Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Please enter your name here You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here TAGSOperation Best Foot ForwardOrange County Board of Commissioners Previous articleBreaking News: New Errol hearings put on holdNext articleFor God’s sake, do something! Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply The Anatomy of Fear Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Support conservation and fish with NEW Florida specialty license plate Free webinar for job seekers on best interview answers, hosted by Goodwill June 11 From the Orange County Board of County CommissionersLast week, Operation Best Foot Forward, the Orlando Police Department (OPD), and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) had its quarterly high-visibility crosswalk enforcement action for Florida’s driver-yield law beginning in the early morning hours on Wednesday. During the operation, the OCSO issued 66 warnings and tickets, and the OPD issued 15.Since the establishment of this operation in 2012, the OPD and OCSO conduct joint enforcement actions 3-4 times a year with the purpose of reminding drivers that failure to yield to pedestrians crossing the street in a marked crosswalk can result in a $164 tickets as well as 3 points on their motorist’s license. To carry out the operation, undercover officers dress like civilians and cross the street at each marked crosswalk, giving motorists enough time to yield.These high visibility enforcement actions are part of a more comprehensive effort to educate both drivers and pedestrians about the importance of obeying the law. Studies show that when you combine Engineering, Education, and Enforcement over a long period of time, the behavior of drivers changes; if left unaddressed, the adversarial nature of drivers and pedestrians thrives. Since Operation Best Foot Forward was first established, driver-yield rates rose sharply by 38%, from 12% to around 50%, at marked crosswalks located on roads limited at 35 mph and less. For roads posted at 40 mph and higher, only 1.2% of drivers were stopping for pedestrians in a marked crosswalk; today, this number is reaching close to 20%.In addition to the positive impacts Operation Best Foot Forward has had on safety, it has also been perceived well in the media: For last week’s operation, the total estimated impressions (point in which an ad or story is viewed by one person) was 851,372 and the earned media ad value was $80,171 (6 TV Stations, 3 digital/print outlets, and 2 radio stations). The intent of Operation of Best Foot Forward’s outreach is not only to reach drivers and pedestrians who came across the monitored crosswalks but all Orange County residents through media outlets.To date, following its 19th round last week, the operation has made significant progress in Orange County and the City of Orlando. On the Enforcement side, 7,566 total citations and warnings have been issued and 368 enforcement details have taken place. Additionally, for Engineering, 60 marked crosswalks have been monitored. Furthermore, in terms of Education, 339 presentations and events have been created to educate drivers and pedestrians on Operation Best Foot Forward as well as Florida’s pedestrian and driver yield laws.The rapid growth of the University of Central Florida (UCF) in what had formerly been a rural area created some issues among pedestrians and drivers. With the rise of pedestrian-involved accidents, several studies have been conducted on adjacent corridors as a result, generating reports and recommendations on how to address these issues of safety. The study corridors are Alafaya Trail from Challenger Parkway to McCulloch Road, University Boulevard from Rouse Road to Alafaya Trail and McCulloch Road from Alafaya Trail to North Orion Boulevard. As part of Orange County’s Walk Ride Thrive! Program (working with Best Foot Forward), the purpose of the UCF Area Pedestrian Safety is to identify the pedestrian and bicycle crossing needs and safety issues along Alafaya Trail, McCulloch Road, and University Boulevard, and develop plans for improvements, followed by Preliminary Engineering projects; approximately 4.6 miles of roadway near the UCF Area will be covered. The study includes an expanded and updated data collection, stakeholder interviews, field observations, and recommendations.The first phase of implementing the recommendations from the study is underway and is currently in the stage of design preparation. This phase of the project’s limits include Alafaya trail from Challenger Parkway to McCulloch Road and University Boulevard from Quadrangle Boulevard to Alafaya Trail; additional phases will be developed as funding becomes available. The purpose of this design will be to take the recommendations from the study and transfer those concepts into engineered construction plans; Orange Public Works Engineering Staff will work closely with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and UCF during the development of the construction plans. The Phase I design will consist of the following: Additional guideway signage; new pedestrian channelization in medians; new landscaping, intersection improvements with curb modifications and enhanced crosswalks; new pedestrian-scale lighting, a wider sidewalk along the UCF frontage; and 2 new signalized mid-block crosswalks.In Pine Hills, there is a variety of land uses along the corridor, including residential, commercial, retail, schools, and office uses. Over time, Pine Hills has experienced an increase in residential-to-commercial land use conversions, which has contributed to pedestrian and bicycle safety issues along the corridor. As a result, the Pine Hills Road Pedestrian/Bicycle Safety Study was prompted, serving the purpose of identifying opportunities for the implementation of safety improvements for residents walking, bicycling, driving or riding the bus. The study area covers Pine Hills Road from State Road 50/West Colonial Drive to Bonnie Brae Circle (approximately 3.6 miles total) and is scheduled to last about 1 year. Please enter your comment!
In July, I introduced the Medicinal Cannabis Use Regulation Bill 2016 to the Dáil to try and begin the debate about the medical benefits of medicinal cannabis. The response has been overwhelmingly positive.Positive political responseThe political consensus has been one of positivity. The high profile case of Vera Twomey’s daughter Ava, who has a diagnosis of Dravet Syndrome, has been a game changer.Vera’s campaign for accessibility for treatment has brought about a review from the Department of Health on the viability of medicinal cannabis in Ireland. The report will be concluded by the end of January.Later today I will be looking for support for this bill on the accessibility of medical cannabis for those who need quality assured medicinal cannabis for their medical needs, under a doctor’s recommendation. The bill also calls for a Cannabis Regulatory Authority and a Cannabis Research Institution to be set up.We’ll be following other countriesAt the moment over ten countries in Europe have enacted legislation for the medicinal use of cannabis. Outside Europe nearly thirty states in the United States have made medicinal cannabis legal. Australia did the same recently.Professor Mike Barnes commissioned an All Party Parliamentary report for Westminster on the massive benefits of medicinal cannabis to the sufferers of chronic pain, MS, arthritis, cancer, epilepsy, fibromyalgia and a list of other disorders and conditions.I believe the debate has started in Ireland in regards to medicinal cannabis and things are never going to be the same again. Policy and legislative change has to happen and will happen due to the public clamour for this Government to act.Make it medicineThe time for stigmatisation and criminalisation of citizens who want to treat their own medical needs has to be enacted now.It was the visionary and forward-thinking Irish doctor, Dr William Brooke O’Shaughnessy, who brought the medicinal use of cannabis back into the medical mainstream in the middle of the nineteenth century.Let’s continue his forward-thinking and vision in this century. Make it medicine. Make it happen.Professor Brendan Kelly, professor of Psychiatry at Trinity College DublinCANNABIS IS BAD for mental health. The scientific evidence is now clear on this point.The overwhelming majority of studies demonstrate that cannabis increases the risk of mental ill-health, in the form of depression, schizophrenia and various other conditions.Cannabis is widely used even though illegalAs with all drugs, not everyone is affected equally. Some people seem unaffected and other factors are invariably also relevant in each individual case.But the scientific evidence is now clear that cannabis presents a significant risk to mental health and should be avoided. The fact that decriminalisation does not produce a rise in mental illness simply demonstrates that cannabis is very widely used even though it is illegal.So what should policymakers do?Saying that cannabis presents a substantial risk to mental health does not provide a clear answer as to whether or not cannabis should be decriminalised.Drugs policies are generally very inconsistent in theory and even more inconsistent in practice. In Ireland, some harmful substances are legal but their use is regulated (e.g. nicotine and alcohol), whereas other harmful substances are simply illegal (e.g. cocaine).It is not at all clear what lessons can be learned from experiences with these substances.Sensible drugs policy should focus on reducing the harm caused by all drugs, including cannabis. Given the widespread harm drugs cause in society, pragmatism should trump ideology. Preventing or relieving the suffering caused by addiction should trump short-term political tactics or populist media posturing.There are better painkillers available to usThe fact that cannabis presents a risk to mental health should certainly inform drugs policy, but it does not necessarily mean that cannabis should remain illegal, or that medicinal use should be avoided. The situation is far more nuanced than that.Cannabis will never be an ideal medicine for pain relief, not least because there are other non-dependence producing medications which can and should remain first-line agents in the management of pain.Many of these other medications do not present risks to mental health and they still offer substantial benefits to people with chronic pain or enduring physical health problems.If, however, these first-line agents fail to produce sufficient benefits, or cannabis-based products are the only agents that work in particular cases, then cannabis-based medications should be permitted in specific circumstances.As ever, pragmatism should trump ideology, and the absolute imperative to relieve avoidable suffering should trump everything else.What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.‘I’ve seen this work’: Mother takes fight for medical cannabis to Leinster House>92% of Irish people believe that cannabis should be legalised when recommended by a doctor> Image: Shutterstock/Tatevosian Yana Share226 Tweet Email Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 95 Comments Thursday 1 Dec 2016, 7:00 AM By Gino Kenny TD & Professor Brendan Kelly Image: Shutterstock/Tatevosian Yana 796 Views Short URL Dec 1st 2016, 7:00 AM Debate Room: Should we legalise medicinal cannabis? There’s a demand for medicinal marijuana among groups of people suffering from ill-health, but is it safe? https://jrnl.ie/3107364 LEGISLATION AROUND MEDICINAL cannabis is back on the political agenda today, with a bill tabled in the Dáil.The Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regulations Bill 2016 proposes to allow those with incurable illnesses like MS, to buy oils, sprays and tablets made from the drug to alleviate their pain. The Private Members’ Bill would also regulate a pharmacy-based model.But does medicinal cannabis actually work? And doesn’t cannabis have an adverse effect on some users’ mental health? These are important, unanswered questions about its use.We ask a politician and a doctor to give their views.Gino Kenny, People Before Profit TD for Dublin Mid-West Source: Niall CarsonWHEN I GOT elected last February one of the issues that I wanted to highlight was accessibility to medicinal cannabis.I had very limited knowledge about the issue prior to being elected. A family from Clondalkin whose child was suffering from Dravet Syndrome – a very aggressive and intractable form of epilepsy – made contact to see if I could highlight the issue of CBD oil and its therapeutic benefits.