Word out of Washington today is that new rules designed to help drivers avoid unintentionally backing over children have been delayed — again. This time, automakers complained that requiring rearview video camera systems on new cars and trucks would be too expensive.
The debate continues. If you recall, it was more than a year ago that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed requiring improved driver rear visibility in new vehicles. In most cases, that meant rear-mounted video cameras with in-vehicle display screens.
Phasing in the regulations was to be completed for all cars and light trucks by the time the 2014s arrived.
Published accounts said the rear visibility rules were required by a law passed in 2008 by Congress after a growing number of accidents in which children were injured and/or killed by being backed over. Specifically noted were blind spots for large sport utility vehicles and pickups.
Federal transportation officials said about 300 people are killed and 18,000 injured each year in back-over accidents. A large number of these occur in driveways and parking lots. About half of the deaths and injuries are children under the age of 5, but elderly victims account for a large number as well.
Back in December, lobbyists took to the White House the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers’ idea of using expanded mirrors rather than cameras to improve visibility on vehicles. The automakers said the mirrors could work and save costs.
Now, federal transportation execs say they need more time for research and analysis before instituting the regulations.
While both sides agree that the situation must be addressed, and knowing that the law is on the books, they continue to debate the cost and absolute regulation. Twice before the implementation of the law has been delayed. And still, back-over deaths occur.
See more on this topic in KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/PARENTING-OKLAHOMA or KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/TRAVEL-TIPS.
You also can read more at …
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: http://www.nhtsa.gov
Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers: http://www.autoalliance.org/
More accolades, more pride, more excitement, more good feelings.
Oklahoma sports connections have brought more POSITIVE attention to our state and we should be very appreciative.
Last night’s NBA All-Star game showed how Oklahoma City and the state in general have excelled.
Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder proved beyond question that he is among the best in the game. Named the most valuable player in the pro basketball classic, Durant led his West team to victory.
His Oklahoma City teammate, Russell Westbrook, also dazzled the crowd and the millions who watched the game on television, displaying the skills that have elevated him to the star level.
And Blake Griffin, who grew up in Oklahoma City, became a college star at the University of Oklahoma, then made the transition to bigtime standout with the Los Angeles Clippers, added his outstanding play to the West team.
These accomplishments are documented in KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/KEVIN-DURANT and KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/BLAKE-GRIFFIN. They follow other recent major achievements by Oklahomans.
The Oklahoma State University Cowboys, for the first time in their football history, finished second in the nation in the final polls after winning the Big 12 championship and defeating Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl.
OSU quarterback Brandon Weeden, of Edmond, was a standout at Santa Fe High School and talented in baseball as well. But his college career in football may pay off far more than his professional baseball career did. You can follow his entry into pro football at KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/BRANDON-WEEDEN
And then there is Wes Welker, the all-pro receiver for the New England Patriots and another Oklahoma City native. After a successful career at Heritage Hall High School and Texas Tech University, Welker has proven you don’t have to be the biggest player on the field to be one of the best. He and his Patriots made it to the Super Bowl and were so close to winning it all.
All of these athletes are winners and give Oklahoma reason to be proud.
The opening of the new I-40 East bound exits last January was a breeze! In fact, I was enjoying going back and forth between the Shields and Western exits. I explored streets that I didn’t realize existed. Two weeks into the new routine I was even making fun of the people who didn’t know how it worked. Yes. Karma came knocking on my door.
The West bound exits were opened on Sunday, February 19. I happened to be off work that week so yes, I completely forgot. I had a 6pm appointment in the Village so I left work right at 5pm, which is different for me as I work until 5:30pm. I started towards my comfortable entrance into I-40 and realized, ‘oh yes, we have a new system now don’t we?’ I immediately found Western and OH MY GOODNESS!! It was backed up with cars like we were in Houston or something. It was a massive 5pm rush hour backup. Of course my sister in Houston would have said, ‘you think that’s a traffic jam?”
I think I’m extremely downtown savvy so I thought I would just get to Penn. Yes Penn! Not remembering that my public relations colleague Terri Angiers with ODOT distinctly said on a television interview, ‘remember – Western & Shields only.’ I found what I thought was a Penn to I-40 West bound exit but instead it took me back to Reno. RENO?? Then there I am, at Reno and May, stuck in traffic again, checking in on Facebook at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds with a post “I can’t get out of downtown!” Finally I hit I-44 from NW 10th. Never touching I-40. I never felt so stupid.
I did make my appointment in time. It was only for a few minutes I was out of sorts but it seemed like an hour.
Day 2 of the WTH w/ WB I-40 adventure: I leave work at 5:30pm, hoping to miss the rush hour. I get to Western and get right to the I-40 on ramp. Hooray! But then there were three ‘this lane ends, exit only’ type exits to get me to I-44. Everyone seemed off kilter too and worse, there was a speeder who nearly back-ended someone. They weren’t letting me over either. It was nerve racking but I found my beloved I-44 exit heading north and nothing had changed with that! Homeward on!
The really good news its all temporary because it has a lot to do with the new boulevard going in. It’s going to be great. I had no problem saying good by to the old I-40 Crosstown. It was time. So I remain off kilter on my routine but that’s not so bad having a change in a daily routine. Soon I’ll have my third, fourth and fifth attempts and will get it down. It’s kind of cool too. We’re all apart of history. We were the first commuters to navigate. Maybe, just maybe this blog post would be put into the Oklahoma history archives!!
By Leslie A. Spears, new I-40 Crosstown adventurer!
An estimated 20.5 million people needed but did not receive alcohol or drug treatment in the past year.
Why did they not receive treatment?
* 40.2 percent were not ready to stop using.
* 32.9 percent did not have health coverage and could not afford treatment.
* 11.5 percent said it might have a negative effect on their job.
* 11.3 percent said they were concerned about the negative opinions.
* 9.9 percent indicated they could handle the problem without treatment.
* 9.3 percent did not know where to go for treatment.
* 7.8 percent did not feel they needed treatment at the time.
* 6.8 percent did not want anyone to find out.
* 6.3 percent sad they had no transportation and/or inconvenient
There’s another growing population that were not represented in this study.
It is our children who do not know how to stop. Their minds have been altered by the continuous ingestion of toxic substances.
Do not expect them to make logical decisions.
They are mentally ill and did not choose to be the way they are.
Stop treating our addicted children as criminals.
You don’t have to be a world traveler to have an enjoyable time for rest and relaxation. And there are plenty of spots right here in Oklahoma that can be entertaining and inexpensive.
Visit http://knowit.newsok.com/travel-tips and wimgo.com to learn what our state has to offer. For tourism purposes, the state has six regions: Frontier Country, Great Plains Country, Green Country, Kiamichi Country, Lake & Trail Country and Red Carpet Country. Each has its unique set of possibilities.
There are some wonderful museums throughout the state. Each of Oklahoma’s 77 counties has museums and/or historic sites that present the past, present and future.
See great worship sites, the large military installations and more.
There are major art exhibits, outstanding historical displays, noteworthy educational sites and lots of musical entertainment possibilities. You can, in a matter of hours, take a trip through time, from the age of dinosaurs to space travel and beyond.
There are top-notch sports venues, great places to get outdoors, as well as Oklahoma’s lakes and streams. Whether it be through the small towns or the large cities, you can see how the residents of our state make their livings and what their contributions are to the state, the nation and the world.
From artwork to natural beauty, Oklahoma has plenty to see. So plan a trip or two, a long weekend, or maybe your next lengthy vacation here in our state.
I recently visited with a father who was desperate to find ways to help his addicted son find recovery.
The son is in his early 30s and in jail. He never has been able to maintain sobriety for longer than a year, and is scheduled to be released soon. He faces a five-year prison sentence if he doesn’t complete a six-month treatment program.
The extended family and friends long ago gave up on his son.
This parent’s greatest fear is he will return to his world of addiction.
One reason he is likely to do so is his disease has convinced him that treatment doesn’t work for him. He has tried treatment programs over and over and continues to relapse, so he feels he is one of those chosen few who will just have to die.
That is the addictive thinking that can be altered if the addicted child can see a reason for hope.
Hope is given to the child through family cohesion which is expressed in an organized and supervised fashion by a licensed alcohol/drug counselor who specializes in codependency.
A professional should be involved in recovery because family and friends influence each other. The counselor needs to evaluate the status of this social system as the son re-enters his world.
Long-term recovery is much more likely when the child knows he has the potential to bond with his family and friends.
My primary point to this dad was he needed to stay involved with his addicted child, but not enable him. I do not want parents just to “wait for the child to hit bottom” because we know now that “bottom” is another term for death.
Also, a willingness to develop personal responsibility for better health is the key to long-term recovery. This is possible by forgiveness, love and hope shared with the child.
“Broken” author William Cope Moyers, who is in recovery himself, recently stated in a radio interview, ” … finally, one day, I decided I didn’t want to die and I needed to take personal responsibilit … There is no cure for addiction, but there is a solution and that solution includes personal responsibility.”
In reading his book, one element which supported the author in finding personal responsibility was he knew he had a supportive family.
As parents, we should stay involved – but do not enable — to prevent an addicted child’s death. We can replace our child’s dope dealer by becoming his/her “hope” dealers.
For all of you who’ve been wondering, here’s the release from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. It’s time for an opening!
The westbound Interstate 40 Crosstown traffic switch is planned for Sunday, Feb. 19, and brings about a big change for downtown area ramps including the Robinson Avenue and Hudson Avenue ramps.
For nearly 50 years, westbound I-40 Crosstown traffic has used Robinson Avenue as an exit and entrance to the Crosstown. Once traffic is switched to the new westbound I-40 lanes on Sunday, drivers will no longer be able to use the Robinson Avenue on-ramp as the Oklahoma Department of Transportation works to improve safety by eliminating weaving movements in the area. The Hudson Avenue on-ramp will also close permanently. The nearest on-ramps will be at Shields Boulevard and Western Avenue.
Those seeking access to I-40 from downtown or Bricktown events are encouraged to utilize Shields Avenue when leaving downtown. This is a convenient ramp for drivers and one that has added capacity.
The new westbound I-40 off-ramp to Robinson Avenue will serve as an excellent route for drivers going to the downtown and Bricktown areas. Also, the department worked hard to expedite the reopening of all four lanes of north- and southbound Robinson Avenue recently between SW 6 and SW 11 and that is now open.
“We’re hoping the advanced warning of upcoming changes with the downtown ramps will help drivers to plan their route changes and transition more easily,” Division Engineer Paul Green said.
Access points for the new westbound and eastbound I-40 Crosstown include:
New westbound I-40
· on-ramp from Shields Boulevard.
· off-ramp to Robinson Avenue.
· on and off-ramps at Western Avenue.
· off-ramp to Pennsylvania Avenue.
· off-ramp to Agnew Avenue.
New eastbound I-40
· off-ramp to Agnew Avenue.
· on and off-ramps at Pennsylvania Avenue.
· on and off-ramps at Western Avenue.
· on and off-ramps at Shields Boulevard.
For a map of the new I-40 Crosstown ramps and a detailed interactive route map, visit www.odot.org/newsmedia/i40-okc/index.php
Additional ramps will be available as construction progresses over the next two years. The flow of traffic on the new interstate will not be at its peak until construction is completely finished by 2014. The downtown roadway, commonly referred to by the City of Oklahoma City as the “Boulevard” will eventually serve as key access to the downtown area once it is completed.
Sunday’s traffic switch brings about a benchmark of progress for the I-40 Crosstown project. It is extremely important to realize however, there is a considerable amount of work ahead still with mainline I-40 as well as all of the downtown reconnections. Drivers are urged to remain alert to construction signs and slow down on the new interstate route as construction in the corridor continues. Drivers should remain flexible and allow extra time locating new routes.
As mentioned previously, transportation officials warned that while work on the new alignment had minimal impacts to traffic until now, construction is now near the downtown area and therefore, impacting traffic.
Daily closures will be noted in the Traffic Advisories section of www.okladot.state.ok.us.
In preparation of Sunday’s traffic switch …
Beginning Sunday, the existing westbound I-40 traffic will be narrowed to one lane between I-35 (Dallas Junction) and I-44 (Amarillo Junction) from 6 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or earlier if the transition is complete on the new highway. Also, starting at 6 a.m. all westbound I-40 on-ramps to the exiting Crosstown will be closed permanently in order to shift westbound I-40 traffic to the new I-40 Crosstown alignment. Motorists are strongly encouraged to avoid the area and use I-44 or I-240 to bypass the Crosstown during that time.
Because all on-ramps to the existing westbound I-40 Crosstown close permanently at 6 a.m. Sunday, motorists are advised to use I-235, Sheridan Avenue and other local roads to access the downtown area during that time, if needed.
As many Oklahomans discovered today, black ice is dangerous. It can turn what normally would be a smooth ride into a treacherous journey. And the temperature doesn’t even have to be at freezing or below for it to happen.
It’s one thing to see a shiny roadway and know there’s a good possibility of ice. It’s another to see what appears to be a normal, or possibly wet road and not realize that is has black ice until you’re upon it.
Simply put, black ice is a thin layer of ice that forms on roadways and is basically invisible because it takes on the color of the underlying pavement, which is usually black on an asphalt surface. It can form from freezing drizzle, wind-blown snow or freezing condensation. The ice can form even when the temperature is a few degrees above freezing.
So how do you know it’s there? If the roadway appears darker, duller in color, it’s very likely there is black ice present. The obvious sign, of course, is when your tires lose their grip and you slide. You don’t have to be speeding to lose control.
There are some things you can/should do to reduce the possibility of having a problem on black ice:
* First, make sure your seat belt is fastened.
* Drive with your headlights on low beam, even if it’s daytime. This makes your vehicle more visible to those around you.
* Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and those ahead of you.
* Keep your speed down.
* If you come upon a slick spot, take your foot off the gas and don’t slam the brakes. Tap them lightly.
* If you begin to slide, turn the steering wheel the direction you are sliding.
Driving experts also point to these reminders:
* Don’t think you are invincible just because you drive something like a pickup or sport utility vehicle.
*A 4-wheel drive vehicle is great for driving in heavy snow, but you’re on your own on black ice. In fact, the experts say, 4-wheel drive vehicles have no advantage over regular cars when it comes to driving on black ice.
* Make sure your tires have good tread. Worn tires make it much more difficult to drive on black ice. You want plenty of traction between your tires and the road surface.
* Black ice is most commonly found on roads near water (such as lake and rivers), in tunnels and in shady, or rural areas. Bridges and overpasses are also common spots for black ice to form. You probably have seen a sign “Bridge ices before roadway.” That’s because roadways on bridges and overpasses freeze more quickly. Even if you have been cruising down the highway with no problem, an overpass or bridge can be unexpectedly icy.
* And remember that if you have an idea that there may be black ice ahead, downshift to a lower gear before you come to it. The lower gear will force you to drive more slowly and give you better control of your car.
For more information about driving in winter or weather conditions, go to KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/SEVERE-WEATHER-OKLAHOMA and check out the resources.
I invited a very special mom to share her addiction journey with her daughter with you.
It is in the sharing of our struggles and grief that we are all untied and supported in our quest for recovery.
Grief is universal, yet very uniquely personal. Put into this language, a unique story of loss – loss of a child to addiction even though they continue to live.
“My daughter left out the front door. I ran after her. She got into the car of a young man. I screamed, “Please, please don’t go.” They drove off, and I fell to the floor and wept, and screamed, and wept, and hurt. My heart grieved – again!
Living with a child addicted to drugs is in my personal, humble opinion … one of the most painful things a parent could ever have to do.
You see, I counsel people in their grief journey. But one thing I have recognized is they have a place to move up from and get better. The loss is final. The story of a life is told with joy while the story of the loss is told with grief. Then the story of how they incorporate the loss into a meaningful chapter for their own lives.
What they experience is “healing from moving on or moving forward from the close of a chapter.” I soon realized that my grief is so completely different. My grief is mixed with fear of the future and trauma from the past path of destruction. You see we have loss in both directions.
Addiction can cause a parent to grieve the past and ruminate on what they could have done, should have done, should have known and didn’t do! We question our parenting skills, our sanity, and we question the entire child’s life.
We question what could have been and we grieve. We question the loss of our dreams we held for this child and we grieve. We question the signs and symptoms, and we grieve. We question our mate and those around us who have given up on our child, and we grieve. We question what caused this, and we grieve.
We question what the future might hold and we become fearful – and we grieve. We question how we will handle another relapse – and we grieve. We question what kind of life they will have – and we grieve. Grief seems to run backwards, forwards, and sideways. It is a very different kind of grief.
My grief recovery work began with telling my story to others who understand. It is in the sharing that we find relief. My recovery work also began with me. I had to accept the hard truth that my daughter has a disease and there was nothing I had done then that caused the disease.
I had to accept the hard truth that this disease of addiction will lie, steal, cheat, manipulate and anger me if I don’t stand up to the disease and refuse it’s tentacles to invade my own mental, emotional and spiritual well-ness.
My daughter’s brain is diseased and she will have to manage it for the rest of her life, if she wants to live well. My grief work also begins in the morning where each day I consciously choose to release her to the loving care of my Heavenly Father and trust in Him with her destiny.
I ask for the strength to accept it for just this day. Tomorrow, I begin again. As time moves on … I recognize that healing can and is taking place.
Our grief is loss of the child we once knew, the child who slowly died in our anticipation for dreams to be fulfilled, our grief over loss of what we thought would be, even our grief over the trauma from seeing the path of destruction – all of which can render us paralyzed in the reality of an unknown and unpredictable future.
We grieve the loss of our self. This grief journey can also be a blessing in that we are offered a silent valley to insight. We do draw closer toward a spiritual self as we soon realize how many things in life simply do not matter.
What begins to matter is the compassion we feel to those suffering from this disease and those loved ones trying to find their way out of the grief. We find our humanity – and that to me is “losing self to find one’s self.”
For me, finding that deeper place of spirituality means drawing near to my Jesus and becoming completely dependent on Him instead of becoming closer to the co-dependency of my addicted child. I am blessed to have found my Savior in the midst of unexpressible pain. I am blessed, and I am hopeful … again.”
– Paula Nevius, LPC, LADC
The following is Part 2 of my responses from parents on what they have learned from their experiences with addiction and their child.
“I learned that I can only control how I react to a person, a situation or a comment.”
“I have learned not to engage in arguments with my child. Disengage!”
“I have learned my daughter’s addiction is not my fault.”
“I have learned that a relapse starts well before an addict actually engages in substance abuse.”
“I have learned It is a disease and that is cunning, baffling and powerful. ”
“I have learned It is so much more powerful than I am.”
“I have learned I am powerless over my daughter and her choices.”
“I have learned that powerlessness does not mean helpless or weakness.”
“I learned the more I try to control another person place or thing the less peace I have in my life.”
“I have learned that consequences do not matter to addicts.”
“I learned that my daughter is a sick kid trying to get better and not a bad kid trying to get good.”
“I learned to ask for help.”
“I have learned that 12-step programs work.”
“I learned to trust the process. ”
“I learned to let my son suffer his own consequences.”
“I learned that there is hope.”
What parent’s have learned through their own personal recovery:
“I learned that there is a God and it is not me.”
“I learned that I did the very best I could with what I had … and that was enough.”
“I learned that I love my daughter with all my heart but I have my own life to live.”
“I learned to save myself and let my family watch.”
“To live in the present moment.”
“I learned to be grateful for everything.”
“I learned that there are miracles.”
“I learned that I am worthy of love and have a tremendous capacity to love other people.”
“I learned that prayer is powerful.”
“I learned to experience all there is in this life.”
“I have learned about accepting the things I cannot change and learned to have courage to change the things I can. ”
“I have learned to forgive myself.”
“I learned that fear is selfish.”
“I learned to trust.”
“I learned to laugh again.”
“I learned how to have my head, my heart and my body in the same place at the same time.”
I learned to love this life I am living one day at a time.”