Feb. 15: Get tough on first-time violators

Get tough on first-time violators

Re: Feb. 6 article, “5 things you need to know about Austin school bus cameras.”

I am glad to hear that the warning period has been abolished for drivers who illegally pass a stopped school bus. It’s about time to stop being soft on violators who disregard safety and other lives, especially those of our kids. And while we are on the subject, another road safety policy that also needs changing: no more warnings for first-time offenders without a license. Those who violate this law should face serious consequences the first time they violate the law. Enough is enough.


Water issues for states, cities

Re: Feb. 10 article, “It’s not just Flint, Mich.; city after city has unsafe lead levels.”

While I have great concern about the situation of water purity in Flint, Michigan, is the city of Flint not in the state of Michigan, and hence, are state government officials not responsible for the disaster? Why would Congress be involved at all? State and city officials should work together to immediately address the issue. If Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder sees fit, perhaps he should ask President Obama to declare the issue a disaster so that Michigan might borrow funds to completely replace the water system in Flint. We should move away from the thought that Congress is there to solve all city problems with the exception of a natural disaster using the statutes that apply to such a situation. I would hope that if a similar situation happened in Austin, its residents and Gov. Greg Abbott would deem themselves responsible for replacing the water system and not go to Congress with hat in hand asking them to take care of us because we do not have the competency to do so ourselves.


Health pros face unequal justice

Re: Feb. 6 article, “Doctor gets 30 to life after painkiller overdose deaths.”

Dr. Lisa Tseng of Los Angeles was sentenced to 30 years in prison for murder after prescribing too many pain pills to patients who overdosed on them. Prescribe means she gave them a prescription, which they took to a pharmacy, which gave them the pills along with a couple pages of safety instructions from the manufacturer. Obviously patients ignored the instructions and took enough to be lethal.

A few years ago also in California, a patient brought into the hospital was prescribed a specific number of CCs of a blood thinner, Warfarin, essentially what is used in rat poison. Unfortunately the nurse gave him 10 times the amount ordered and he died. The nurse was sorry and the patient buried. No criminal prosecution.

Tseng’s patients, however, had free will to take or not take the pills she prescribed. The above patient was at the mercy of medical personnel. Maybe because the third leading cause of death, after cancer and heart disease, in the U.S. is medical mistakes, authorities have to pick and choose who to prosecute. And since top drug cartel leaders are hard to catch, go after doctors who prescribe pain pills. Wrong, but to the government a conviction is a conviction.


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