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News Clips - August 22, 2023

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News Clips - August 22, 2023

Aug 23, 2023
March 1st, 2022


August 22, 2023 



Police: Drivers not improving cell phone safety; warning period ends this fall



Dayton Daily News, August 21, 2023



It’s been four months since Ohio’s distracted driving law took effect via a six-month warning period, and local police departments say they aren’t seeing much change in drivers — despite being weeks away from the law going into full effect.

“I have driven beside motorists who have their phone directly in their face and they don’t even realize the marked patrol Tahoe next to them,” said Miamisburg Police Sgt. Jon Thompson. “We know that distracted driving causes collisions. We see collisions at regular road speed with no signs of attempted braking. That is a recipe for disaster.”

Police have been issuing warnings since April, but the law goes into full effect Thursday, Oct. 5, meaning you could be fined, charged and get points assessed to your driver’s license if a police officer sees you using your phone in a non-approved manner.




NHTSA proposing new rules to encourage seat belt use by all vehicle passengers



AP News, August 21, 2023



WASHINGTON (AP) — The Department of Transportation is proposing new rules designed to encourage seat belt use by car and truck passengers, including those sitting in the back seat.

The new rules proposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would require manufacturers to equip vehicles with additional seat belt warning systems for the right front passenger and for rear seats to encourage increased seat belt use.

“Wearing a seat belt is one of the most effective ways to prevent injury and death in a crash,” NHTSA Acting Administrator Ann Carlson said in a statement. “In 2021, almost 43,000 people lost their lives on America’s roads, and half of those in vehicles were unbelted. This proposed rule can help reduce that number by getting more to buckle up.”




Looking for a new car under $20,000? Good luck. Your choice has dwindled to just one vehicle



AP News, August 21, 2023



DETROIT (AP) — Just five years ago, a price-conscious auto shopper in the United States could choose from among a dozen new small cars selling for under $20,000. Now, there’s just one: The Mitsubishi Mirage. And even the Mirage appears headed for the scrap yard.

At a time when Americans increasingly want pricey SUVs and trucks rather than small cars, the Mirage remains the lone new vehicle whose average sale price is under 20 grand — a figure that once marked a kind of unofficial threshold of affordability. With prices — new and used — having soared since the pandemic, $20,000 is no longer much of a starting point for a new car.

This current version of the Mirage, which reached U.S. dealerships a decade ago, sold for an average of $19,205 last month, according to data from Cox Automotive. (Though a few other new models have starting prices under $20,000, their actual purchase prices, with options and shipping, exceed that figure.)





NAIC to Ask for Data to Better Understand Property-Market Availability, Affordability



Insurance Journal, August 21, 2023



The National Association of Insurance Commissioners said at its Summer National Meeting that it plans to collect data from insurers in order to help insurance regulators better understand property markets, especially when it comes to availability affordability.

“The increasing frequency and severity of weather events, rising reinsurance costs, and inflationary pressures are making property insurance availability and affordability more challenging for a growing number of regions across the U.S.,” the NAIC said in a statement last week. “These dynamics can vary within a relatively small geographic area, so while a state’s property insurance market may be generally healthy overall, there can be localized protection gaps that challenge certain communities.”

While acknowledging that state regulators have robust financial data to assess insurers’ solvency and investments, the NAIC said states may lack the kind of data to gauge the availability and affordability of insurance for consumers. The NAIC had previously adopted a measure for the group’s Property and Casualty Insurance Committee to develop property-market intelligence to identify coverage gaps, changes in deductibles, changes in coverage types, and availability and affordability.


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