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New law allows Ohio drivers to run red lights with specific restrictions

A new state law in Ohio allows drivers to go through red lights in certain situations, but police are cautioning motorists.

The new state law allows drivers to go through red lights if the light isn’t working properly and only if the intersection is clear of oncoming traffic. Police said drivers still need to stop, and they can’t drive through a red light just because they are in a hurry.

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"This is about safety," Kettering, Ohio, police Officer John Jung said. "We don’t want the driver to approach a red light, wait for a couple of seconds and determine that it is malfunctioning and then blow through a red light. You still have to proceed with caution."

Jung said city traffic laws are not always the same as state laws, so drivers need to make sure the law applies to the city in which they are driving. 

If a driver does go through a red light, he or she has the burden to prove it that was malfunctioning. 

"If they cause a traffic accident and it turns out the light was working properly, they will be the at-fault driver," Jung said.

Driving instructors said the new law has caused some confusion, with instructors needing to tell new drivers that it isn’t a free pass to run every light.

"This isn’t going to be an everyday occurrence," said D&D Driving School training manager Brent Praeter. "This isn’t something they need to do commonly at intersections when the light is red and feel (they) like they have been sitting for too long."

If a motorist does come across a light that isn’t working, he or she is advised to call police.

Pothole damage costs drivers $3B a year, AAA says

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A new study from AAA reveals that pothole damage has cost drivers around the country $15 billion in vehicle repairs over the last five years.

“Area drivers get that sinking feeling every time they hit a pothole,” AAA spokesperson Cindy Antrican said in a release. “They know there’s a price to pay, and 16 million drivers across the country have had to pay for pothole damage to their vehicles in the last five years.”

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According to AAA’s survey, middle- and lower-income individuals are the most worried about potholes, with the majority of respondents in households having annual incomes under $75,000 expressing the highest levels of concern over damaged roadways.

This is likely due in part to the financial impact, as pothole damage can lead to expensive and extensive vehicle repairs.

“On average, American drivers report paying $300 to repair pothole-related vehicle damage,” Antrican said. “Adding to the financial frustration, those whose vehicles incurred this type of damage had it happen frequently, with an average of three times in the last five years.”

To minimize vehicle damage, AAA urges drivers to ensure tires are properly inflated and have adequate tread depth, as they are the only cushion between a pothole and the vehicle.

If a pothole strike is inevitable, it is also critical that drivers slow down, release the brakes and straighten steering before making contact with the pothole.

To avoid potholes in the roadway, drivers should remain alert, scan the road and increase following distances behind the vehicle ahead.

NHTSA study: Driving stoned is much safer than driving drunk

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A new study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that drivers who smoke weed before getting behind the wheel are no more likely to crash than sober drivers.

This does hold true only after adjusting for age, gender and race.

It also means that high drivers have a significantly lower crash risk than drunk drivers.

Overall alcohol use also increases the possibility of a wreck by 6.75 times.

The Washington Post notes that several states have laws to separate "marijuana-impaired driving" from drunk driving, still handling the two similarly.

You can see the NHTSA's full report here. [PDF]

NHTSA: Walking can be risky especially on New Year's Eve

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A night of parties and over-indulging often leads to impaired or tired drivers and walkers.

Those and other factors combine to make Jan 1 one of the worst days to be a pedestrian.

Mother Jones quotes the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), "Between 2008 and 2012, more pedestrians died in traffic crashes on New Year's Day (and Halloween) than on other days of the year. IIHS also found that 59 percent of pedestrians killed on New Year's Day were drunk."

More simply, you 're nearly twice as likely to die when on foot Jan 1.

A highway safety expert says people know not to drink and drive but "the risks associated with drinking and walking aren't as clear to the average person."

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New Times Iron Fork 2014

Miami New Times’ Iron Fork is Miami's most highly anticipated culinary event.

Planned for the beautiful Hyatt Regency in Downtown Miami, the 2014 Iron Fork will draw thousands of diners and food lovers from across Greater Miami.

They'll watch two of our city's finest chefs go pot-to-pot in a sizzling showdown for supremacy overseen by famed "Mango Gang" veteran Allen Susser. Each competitor will receive a basket of foodstuffs — plus one secret ingredient — then create a tantalizing creation before a panel of local celebrity chefs hand selected by Chef Allen. The winner will receive the prestigious Iron Fork Award, signifying the area's top toque.

This year, on July 31st, we up the ante by partnering with the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau to kick off two months of discounted three-course meals at Miami's best restaurants during Miami Spice.

Miami New Times Iron ForkThursday, July 31, 20146:00 pm - 10:00 pmHyatt Regency Miami400 SE 2nd AveMiami, FL 33131

TICKET INFORMATION:

  • VIP tickets: $85
  • GA tickets: $50

OTHER INFO LINKS:

 

Stonewall Pride Wilton Manors

Join us again this year for Stonewall Pride Wilton Manors Saturday June 21st, 12noon to 11pm along Wilton Drive.

The Stonewall Pride Street Festival will be setup all along Wilton Drive from 20th Street to Dixie Highway with booths and displays from tons of South Florida businesses and organizations.

Stop by our booth on Wilton Drive in the Street Festival!

Visit the local shops as well as the street vendors for art, clothing, gifts, jewelry, music and much more. Many will be offering extraordinary pricing for the day.

The Main Stage will feature entertainment all day long with acts sure to please anyone's tastes...including a live full-band performance from SHEILA E. (The Glamorous Life).  Plus two additional stages will be set up along Wilton Drive for extra entertainment.

There also will be food trucks and frozen drink tents all along Wilton Drive.

Then starting at 630pm, the Stonewall Pride Twilight Parade will kick off and travel thru Wilton Manors with all your favorite on-air personalities.

The parade route will cover all of Wilton Drive from Ft Lauderdale High School to Five Points intersection Five Points is Dixie Highway, NE 26th Street and Wilton Drive.  Plus there will be an attempt to break a Guinness Book of Records for the Most Drag Queens/Kings in one location.

 More Info on Stonewall Pride Street Festival l Parade Info 

Traffic tickets that will cost you the most

Clark Howard is a nationally syndicated consumer advice expert

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Ever wonder exactly how much your auto insurance will go up after a speeding ticket? How about after 2 or 3 tickets? I have new numbers to share with you.Local governments have gone crazy with ticketing for everything because they're starved for revenue. You may recall that TomTom was busted in 2011 for selling database info to police departments so the police would know exactly where people were speeding and could ticket them. (The company has since discontinued this practice.)The calls I get about this kind of thing are usually about the frightful cost of tickets. But what I've not heard a lot about is what happens to your insurance premium when you get a ticket.

These traffic tickets will drive your car insurance premiums up!

The latest figures from BankRate.com suggest that less than one-third of drivers who got traffic tickets in the last 5 years are paying more for insurance. What really determines if you'll pay more is the type of ticket you get. For example, a ticket for DUI/DWI, reckless driving, or leaving the scene of an accident will eat you up beyond the pale.InsuranceQuotes.com has a new list of averages for what certain violations will cost you in auto insurance rates. Remember, these are averages, so your individual results may vary. But here's the scoop:

A single ticket going 1 to 15 miles over the limit will cause a 21% rise in your auto insurance costs. Going 16 miles over the speed limit will generally result in an insurance spike of just under 30%.

The best advice is stay 9 miles or less over the posted speed limit and you'll generally be safe. Particularly on freeways, those first 9 miles over the speed limit are like a gimme from police. Of course, this is not true everywhere; this is general advice, so use your discretion!What about reckless driving? A single ticket will raise your rates 82%! I had to do a double-take on that number when I first saw it! Similarly, a first-time offense for DUI or DWI will generally increase your premium by about the same amount.

Check out these ways to lower your auto insurance rates

Know that in some cases you can insulate yourself from higher rates by taking a driver safety course. These courses are often sponsored by the National Safety Council and run in 6-hour increments. Finally, don't forget there's really a world of possibility for reducing what you pay for auto insurance if you use a pay-as-you-drive insurer. A company like Progressive will offer you lower rates on insurance in exchange for giving them the right to spy on your driving habits. And they're just one of many doing this sort of thing.Looking for a list of the best and worst auto insurers? We've got it here for you. And don't forget about our list of the best and worst home insurers too.

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