In The News
Jan/Feb 2009 Issue

LA Swift transit growing swiftly

The Louisiana transit service born in the wake of Hurricane Katrina–LA Swift–has grown with whirlwind force and continues carrying passengers three years after the storm.

The program began on Oct. 31, 2005, as a 14-day pilot program to give displaced New Orleanians a free ride from Baton Rouge to help rebuild the area. Since then, LA Swift has evolved into a fee-based service that continues its recovery mission. So far, LA Swift has provided about 547,000 rides.

LA Swift now offers a park-and-ride service at The Home Depot parking lots on High-land Road in Baton Rouge and on Highway 30 in Gonzales. The fee to ride is $6 one way and $12 for a round-trip. For details, visit www.laswift.com or call (877) 947-9438.

 


Drinking age laws saved 4,441 lives over five years, report estimates

It has been 25 years since Congress passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act that in effect set the drinking age at 21. But as debates about lowering the limit in some states have begun, a new report has helped to prove the potency of the existing age limit.

A report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 4,441 drunken driving deaths were prevented in the last five years by minimum 21-year-old drinking age laws, including 826 people in 2007 alone. NHTSA Acting Administrator David Kelly presented the report at a symposium on the subject led by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

“Turning our back on these laws would be a deadly mistake,” he said. “Minimum drinking age laws are among the most effective measures ever used to reduce drunken driving deaths among America’s young people.”

The report examined a series of other issues and showed that in 2007 alone: child safety seats saved 358 lives of children age 4 and under; frontal air bags saved 2,788 passengers age 13 and older; seat belts saved 15,147 and could have saved another 5,024 lives had they been worn by all vehicle occupants in fatal crashes; and motorcycle helmets saved 1,784 lives and could have saved 800 more if they had been used by all motorcycle operators.

 

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