Connect with us

Finance

Quality of Life in Sussex County Delaware. Facts, Statistics, Observations and even opinions!

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

We Sussex Countians are fortunate in many ways as we have a wonderful quality of life here.

Climate:

Our climate for one thing is the best in the region. The United States Department of Agriculture has a map that shows the temperature zones for plants (and people). This map http://www.growit.com/ZONES/ shows Delaware in the same climate band as mid-Texas, northern Georgia, and the Carolinas. Delaware is by far the northern most place for this climate. Southern Delaware, although not delineated on this map is shown as one zone more southerly in the more detailed maps you get for planting flowers and vegetables as shown in gardening texts.

Sussex County Delaware has a winter climate and temperature that equals the Carolinas, Georgia and northern Florida. It has a summer climate and temperature that is more like New York and Massachusetts. The reason for this is the tempering effects of the large bodies of water that surround Sussex County have more local effect on keeping us cool in Summer and Warm in winter than the land does. The closer you get to the water the more this is true. The Eastern Sussex area is almost identical to Boston temperatures in the summer and Tampa temperatures in the winter.

Driving and Commuting Distance:

In Sussex County we feel we are far enough from everything and close enough to all that’s important. While we enjoy and idyllic rural and resort lifestyle here, we are a couple of hours to the cities. When I lived in L.A. most of us drove two or more hours each way to work. Southern Californians spend 4 to 8 hours a day in their cars – no wonder the car culture is so strong there. In two hours we can be past Wilmington to Philadelphia and beyond; past Baltimore and into Washington D.C. and beyond and to the south we can reach Norfolk in just over two hours. The slowest part of each of these trips is the first 45 minutes which are on our picturesque Colonial roads, but then we hit the open roads and the miles click on by. We are about 90 minutes to any of four International Airports – take your pick: Dulles, Reagan, Baltimore Washington or Philadelphia. We have air commuter service 45 minutes away in Salisbury or Newcastle. Charter service is available in Georgetown right here in the middle of Sussex County.

Telecommuting and Teleworking:

Sussex County, especially just west of the beach areas is a rapidly growing area for telecommuting. The ultra-high-speed cable access to the Internet is available anywhere that Comcast Cable television service is. This cable modem service is about 10-30 times faster than dial-up service and makes all the difference if you are on line all day like Kate and I are. Although the cable modem costs about $50 a month, you can split it and without a drop in speed have two or three people in your home on the same hookup – that makes it very cost effective. I specialize in helping those who do, or want, to telecommute or as they say in Europe and the Federal Government, to telework. We have helped numerous people move in and work from home. The various government agencies are now pressing more and more people to telework at least a few days a week. If you go to the various federal web sites most if not all of them have criteria and jobs for teleworkers – check it out. And don’t forget your favorite jobs anywhere – you may be able to work here and have a job in any other place on earth or at least any other place in America.

Crime:

Our crime, what there is of it, is mostly out of state speeders on the highways. Some of our visitors are of the opinion (right or wrong) that our major source of state income in Delaware is fines from speeding tickets. That is the primary function of our police on a daily basis. We are certainly not crime free but we are safer than most places. In fact of our serious crimes, most are DUI, Driving Under the Influence and still our statistics are that of a very peaceful and laid back rural area.

Size and Density:

Sussex County is the largest county east of the Mississippi River with 938 square miles! Sussex has almost the exact same size as the other two counties of Delaware combined; yet we have only about 15% of the state population with our 120,000 people. That relates to only 128 people per square mile, compared to almost 1100 people per square mile in our northern county, New Castle.

Financial and Economic Vitality:

Southern Delaware is uniquely a haven for the self employed. The economic vitality of Sussex County, especially eastern Sussex County, is primarily that of self employment in addition to jobs in education, law enforcement, lodging, health care, Real Estate of course, Real Estate law, residential and commercial building and construction, which is related, and retail management. Part of the reason for our overall economic health is that our owner operated businesses are so diverse. There are no huge corporations employing thousands of people in high paying jobs that can crash or affect our economy in any way. We also have a growing and vibrant arts community of fine artists, writers, and musicians who live here and gain income from a wide national and international area. As the teleworking era grows here this self-employed base will grow and diversify even more.

Cultural Values:

We have so many cultural events in the so called off-season that we are developing another season which some are calling the aesthetics season to complement the beach tourism season. The arts are a measure of the richness of our lives, our community and our economy. The arts are a multi-million dollar industry here when our aesthetics season visitors rent rooms, rent homes for the several day events, eat at our restaurants, shop at our hundreds of outlet stores and otherwise spend time and money in our various establishments. We have a couple of local pre-university schools which feature art and music education which studies show enhance problem solving and abstract thinking abilities of students in whatever field they may end up in; arts or not.

Many of us are working to further enhance the emphasis on the arts here. There are many ways we can individually work to increase our cultural assets. One business could support art in public places. An individual can contribute time, money, or expertise to cultural organizations. All these efforts will help stimulate an on-going cycle of learning, investment, and growth in our region. And, of course the most important thing we can do is attend and invite friends in from out of town to attend as many of these events and functions as possible.

Tourism:

For many decades, tourism has been the backbone of our local, eastern Sussex County economy. We are well known, in Rehoboth Beach, as The Nation’s Summer Capital. Our other beaches are regionally favored above all others: Dewey Beach for the skim board surfing and parties; Bethany Beach for the bedroom community family oriented beachy place and Fenwick Island for the fine homes and fine beaches that are revered by those who relish home life without adjacent commercial activities. Of course Fenwick Island is very close to thousands of commercial enterprises in Ocean City Maryland.

Visitors bring money into our local economy, support local businesses, which provide jobs, and they pay for gas, rooms, home rentals and room sales taxes. We increasingly enjoy higher returns from our visitors thus maximizing on our investments. Bringing millions and millions of visitors to our Delaware Beach area affects not only our economy but also our transportation system, our water system and our natural environment. Studies show that different types of visitors have different impacts. For example, visitors who attend an arts event typically stay longer and spend more money.

Tourism is evolving. Our Bed and Breakfast establishments for instance are a major factor in bicycle tourism, bird watching and corporate and executive think-tank retreats. We are developing different types of visitors to our area while maintaining our lifestyle, economic vitality, and environmental quality. Emphasizing outdoor recreation, clean air, wide-open spaces and beautiful scenery, we can attract “eco-friendly” visitors. Camping, for instance, is a large and growing eco-tourism feature where thousands of our campsites host those who enjoy the area and often stay right at the camp most of the time. Canoeing and kayaking, sea kayaking, the kite festival, jet skis and other personal watercraft as well as boating, fishing, sailing and that most usual of all eco-tourism pursuits; beach walking, are all growing by several percent each year.

Historic Appreciation and Preservation:

Lewes, Milton and Georgetown all have (in that order) substantial historic preservation districts. Purchasing and restoring as well as maintaining these historic homes and shops is a major and growing contributing factor to our economy and local aesthetic beauty. There are hundreds of homes in Lewes and Milton with extensive restoration work done. Some of these are now Bed and Breakfast Inns. Many of these Historic sites are listed in the national or state register of historic places because of their importance to community, their place in state history or prehistory, or due to significance in architecture, archeology, or culture. Many of these places are not suitably listed by beautiful never the less and important to all of us. Sussex County has listed several buildings in the National/State Register in recent years. Retaining our existing stock and extending the longevity of historic resources keeps the past vivid in our daily lives. Travelers tend to plan longer trips around historic sites.

Education:

Education is a critical element in our community’s quality of life. Our vision for the future creates a world-class education system that is challenging and diverse enough to encourage the highest levels of student and faulty achievement, works in partnership with families and the community, and provides life-long learning opportunities. Sussex Technical & Community College, Wilmington College, Goldey Beacon Business Schools, University of Delaware and more are active campuses here in Salt Water Sussex County. A thriving economy is essential to the education system. Healthy families ensure that students are ready to learn. A vibrant arts community and our unique natural environment provide opportunities for hands-on learning. We have numerous work study programs particularly in education, the arts, health care, law enforcement, oceanography, environmentalism and commercial boating. Our region will continue to enhance the strength, depth and diversity of our region’s education system. Educational excellence is fundamental to our competitive economy, a healthy environment, self-sufficient families, and an outstanding community. Our elementary schools, middle schools and high schools in the Cape Henlopen School District and nearby areas are usually at or near the top of the Delaware education system success gradients.

Health Care:

Health and wellness are fundamental to community prosperity. A healthy community embraces all aspects of health. Our vision of a healthy future focuses on healthy behavior and prevention which allows people to celebrate and live life to its fullest and ensures accessible care to encourage the best health outcomes. State of the art technology will allow people with critical needs to get care in their own community. Dedicated and caring doctors, nurses and caregivers are at the heart of our health care system. A thriving economy and good jobs ensure that families have access to health care. A clean environment offering rich recreational choices supports healthy families. Affordable, accessible health care is essential to our vision of families that can support our economy and schools as well. Beebe Hospital headquartered in Lewes has developed (to a great degree under the auspices of my father, Joe Hudson) a large number of clinics and satellite health care facilities spread frequently around the area.

Healthy communities focus on wellness, prevention and access to quality medical care. When health care is hard to find or expensive, people may delay treatment, often making their health problems worse. Timely access to appropriate health care benefits everyone.

Beebe Hospital is certainly the fastest growing and largest employer in the beach resort area and growing fast to support our retirement communities as more and more people retire here at earlier and earlier ages and remain more and more active in life, business and recreation. We have a wonderful school of nursing attached to the hospital as well: The Beebe Hospital School of Nursing.

Beach and Natural Environment Areas:

And this, our beach area, is of course what we are nationally famous for. The natural environment is the very foundation of community well-being. We are in late transition from a farming community to a resort and arts community. Our best and most optimum future relies on a clean environment that attracts tourists as well as high quality residents and entrepreneurs. A world-class educational presence here supports environmental protection. Our highly educated tourists and residents are another factor ensuring our increasingly strong accent on an ever improving environment. A strong economy is essential to restoration projects. Well-planned land uses and infrastructure investments can protect and enhance the environment. Environmental vitality is essential to our vision of a sustainable economy. An unmatched environment also supports year-round recreation to attract a more diverse mix of tourists and our favorite and more diverse mix of teleworkers and retirees.

The National Parks & Recreation Association recommends 7 acres of community parks and 20 acres of regional parks per 1,000 population. We are far, far, beyond that ratio. Our beach area is one of our largest park assets and boasts a variety of recreational facilities including ball fields, golf courses, and a variety of water sports and enjoyment opportunities. Keeping up with parks maintenance is a constant area concern which we do quite well.

Parks offer a place to relax, recreate, and visit with friends. A combination of developed parks and natural areas provides a mixture of activities like playing sports and walking a quiet trail. Trees, grass and other vegetation clean our air. Relocating individuals often cite parks and schools as deciding factors for moving to our region. Trails can connect neighborhoods and contribute to healthy active lives. Trails enhance mobility and access to public lands. The hundreds of miles of trails and bike paths have increased constantly in our beach region. Funding issues make development of trails challenging.

The natural environment, our beach and wetland areas as well as our farm land, is what most people list first when talking about our region’s quality of life. This is an area that clearly shows what a positive impact people can have with relatively small individual contributions. Our region’s water quality and air quality are wonderful and have improved tremendously over the last 50 years. Regional investment in the natural environment can ensure that we continue to enjoy the natural benefits we can not easily replace: reducing pollution, processing waste, improving water and air quality, and moderating the damage of flooding. Investments in our community’s “green infrastructure” are critical to the health of our families as well as to our tourist-based economy and those investments are being made by our various governmental divisions and by our individuals. Our largest park style land owner in fact, is Delaware Wild Lands a private organization devoted to securing the quality of life for all Delawareans and doing it well.

Land Use and Zoning:

The land use choices we make are the blueprint for our community’s design. Our vision of the future provides effective infrastructure that enables us to work, raise our families, and educate our children. Our land use supports our quality of life while protecting the environment. Community infrastructures attract tourists as well as high quality visitors, retirees and entrepreneurs. Our region will foster sustainable development that meets the needs of present generations without impairing future generations’ ability to meet their own needs. A strong economy is essential to good land use planning and infrastructure provision. A respect for the environment helps maximize the use of land and infrastructure.

Involved neighborhoods are essential for a thriving community. Smart land use and high quality infrastructure are essential if we are to achieve our vision of a robust economy, world-class education, and a safe community. We are expanding rapidly as more and more people arrive here for short, medium or permanent residential and business life. As our Quality of Life is what most people come here to enjoy; part time or full time. ENJOY!

Copyright 2000-2005 by www.JodyHudson.com

Advertisement

Finance

Possession of Controlled Substances

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

What will happen to you if you are arrested for personal possession of cocaine or other controlled substances? Drug possession is one of the most common crimes in the U.S. Any possession of an illicit drug, such as marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine, or heroin, can lead to serious charges. If the court determines that you had in your possession more than would be used for one person, you could even be charged with possession with intent to distribute or sell. If you or a loved one were charged with this crime, you need to be well-aware of every aspect of your case as well as how you can defend yourself.

A person may be arrested for personal possession of cocaine or other controlled substances pursuant to Health and Safety Code 11350(a), which states: Except as otherwise provided in this division, every person who possesses (1) any controlled substance specified in subdivision (b) or (c), or paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 11054, specified in paragraph (14), (15), or (20) of subdivision (d) of Section 11054, or specified in subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11055, or specified in subdivision (h) of Section 11056, or (2) any controlled substance classified in Schedule III, IV, or V which is a narcotic drug, unless upon the written prescription of a physician, dentist, podiatrist, or veterinarian licensed to practice in this state, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison.

Health and Safety Code 11350(a) is not a wobbler, and can only be charged as a felony, which could result up to 3 years in state prison. Fortunately, if a person is charged with personal possession of a drug offense, the majority of the time that person will be eligible for a diversion program where their arrest and conviction could be ultimately dismissed as long as they fulfill the necessary requirements. A few different options for that person would be programs such as (PC 1000), (Prop 36) or (Drug Court).

Remember that each case is looked at differently and the outcomes could be greater than what is listed based upon circumstances of the individual cases. If you or someone you know has been arrested for charges under Health and Safety Code 11350(a), contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer who is familiar with the handling of these types of offenses. Which attorney you choose to defend you could make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Please do not risk your future or your freedom by failing to retain a strong legal advocate to fight for you.

Continue Reading

Finance

Is It Worth Bringing a Claim?

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

One of the most common questions raised when you consider bringing a claim for compensation is “will it be worth it?” It is commonly known that bringing a claim is a long, laborious and stressful process. It is not something that should be taken on lightly. Even if your legal team do the majority of the heavy lifting for you, you will still need to be involved and you will need to be able to commit to the case. Therefore, it is not uncommon for many people to want to know if the hard work and the potential stress involved will be worth it.

To answer this question firstly your legal professional will need to know what your idea of worth is. For some a claim will be worth it if you can have your day in Court, stand up in front of a judge and say, “these people did me wrong, they were negligent,” to have a judge agree with you and confirm that you have won your case is enough for some. But for others the financial outcome of the case is what makes it worth it, will the claim, if won, provide enough compensation to make the work involved worthwhile.

The majority of clients tend to fall in the middle of these two, the fact that they feel they have been treated negligently and want to prevent that treatment from happening to someone else is a large part of their motivation, however the financial aspect is also present and needs to be sufficient enough to make the work involved worthwhile.

Sadly, it is almost impossible for any legal professional to answer either of these questions. There is no guarantee that you will win your claim just because a firm has taken it on. Things happen in cases that make weak claims much stronger and strong claims much weaker and these events can happen at any point in the claim. Just because your legal profession says you have a 70% chance of winning at the beginning of your claim does not mean that on the day of the trial you will still have a 70% chance of winning, you might only have 50% or you might have 80% circumstances change regularly.

It is also almost impossible to give a valuation of a claim right at the beginning. This is because your legal professional will need to break down your compensation into what is known as General Damages and Special Damages. General Damages being the compensation for pain, suffering, loss of amenity and Special Damages being the monetary loss. The money you have had to spend because of your injury that you would not have had to pay otherwise. For example, pain killers you had to purchase, time spent by friends and family in helping you that they would not have done if you had not been injured.

So to provide a proper value your legal professional will need to know all of your financial losses incurred because of the negligence, as well as have a detailed medical report from an independent medical expert to value the pan and suffering part of your injury.

Once your claim has reached the point where you have provided your legal professional with all of the information as to your financial losses and you have been examined by an independent medical expert then a financial value can be placed on your claim/

To calculate your general damages your legal professional will review and analyses your medical report which details your injury, your treatment and your symptoms. The report may also hazard a guess at when your symptoms will resolve or plateau. Once your legal professional has that information they turn to a publication called the Judicial Studies Board Guidelines which list various injuries and give a bracket of value. For example Wrist Injuries, Bracket a) Injuries resulting in complete loss of function in the wrist. Deformity may increase the award depending on severity are worth between £35,000 – £72,500.00

Once your legal professional has a bracket, they will then look at previous case law. They will be looking for cases where someone suffered an injury similar to your and had a similar recovery period. The mechanics of the case does not matter. So if you suffered a broken wrist in a car accident that healed fully after six months, your solicitor wouldn’t be looking for someone who suffered a broken wrist in a car crash. They will be looking for a case where someone suffered a broken wrist that healed fully after six months. Once a few cases have been found with similar injuries and recovery times inflation will be added and you will have a figure!

Unfortunately just because your legal professional says your claim is work £5,000.00 does not mean you will receive £5,000.00 at the end of the day. Negotiation will cause the figure to change, if you settle before trial you will usually be advised to accept a slightly lower figure as you are removing the risk of attending trial. If you win at trial it will be up to the Judge to award you compensation.

With regard to Special Damages, these are paid to cover all the costs you incurred as a result of your injury, they are essentially refunding/reimbursing you.

There are a lot of various expenses that can be reclaimed such as:

  • Travel costs for medical appointments and treatments such as Physiotherapy
  • Loss of earnings
  • Time spent by friends and family helping you do tasks that you would normally do yourself.
  • Medicines either prescribed or not

Tip: Keep your receipts! I cannot stress this enough. You will be asked to prove your loss, and you will struggle to do that without receipts.

In conclusion, it is up to you to decide what your claim is worth to you. Compensation is broken into two headings General and Special. General is the payment received for your injury and Special is the compensation received for any financial loss you have suffered. The two headings are then added together giving a figure to start negotiations.

Continue Reading

Finance

How to Create an Email Marketing Campaign Your Audience Will Love

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

4 Reasons to Discover the Value of Email Marketing

Whether you sell a product or service, work from a home office or a corporate one, starting an email campaign can be incredibly beneficial.

Sending consistent newsletters to your followers gives you the ability to develop a “Know, Like and Trust” relationship with them that will dramatically increase your brand visibility and market reach.

Yet many business owners and entrepreneurs pass up this golden opportunity to build relationships and increase sales. Are you one of them?

In this week’s blog, I’m going to share some reasons why your small business should create an email marketing campaign and offer some tips to help you increase open rates.

What is the Value of Email Marketing?

Let’s start with 4 reasons why your small business should send out a newsletter.

1. It reminds people that you’re there. As much as you’d like it to happen, your customers aren’t sitting at their computer daydreaming about your brand. Sending them relevant content can keep you top-of-mind among your target audience.

2. You can get truly personal. For example, greeting someone by their first name, or even using data on their past purchases to suggest complementary products or services can be hugely beneficial. In fact, open rates for personalized emails average 18.8% compared to 13.1% without personalization.

3. It boosts your website traffic. Links within your newsletter drive traffic to your website and social media platforms, which means increased brand awareness, leads and sales.

4. It’s cost-effective advertising. By using a service like Constant Contact to create newsletters, you can quite easily design a newsletter to send to thousands of people. From segmenting your audience to managing unlimited marketing campaigns and lists, you can do a lot within a platform like Constant Contact.

See our recommended newsletter providers for more info. And remember while it may be tempting to use a newsletter template, hiring a professional web designer to create a unique one that reflects your brand is better for your customers.

*****

Read: How to Target Your Ideal Clients with Digital Newsletters

Regardless of the size of your business, eNewsletters are an efficient way to reach current and potential clients and to easily measure the results of your efforts.

But before you send out newsletters for digital marketing purposes, you need to make sure you’re targeting the right people with the right messages. Here are 5 ways to get started.

Read more on our website.

*****

4 Email Basics to Increase Open Rates

Your open rate is the percentage of the total number of subscribers who opened your newsletter.

While open rates vary by industry, stats show the average is about 17.80%. So if you want to get that number even higher, here are 4 things you need to do when you create an email marketing campaign:

1. Determine your goals.

Like any page on your website, your newsletter needs to serve a purpose. Here are a few common goals for Digital Newsletters:

â— To drive traffic to your website

â— To increase brand awareness

â— To build your authority in your industry

â— To increase leads and/or sales

â— To promote a product, service or event

Like I mentioned in my last blog, you need a compelling CTA. What do you want your visitors to do on a particular page? Each page on your site should have a call to action that encourages your potential customers to do something.

2. Craft a compelling subject line.

The subject line is the first thing anyone sees, and it’s what encourages people to open your eNewsletter. It should be short and attention-grabbing, telling your audience what to expect when they open the email.

Obviously, you can’t cover every topic within your newsletter in the subject line. Focus on the meatiest, most important message you want your target audience to receive.

3. Give people a reason to sign up.

With so many messages flooding your customers’ inboxes, it’s hard to cut through the noise. Instead of just saying “sign up for my newsletter,” offer your website visitors a discount, free content download or something else enticing.

It’s also essential to remember the purpose of sending your eNewsletter is to inform, engage and entertain your audience. It’s NOT a place to drive a pushy sell. If you do that, expect to see your newsletter subscribers drop off.

4. Learn from your data.

It’s not enough to just send out email newsletters with the content that you think your target audience wants to see. To ensure the value of email marketing, you need to measure your efforts.

You need to look at your eNewsletter metrics to see:

â— Who’s opening your emails

â— What links people are clicking on

â— Who’s unsubscribing

Once you have some numbers around your emails, you can tailor them better to meet your audience’s needs.

***

You can’t argue with the value of email marketing! Sending out consistent newsletters is one of the most effective marketing tools for your business and can grow your brand visibility and sales big time.

If you don’t feel like starting an email campaign is the best use of your time or energy, find a professional marketing team like us who can handle the writing, marketing, and technical components. It’s the ideal way to increase open rates, leads and sales even more!

To your business success,

Susan

Continue Reading

Finance

Project Manager Career Profile

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

Education and certification with project management (PM) emerging as one of the fastest-growing fields in the country, many professionals are exploring a project manager career path. The PMI® studies paint a very bright picture for those who plan on carving out a career.

Jobs and salaries are on the rise a recent PMI report indicates that 25% of companies that have reduced their headcounts in other specialties will still be hiring project managers, while an Anderson Economic Group study predicted that approximately 1.2 million PM jobs will need to be filled each year through 2016.

The availability of open positions is just part of the appeal; the substantial salaries are another enticement. Payscale.com reports that it managers typically earn between $74,299 and $103,710 a year. PMI’s annual salary survey indicates that those with industry certification – such as the PMP® designation – earn upwards of $100,000 annually.

Career opportunities and potential earnings are two of the most important factors that individuals must consider before choosing a profession.

A place in every industry professionals possess skills that can be used in virtually any industry – from information technology to consumer goods to business services. This career mobility ensures that one can readily find work, even if their current industry is affected by an economic downturn or cyclical demand.

Skills required for a PM career before entering into management, you need to ask yourself whether or not you have a passion and aptitude for this type of work. If you’re up to the challenge overseeing the contributions of a diverse team and managing the expectations of key stakeholders, this may be the position for you. The profession requires strong communication and organizational skills, the ability to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously and an understanding of the functional roles of departments throughout the organization.

Training and education the first step in becoming a manager is to get the right education. You don’t necessarily need a PM degree, but you do need to have specialized training. Industry certification will give you an even greater edge in securing the best positions.

When evaluating your training options, consider what will make your resume stand apart from the competition. A credential from an accredited university shows that you are serious about your career path. The good news is that with the widespread availability of online programs, location is no longer a limitation.

Embark on your career path. Project management training and industry certification can help professionals land their first position. Over time, successful project managers will be assigned projects of increasing size and complexity. Those who prove themselves on the job and demonstrate a commitment to continuous learning have excellent advancement potential. Take the first steps toward a career today, and you’ll be on your way toward a wealth of job opportunities, a lucrative salary and genuine long-term career satisfaction.

Continue Reading

Finance

Violating NY Move Over Law May Result in License Suspension

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

Last year, New York troopers gave out 16,000 tickets for violating VTL 1144-a. More tickets can be expected this year with the newly amended New York Move Over Law extending the obligation to amber lights such as construction vehicles and tow trucks now in effect.

One obvious result of enforcement of VTL 1144-a is rapid accumulation of points on the driver record; and this can unknowingly lead to a suspension of driving privileges.

On January 1, 2011, New York began enforcing its original Move Over Law. The law mandates that drivers use caution to avoid an accident when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped or standing on the shoulder of a road with its emergency lights flashing. In a multi-lane highway, a driver must slow down and move over to create a safe distance for the emergency vehicle. In a single lane road, VTL 1144-a requires motorists to slow down and exercise caution.

The newly expanded New York Move Over Law effective January 1, 2012 applies the same caution requirements to tow trucks, HELP trucks and any vehicles being used in the construction or maintenance of roadways.

Tow truck operators and highway construction workers have almost unanimously voiced their support for the new New York Move Over Law. Tow truck drivers express concern about having to watch their backs while working and that oftentimes it can be quite frightening on the road.

Motorists violating the amended New York Move Over Law face a fine of up to $275 plus court surcharge and a possible jail sentence of up to 15 days. Violators may also have three points tacked onto their driving record.

Three points on a driving record is not significant…unless the driver has already been issued a couple of speeding tickets. Eleven points for traffic violations in 18 months may result in the New York Department of Motor Vehicles suspending your driver’s license – usually for 31 days.

Let’s take an example:

Last year, you received a speeding ticket for driving 72 mph in a 55-mph zone. This is 4 points on your driving record. A few months later, you were issued a ticket for rolling through a stop sign – 2 points. While driving on the New York Thruway, you were ticketed for talking on your cell phone while driving — another 3 points. At this point you have amassed 9 points on your driving record in 18 months.

If you are convicted for violating VTL 1144-a, then you may lose your driving privileges for month as well as a hefty fine.

Continue Reading

Finance

Parents of Teen Drivers and Liability in Illinois

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 350,000 U.S. teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 were treated in emergency departments for injuries resulting from automobile accidents in 2008. While young people aged 15-24 make up only 14% of the U.S. population, they account for 30% of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries among males and 28% among females.

Parties to an accident may try to hold parents responsible for damage caused by their teenage driver. Some parents may be held accountable for their child’s actions while driving or may risk loss of insurance coverage, depending on the situation.

Graduated Driver Licensing

In Illinois, teen drivers must pass through phases before they can obtain an unrestricted driver’s license. The stages include:

  • Permit phase: Teens are eligible to obtain an instruction permit beginning at age 15 and must have a written consent from their parent or legal guardian
  • Initial licensing phase: Drivers aged 16 and 17 may obtain an initial license provided that they have complied with all the terms required as a permitted driver
  • Full licensing phase: Drivers who have completed the permit and initial license requirements may apply for a full license between the ages of 18 and 20

Additional conditions apply to drivers with an instruction permit or initial license, which include nighttime curfews, education and training requirements. Teenage drivers are prohibited from cell phone use while driving, except in the case of emergency calls.

Insurance Requirements

Illinois drivers are required to have liability coverage, which is divided as follows:

  • Bodily injury: Illinois law requires drivers to have bodily injury coverage of at least $20,000 per person per accident and $40,000 total per accident.
  • Property damage: Illinois drivers must have property damage coverage of at least $15,000 per accident.

Teenagers must have the same minimum coverage as adult drivers but parents may consider purchasing additional coverage given the high incidence of accidents for new drivers. Drivers in Illinois can purchase uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to cover their injuries and damages if the person who causes the accident does not have sufficient insurance. Uninsured and underinsured coverag e is extremely inexpensive. As low as $20 per year for $300,000 in coverage. Parents of teens are urged to purchase the highest limits allowed by their insurance company.

Parental Liability

Under Illinois law, parents may be held liable under an agency theory for their child’s negligent driving if the child was engaged in doing the parents’ business at the time of the accident. That is, parents are not responsible if they merely allow the child to use the car for his or her own purposes but will be held accountable if the child is on a family errand.

What constitutes the parents’ business is determined on a case-by-case basis, based on the facts of any particular situation. Examples of errands the court has deemed to be family business include when the child was going to the store for groceries or picking up her shoes from the shoe repair shop. Because parents have an obligation to feed and clothe their children, when a child drives a family vehicle with permission and for the purpose of assisting with these obligations, the court finds that the child is on a family errand.

When the teen uses the car purely for his or her own purposes and pleasure, the parents will not be held liable.

In addition, parents should consider their insurance policy provisions. Insurers may exclude certain acts from coverage. For example, an insurance company may refuse to provide coverage for illegal activities, such as if a parent were to supply their child with alcohol and then allow the child to drive. Expenses incurred in any resulting accident would need to be paid out of pocket by the parent and child.

Parents of teenage drivers may have questions about their obligations and liabilities. An attorney can offer guidance to parents who may be wondering what they need to do if their teenage driver was in an accident. A lawyer can assess the situation and advise whether the other party may try to sue the teen, the parent or both.

Continue Reading

Trending