Greg Longino, a deputy chief with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving early Thursday on the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway and was booked into the St. Tammany Parish jail he oversaw as warden and, more recently, as deputy chief in charge of corrections.
It is important to pay attention while driving. Everyone is probably aware of the dangers of distracted driving. Everyone is also familiar with all of the usual suspects – texting while driving, talking on the phone, fiddling with the radio, eating or drinking, and everything else that takes your hands off the wheel and attention off the road. Did you know that most people who have been involved in an accident weren’t exhibiting these types of blatant disregard for safety? There are also some sneaky and surprising ways that you could be distracted while driving. Here are 4 hidden distractions that you may not know about:
Loud Music – We all love to listen to our favorite tunes while cruising with the windows open but did you know it can prevent drivers from being able to hear important sounds such as honking of car horns, emergency vehicles, and the screech of tires?
Scenery – When a driver takes their attention of the road and focus on those beautiful views, they can inadvertently swerve into another lane or miss a turn.
Conversation – When a driver finds themselves paying more attention to your passengers than to the cars around them, their risk for a crash increases by a good margin.
Mental Distractions – Did you know if a driver is going through a list of things to do at work, plans for the weekend, or if you took out meat to cook for dinner can take your focus off the road?
All drivers should pay attention while behind the wheel. By making sure drivers are aware of the common distractions above, it will create a safer driving environment for everyone involved.
Interim Director Mike Kelly, of Causeway Police, puts a rose to his face as he names Mandeville Police Capt. Vincent “Vinnie” Liberto Jr., the officer who was fatally shot in September, during the 4th Annual Community Prayer Service for Law Enforcement on Veterans Blvd in Metairie, La., Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. The inter-faith prayer gathering honored current and fallen law enforcement officers with candles, prayers, flowers and canons of confetti.
We have all heard the saying “patience is a virtue,” and that is never truer than when you are operating a motor vehicle. Being impatient can cause drivers to take unnecessary risks and act aggressively especially during rush hour (hence the term). This can result in serious accidents. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), nearly 80 percent of drivers in the United States admit to getting angry and acting out while driving at some point in the past year resulting in speeding, tailgating, improper lane changes, etc. The AAA also states that aggressive driving is a factor in nearly half of all fatal car accidents.
Nothing is worth risking your life or the lives of other motorists. Remember, having a driver’s license is not a right but a privilege, and we all have a duty to keep each other safe on the road. Everyone’s day would be better off if we could all just take a deep breath and relax. A little respect and patience goes a long way.
Retired officer Conrad Franz has been appointed as the new chief of the Causeway Police Department, taking over for longtime Chief Nick Congemi who resigned in July.
Construction of the largest safety improvements in 50 years for the Causeway Bridge is currently underway. The third of the twelve safety shoulders, six on each span in between the crossovers, opened earlier this month. The southbound shoulders should be opened by the end of December. For the shoulders on the northbound span, the piles are completed and pile caps are currently being installed. The northbound shoulders should be opened at the end of the Summer 2020.
Also, construction is currently underway to raise the rails on the southbound span. The new rails are designed to prevent overboard accidents and are expected to be completed by summer 2020.
The goal of both safety improvement projects is to make all trips across the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Bridge even safer.
afety improvements on the Causeway bridge over Lake Pontchartrain are moving forward.
By now most of us know texting while driving increases chances of an automobile accident. It is also just as important to our teens about recognizing these dangers.
Parents should also lead by example. We can’t expect teens to listen if adults ignore the rules while driving. By turning off or storing the phone before starting the car, it emphasizes the point by setting a good example. There should be no exceptions because one text can cause a serious and potentially fatal car accident. It’s not an age or experience issue, it is a safety and distracted driving issue.
There are apps available to aid parents by keeping teens from texting and driving. These apps can give parents the ability to lock the phone while driving, send notifications of texting activity, give parents control by shutting down the phone, and block texting ability when the vehicle reaches a certain speed.
Teen drivers are at the highest risk for automobile crashes compared to other age groups and distracted driving was the cause of 11 percent of fatal crashes for those between the ages of 15 and 19, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). There are many life lessons parents need to discuss with children. Practicing safe text is one of the most important talks that can be lifesaving.