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Archive for December, 2013

Speed Kills

December 12th, 2013 Comments off

It seems as though there are stories related to vehicle speed in the news consistently and some of those stories detail fatalities unfortunately.  Here are a few examples I found with a basic search:

Driver Kills Woman Doing 143km/h in 80km/h Zone

Driver Clocked at 233km/h on Highway (this one did not end in fatality luckily)

Couple Killed by High-Speed Drivers

If the maximum-posted speed anywhere in the country is 100km, why do we sell cars that can reach speeds of 260 km? I called 911 a few months ago because a vehicle driving at approx. 160 km passed me on the highway.  The driver was using the shoulder; not even a designated lane.

Outside of professionals on a racetrack, emergency response units and a few others, who are these lethal speeds necessary for; drunk drivers, criminals trying to outrun the police, street racers, young adults trying to show off? I read an article on a police blog that warns speed is causing an increase in fatalities and it suggests that an action plan is required. It reads…

Needed: An Action Plan The highway safety community-police, courts, engineering, and public education needs a new action plan to adjust to this paradigm shift and prevent the ship of safety from steering into this speeding storm. This action plan includes the following elements:

  • increasing public perception of the hazards of speeding
  • using new paradigms in highway design
  • setting self-enforcing and realistic speed limits
  • convincing officers on the need to enforce the speed laws
  • using metrics to target and evaluate efforts

I’d be looking at the bigger picture.  If this were contingency planning for anything related to disaster planning, big picture needs to be taken into account.

 

 

How to Know if They Are Faking

December 12th, 2013 Comments off

With all due respect to not only the deaf community but to anyone that relies on sign language as a form of communication, I have to say, faking sign language on a world stage for four hours is impressive.  Give it a try for two sentences.  It’s no small feat.

Thamsanqa Jantjie certainly has nerve.  Being partially deaf myself, and as a parent that has learned basic sign to help communicate with my special needs daughter, I found the fake interpreter disappointing for those watching the memorial, but had to laugh at the situation.

Mostly though, I was left wondering how exactly a fake interpreter got on stage beside world leaders?  Was he someone’s brother, did he get forced into the role as a last minute replacement or did he have fake credentials?

Well, the company that Thamsanqa was hired through has disappeared and Thamsanqa is claiming that he is a professional, but began to hallucinate at the memorial.  Sighting that he gets panic attacks and has previously spent a year in a mental hospital.

“Deputy Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu said an investigation is under way to determine how Jantjie was hired and what vetting process, if any, he underwent for his security clearance.” Read more…

What!?  Wait, “if any”!?  This is a person that stood within an arm’s reach of world leaders and admits he has a violent past.  Yikes.

A few lessons can be learned here:

1.   When hiring people through a 3rd party company, vet their vetting process – don’t take their word for it

2.   Conduct background screening of your own people – education credentials, criminal backgrounds, etc.

There is a positive in Thamsanqa’s actions I believe.  The world is now talking about sign language and its gaining attention from those that may not have otherwise known its importance.

Have a nice day.

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