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Some states have created Yellow Alert systems aimed at helping make it easier for police to track down hit-and-run drivers.

States are creating a Yellow Alert system for fatal hit-and-run crashes - similar to an Amber Alert for abducted children - in hopes it will help make it easier for police to track down hit-and-run drivers. Read more»

Local governments are finding that cyber insurance costs have jumped, as have the requirements they must meet to get a policy.

Across the United States, many local governments and states — as well as private companies — are discovering their cyber insurance premiums have skyrocketed and that they must meet stricter guidelines if they want to get coverage or renew their policies. Read more»

Some states are moving away from strict enforcement of jaywalking laws.

Several recent reports have shown that police in some areas disproportionately ticket people of color for jaywalking - and critics say citing people for crossing at the wrong place just gives them another reason to drive instead of walk. Read more»

A growing number of health care systems have faced cyberattacks.

In the past few years, a growing number of hospitals and health care organizations across the U.S. have faced cyberattacks, interrupting care and putting patients at risk, including some public health facilities run by state or local governments. Read more»

During the COVID-19 pandemic, states gave a boost to struggling restaurants by allowing cocktails to-go - but the expansion has strained understaffed alcohol enforcement agencies, which have been hard-pressed to prevent underage drinking. Read more»

The federal government is boosting funding for states to improve their highway safety programs.

The federal government has announced that it is giving nearly $260 million in grants to states to beef up their highway safety - funding which will comes from the recently enacted bipartisan infrastructure law and be used to support a broad range of traffic safety priorities. Read more»

No one has complete data showing how many state and local governments are victimized in ransomware attacks.

Despite the magnitude of the problems caused by ransomware attack, most states don’t have such statutory requirements, so they can’t always warn other agencies that might be hit or help bolster their defenses - but that’s starting to change. Read more»

It takes mere minutes for thieves to crawl under a vehicle and saw off a catalytic converter using basic tools. Criminals typically sell them for $50 to $500 to scrapyards or internet buyers, according to law enforcement and insurance fraud officials.

The number of catalytic converter thefts has skyrocketed during the pandemic, and state legislators around the country have responded with measures to thwart the thieves and prevent the sale of stolen devices. Read more»

Several programs launched by cities across the country pay homeless residents to clean up trash on streets and in encampments.

As state and local officials struggle to deal with an increase in homelessness caused by the financial stress of the pandemic, some are investing in programs to employ people who don’t have jobs or homes while beautifying streets and neighborhoods. Read more»

Bicyclist fatalities have been rising in the past decade, as have those involving pedestrians. Experts blame aggressive drivers, more speeding and an increase in distracted driving, largely caused by cell phone use.

COVID-19 has sparked a surge in cycling, as Americans have sought alternatives to crowded gyms, buses and trains, and there also has been an uptick in distracted drivers and speeding over the past 18 months, raising the risks for cyclists on the road. Read more»

It’s been difficult for some residents to get in-person appointments with the state’s motor vehicles department, so scams have played into that backdrop.

After the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, many states issued emergency declarations allowing driver’s licenses to remain valid past expiration dates, but those extensions mostly have ended and scammers are exploiting the need to make sure licenses are renewed. Read more»

Transit fares will remain free for the rest of 2021, according to Sun Tran, who began offering free rides in March, 2020, in response to the pandemic.

Transit agencies and cities around the country are considering scrapping or reducing fares after the pandemic highlighted transit inequities, as the majority of those who continued to ride buses and trains were lower-income essential workers, often people of color. Read more»

Seven states—Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, New York, North Carolina and Texas—accounted for 54% of all pedestrian deaths.

Pedestrian fatalities grew in 27 states in the first half of 2020, despite a large drop in traffic volume during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new report has found. The pedestrian death rate rose 20% during that period, alongside jumps in speeding, distracted and impaired driving. Read more»

Starting Wednesday, if you want to buy tobacco or e-cigarettes in New York and you’re under 21, you’re out of luck. The state joined 17 others and the District of Columbia in raising the legal age to buy cigarettes. Read more»

Nearly three dozen states allow firefighters with cancer to qualify for job-related disability benefits without having to prove a direct link between their illness and their job — something cities and counties oppose as too costly. Read more»

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