parent’s credit cards to buy a lot of these loot boxes.

    Pay Close Attention

    Video games can be a great way to keep a child entertained this summer, so long as a parent is aware of what games their letting their child play. When a parent buys a game for their child, they need to make sure that the game is appropriate. If they don’t want their child seeing anything super violent, then M rated games are out of the picture. No cartoon violence, then T games are out as well. E and E10+ games are usually a safe bet for young children.

    Unfortunately, if a parent wants to avoid games with loot boxes, they are going to have to a look a little more closely at the rating box on the game’s case. Loot boxes themselves don’t currently affect a game’s rating with the ESRB, however they should be listed next to the games rating under the category of in-game purchases.

    Do you have a favorite child appropriate game? If so, share it in the comments below and help other parents find a good game for their child this summer.

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    Does the ShakeAlert System Work?

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    While people all over the country were celebrating the Fourth of July, Southern California got quite a shocking surprise. A magnitude 6.4 earthquake centered near Ridgecrest, California struck around 10:35 am. People from as far away as Orange County and Las Vegas felt the shaking from the quake. The area remained seismically active for the rest of the day, with another 5.4 quake striking the area around 4:07 am.

    This quake was followed by a larger one, 7.1 magnitude, on July 5th.

    This was all an important reminder for Californians that larger earthquakes can and will happen here. This drew the usual concern about how people should prepare for earthquakes. Some tips that we have gathered in the past on how to do this can be found here. This also drew some concern as people in redlands wondered why they did not receive an alert from ShakeAlert.

    What Is ShakeAlert?

    ShakeAlert is an early earthquake warning system meant to alert people to earthquakes before they start shaking an area. The system began working in the fall of 2018. There are thousands of earthquake sensors all over the state of California. When one of the sensors detects a quake, it sends an alert to a research facility that then sends the alert out to anyone who has the app on their phone.

    It is important to note that this system does not detect earthquakes before they occur. It simply detects the shaking at the epicenter and alerts surrounding areas. Thanks to modern technology, an earthquake can be detected and an alert send to the surrounding areas almost minute before the shaking reaches those areas.

    The technology is still in development is largely being used by researchers to study quakes and fine tune the tech. they hope that they will be able to expand the system and give people greater early warnings. While a warning of less than a minute doesn’t sound like much, it can do a lot for people. This kind of warning can help prevent planes from taking off and landing during the shaking. It can stop people from driving onto bridges or into tunnels. It can help utility companies shut down systems and prevent fires from flaring up because of the quake. Those few seconds can actually make a huge difference.

    While this tech is amazing, many people in redlands realized that they never received an alert about the quake.

    Why Weren’t LA Citizens Notified?

    While many suspect that they didn’t receive an alert simply because the system doesn’t work, they would be wrong. The system worked, however it determined that the quake would not be strong enough to warrant alert residents of LA County to the earthquake.

    As it currently stands, the system only alerts LA County residents if either:

    • An earthquake of magnitude 5.0 or stronger strikes within the boundaries of LA County.
    • An earthquake that happened outside of LA County will shake the area with an estimated shaking intensity of 4.

    While the recent July 4th earthquake was a magnitude 6.4, it was not located within LA County. The ShakeAlert system estimated that shaking in the LA County are would only be intensity 3. This is understandable from a scientific standpoint, as the difference in shaking between a magnitudes is bigger than people realize. A magnitude 5.0 earthquake is 10 times more violent than a magnitude 3.0.

    However, for many people, not being alerted to the shaking before it began worried them, and caused them to question the effectiveness of the ShakeAlert system.

    The System Does Work

    The thing to take away from this is that the ShakeAlert System does work. It only sends alerts to areas that are about to experience large amounts of shaking. This is likely done to keep the alerts more important. If the system sent out alerts for every single earthquake, which California experiences hundreds of little ones each day, people would begin to ignore the alerts all together. It would become a lot like the story of the boy who cried wolf. No one would believe the system when a big earthquake finally hit.

    Instead of getting upset that the system didn’t issue a warning for minor shaking, use this as a reminder to stay prepared. A person should have an exit strategy for any room they spend a lot of time in, whether that be at home or work. It is also a good idea to have some supplies stored away in the event that roads are too damaged to use and stores run out of supplies.

    Did you feel the Fourth of July quake? Tell us about it, and how well you handled the shaking in the comments down below.

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    People May Enjoy Fireworks, but Pets Don’t

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    The Fourth of July is rapidly approaching, and everyone is anxiously awaiting all of the celebrations. There will be food, parties, games, and fireworks. Celebrating the Fourth of July is a big deal, and a whole lot of fun. Everyone is looking forward to it, well, almost everyone anyways.

    While people are all very excited about the Fourth of July and how it is celebrated, there is one group out there that doesn’t enjoy the fireworks. Pets all over the United States have varying feelings about fireworks. Some are indifferent towards them, and others are outright terrified. A pet owner needs to consider this before they go out celebrating for the holiday.

    Pets Don’t Appreciate Fireworks

    Unlike humans, pets aren’t really big fans of fireworks. The problem usually lies in the fact that they don’t understand what the fireworks and explosions are. They don’t see all of the fuss as fun. All they know is that there are a lot of flashing lights and loud explosions that can shake the house. These sounds are already loud for humans, and are much louder for animals who have better hearing, such as cats and dogs.

    In order to make sure that a pet feels safe and secure this Fourth of July, a pet owner needs to be there for their animal. Here are a few tips for pet owners to help their pet stay safe this Fourth of July:

    • For starters, keep dogs and cats indoors for the night. This can greatly reduce the chances of the animals running away. This also means dogs should be walked in the late afternoon, early evening before any fireworks begin.
    • Pets should always have some form of identification on them, whether that is a collar or a microchip. This helps increase the chances of the animal being found again if it does run away.
    • Prepare a safe place or den for the animal in their favorite hiding spot. This way if they are scared, they can go someplace that makes them feel safe and comfortable.
    • Be calm and don’t yell at the animal. Yelling can stress out the animal even more.
    • Don’t force animals to cuddle if they don’t want to. Just allow the animal to do whatever it needs to in order to feel safe.
    • Close curtains and blinds to dampen light and noise coming in from fireworks. Also have a radio or TV playing, but not too loud, to help drown out the sounds.
    • Avoid leaving pets home alone on Fourth of July, this can cause more stress for them, and lead to them creating a mess in the house.
    • Never leave dogs tied up outside on the Fourth of July. That is a sure fire way to stress out the animal, which could lead to it hurting itself or running away.
    • Never take a dog to a firework show, even if they do not seem fazed by fireworks. This could still be a frightening experience for the pooch.

    Keep Pets in Mind This Fourth of July

    The Fourth of July is meant to be a fun holiday celebrating the nation’s independence. Unfortunately, while setting off fireworks is a fun for people, pets don’t appreciate the loud booms and colorful flashes. Fireworks can be absolutely terrifying for them. When a pet is scared, it is up to their owner to take care of them.

    Every pet responds to fireworks a little differently, so each pet will need its own unique solutions to help it stay calm. Do you have a pet that is terrified of fireworks? If so, do you have any tips to help keep it calm that aren’t on this list? Share them in the comments below and help other pet owners keep their furry companies safe and happy this Fourth of July.

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    Follow These Tips to Stay Safe This Fourth of July

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    There is no denying that the Fourth of July is pretty big deal here in the United States of America. What may be just another day for the rest of the world, is our country’s birthday. All birthdays should be celebrated with parties, and this holiday is no exception. Pretty much everyone across the country will be hosting or going to a party in celebration of the Fourth of July.

    One of the biggest ways that people celebrate this day, is by setting off fireworks. These fun explosives will light up the night sky on July 4th and fill the air with their booms and crackles. While setting off fireworks is tradition, and fun, a person needs to be careful. They do not want to end up rushing off to the emergency room because they mishandled a firework.

    How to Handle Fireworks Safely

    No matter how fun they may be, at the end of the day, fireworks are explosives. As such, they should be treated with the proper care and respect. If a person fails to do that, they could hurt themselves, or others. They could even cause property damage.

    In order to help prevent anything bad from happening this Fourth of July, here are few firework safety tips.

    • Children should not use fireworks. After all, fire is in the name and these are explosive devices. Children should not handle fireworks as they are much more likely to harm themselves or others
    • .

    • Don’t drink when setting off fireworks. Consuming alcohol makes a person more likely to make bad decisions and engage in reckless behavior. The same is true for drug use, such as marijuana. When a person is setting off fireworks, they need to be careful and fully aware of what they are doing.
    • Only light one firework at a time. When it comes to dangerous materials, a person wants to remain in control at all times. One of the best ways to do that with fireworks is to set them off at a controlled pace, one at a time. This reduces the chances of one misfiring and causing an out-of-control chain reaction.
    • Keep water sources ready and on hand. Used fireworks should be placed in a bucket of water to ensure they do not go off again unexpectedly. Meanwhile a hose or fire extinguisher should be kept on and nearby in case something needs to be put out.
    • Never attempt to fix duds. If a firework fails to go off, dump it in a water bucket and move on. Do not try to fix it. Doing so could accidently trigger it or cause it to catastrophically malfunction once triggered.
    • Designate one lighter. Again, fireworks should be set off carefully. Another good way to do this is to have one person in charge of setting them off. Everyone else should keep their distance from the launching area.
    • Set fireworks off on a stable surface. Wherever a person is setting off fireworks, it should be stable and level. Any slight deviation could easily send a firework flying in the wrong direction.
    • Never set off fireworks indoors. This one is pretty self-explanatory.
    • Follow local laws. California has strict laws about fireworks, and so do many cities across the state. A person should follow those local laws. They were established to help keep people safe.
    • Only buy fireworks from licensed vendors. California is very strict about what kind of fireworks a citizen can set off. These fireworks, labeled: Safe and Sane, can be found at fireworks vendors that pop up around the Fourth of July.

    Be Safe This Fourth of July

    The festivities common with the Fourth of July are meant to be fun. However, that fun can quickly be ruined if a person isn’t careful. One wrong action is all it takes to send a person to the emergency room, or to damage someone’s personal property. In 2017, around 13,000 people were hospitalized and over 18,000 fires were started by fireworks. That is why a person needs to be extra cautious when handling fireworks.

    Fireworks are spectacular sights to behold. Do you have a favorite Fourth of July or firework memory? If so, share it down in the comments below.

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    Shaming Parents Behind on Child Support Payments

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    Getting a divorce can be a pretty ugly mess, especially when children are involved. Custody battles can be terrible, and can cause rifts between both parents that last a lifetime. However, those differences should be put aside for the sake of the children, no matter which parent they end up with. After all, by having kids in the first place, both parents signed on to the job of taking care of and raising them.

    Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen after a divorce. Even though a parent may have lost custody of their children, they still usually have to pay some form of child support because children are expensive. If a parent doesn’t pay that money, the other parent will struggle to provide their children with what they need. This isn’t fair to the kids, which is why some California lawmakers are looking into ways to ensure that parents always pay their child support.

    Assembly Bill 1498

    In an effort to ensure that kids always get the support they need from their parents, some lawmakers here in California have authored a new bill. Under this new bill, some parents who are behind on their child support payments might get some extra encouragement to start making those payments.

    Assembly Bill (AB) 1498 was authored by California Assemblyman Tom Lackey and introduced to the State Assembly earlier this year. The bill proposes creating a new website that would publicly display important information about parents who are behind on their child support using a similar method that a few other states have adopted. Some of the information that would be on display includes:

    • Name
    • Photo
    • Amount of child support owed
    • Zip code
    • Number of children

    The idea is that by displaying this information in a public way, the parent will be peer pressured into making up those missed child support payments. It is important to note that not every parent who is behind on child support payments will be listed on the site.

    For starters, the ex-spouse of the parent would have to okay the act of putting the other parent on the site, since it could draw unwanted attention towards the children. On top of that, only parents who owe more than $5,000, have been delinquent for a minimum of 12 months, and have not made a payment in 6 months. The parent cannot be going through any financial trouble, such as bankruptcy, or be locked up in jail or prison to be eligible to be placed on the site.

    This proposed bill, of course, has supporters and opponents. There are those who that this sort of shaming is deserved if a parent isn’t doing their part in taking care of their child. However, there are those who argue that this is taking things too far.

    The Consequences as They Are Now

    Currently, when a parent is behind on their child support payments, there are some pretty big consequences. After all, this money is meant to help raise a child, and as such, falling behind on the payments is a very bad thing. Aside from the basic penalty of acquiring interest on the late payments, there are harsher consequences as well. Some of the consequences for falling behind on child support include:

    • Revoking the parent’s driver’s license.
    • Intercepting the parent’s wages and transferring them directly to the custodial parent.
    • Intercepting the parent’s tax returns or unemployment.
    • Placing a lien on the parent’s property.
    • Deny passport, or other government, applications.

    In cases where the parent has the money for the child support, but refuses to pay it, that parent could face legal trouble and jail time.

    Child Support Is a Very Big Deal

    Paying child support is a very big deal. In theory, it is money that would have been there had the parents not become separated in the first place. That money is meant to ensure that the child is provided with everything he or she needs growing up. That is why it is such a big deal when a parent falls behind on child support payments, and why lawmakers here in California are looking for more ways to ensure that parents keep up with parents.

    Lawmakers like Assemblyman Lackey hope that by publicly shaming parents who are behind on their child support payments, the parent will be more likely to avoid falling behind, or work harder at making up those payments. The idea is to use peer pressure in a good way.

    What do you think of this proposed bill? Is it a good thing, or are lawmakers taking things too far? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

    california smoking defined san bernardino bail bonds

    Los Angeles County Redefines Smoking

    california smoking defined san bernardino bail bonds

    In 2016, Californians voted to legalize the recreational usage of marijuana in the state. Since then California residents have been able to use marijuana however they want, within reason. However, this has caused some issues in certain areas as people smoke marijuana where other people would prefer they didn’t.

    On top of the rise of marijuana usage, electronic cigarette usage has also increased. It is no longer uncommon to walk down a street and see, or smell, someone vaping in public. As with regular smoking and marijuana, some people have a problem being around this as well.

    Due to this, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has recently expanded its definition of smoking. This new definition changes where people can smoke marijuana or electronic cigarettes within LA County.

    The New Definition in Los Angeles County

    On Tuesday, March 26th, the Board of Supervisors in Los Angeles County decided to redefine its legal definition of smoke and smoking. This new definition now includes smoke from marijuana and electronic cigarettes.

    What this means is that the smoking of marijuana, or e-cigs is now banned wherever smoking is banned in LA County. This includes county parks, government buildings, bus stops, outdoor bars, county-owned golf courses, beaches, and beach parking lots. Some of the beaches where smoking e-cigs and marijuana is now banned include:

    • Nicholas Canyon
    • Zuma
    • Point Dume
    • Dan Blocker
    • Malibu
    • Las Tunas
    • Topanga
    • Will Rogers
    • Venice
    • Marina
    • Dockweiler
    • Manhattan
    • Hermosa
    • Redondo
    • Torrance
    • White Point

    This has all been done in an effort to remove a loophole and help keep the air clean in smoke-free zones. Now non-smokers will not have to worry about second hand smoke from e-cigs and marijuana.

    This change simply reflects state laws surrounding marijuana usage that were already in effect. The same law that legalized marijuana in the state also outlined when and where it can be used. One of the stipulations is that marijuana cannot be smoked or used on or around government buildings or property. This new definition of smoking just further enforces this law within LA County, reminding people that smoking marijuana in public places where smoking is banned is illegal.

    Smokers Need to Choose Where They Light up Carefully

    The city of Los Angeles looks to further look into the matters of smoking marijuana and e-cigs, especially in regards to minors. They plan on looking at how other cities are handling these issues, and learn from those cities. One such example could be San Francisco, which is really tightening down on e-cigs, even looking to go as far as banning the production of electronic cigarette products within the city.

    So, while this new ban may seem strict, some of it was technically already in place due to the passing of Prop 64, at least as far as marijuana usage was concerned. However, for people who use vaping products, this could make things more difficult for them.

    What do you think of Los Angeles County’s new definition of smoking? Should other counties and cities follow suit, or is this taking things too far? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.