100 Deadliest Days For Teen Drivers

Nearly two-thirds of people injured or killed in a crash involving a teen driver are people other than the teen behind the wheel, according to a new report released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.  In 2013 alone, 371,645 people were injured and 2,927 were killed in crashes that involved a teen driver. The results come just as the “100 Deadliest Days” begin, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day when teen crash fatalities historically climb.

“Teen crash rates are higher than any other age group, and this data confirm that the impact of their crashes extend well beyond the teen who is behind the wheel,” said Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.  “Since teens drive more during the summer than any other season, this insight is a timely reminder to everyone—drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists— to be mindful when sharing the roads with young drivers.”

The study analyzed data of police-reported crashes of drivers aged 15-19, from 1994-2013 and found that:

  • While the overall number of teen crashes are down,  the majority of people killed (66%) and injured (67%) in crashes involving a teen driver are people other than the teen themselves
  • Nearly 50 percent of those injured were in another vehicle; 17 percent were in the teen driver’s car; and 2 percent were non-motorists (i.e., pedestrian, bicyclist)
  • Nearly 30 percent of those killed were in another car, 27 percent were the teen’s passenger and ten percent were non-motorists (i.e., pedestrians, bicyclist)

AAA is promoting the study findings to raise attention among parents of teen drivers and all road users particularly during the “100 Deadliest Days” period.  Based on a AAA analysis of the government’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), in 2013, an average of 220 teen drivers and passengers died in traffic crashes during each of the summer months, a 43 percent increase compared to the rest of the year.

“Everyone has an incentive to keep teen drivers safe during the summer—and all year long—because it makes roads safer for everyone,” says Lloyd P. Albert, AAA Northeast Senior Vice President of Public and Government Affairs. “Insightful data from this research help to inform parents and policymakers who can push legislation that results in an impactful difference.”

AAA has been a decades-long advocate on behalf of teen drivers and their families and has been a leader at the state level in advocating for the implementation and improvement of both graduated drivers licensing (GDL) laws and quality driver education programs.  Additional data from this study point to the drop in overall crash rates for teen drivers that can be attributed to strong GDL legislation as well as other factors including falling gas prices and the economy.

In the last 20 years, non-fatal injury crashes and fatal crashes of teen drivers aged 15-19 decreased by 51 percent and 56 percent respectively.  In comparison, crashes resulting in non-fatal injuries and fatalities, including but not limited to those involving teen drivers fell by 25 percent and 17 percent respectively.

“While great strides have been made to improve the safety of teen drivers over the past 20 years, motor vehicle crashes still remain the leading cause of death for drivers aged 15-19, so advocating on behalf of teen driver safety remains a top priority for AAA,” said Mr. Albert.

Tools to help parents prepare for the “100 Deadliest Days” of summer driving and other resources to coach teens through the learning-to drive process including a parent-teen driving agreement can be found on AAA’s award-winning website TeenDriving.AAA.com. Parents have found the online AAA StartSmart program to be particularly useful, helping them to quickly become effective in-car coaches, make informed decisions about access to a vehicle, and manage their teen’s overall driving privileges.

AAA Northeast is a not-for-profit auto club with 60 offices in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York providing more than 5.2 million local AAA members with travel, insurance, finance, and auto-related services.

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Gasoline Prices Rise Three Cents

Gasoline prices in Massachusetts are up three cents from last week, according to AAA Northeast.

AAA’s May 26th survey of prices in Massachusetts found self-serve, regular unleaded averaging $2.66 per gallon, up three cents from last week. Prices locally are 12 cents higher than a month ago. The current price is eight cents less than the national average for self serve unleaded of $2.74. A year ago at this time the Massachusetts average price was 99 cents higher at $3.65.

The range in prices in the latest AAA survey for unleaded regular is 36 cents, from a low of $2.53 to a high of $2.89. AAA advises motorists to shop around for the best prices in their area, and to make sure they and their passengers buckle up — every trip, every time.

Today’s local gas prices and their ranges are as follows:

Self Serve                                                Grade

$2.669 ($2.539-$2.899)                                    Regular Unleaded

$2.869 ($2.689-$3.199)                                    Midgrade Unleaded

$2.999 ($2.779-$3.399)                                    Premium Unleaded

$3.029 ($2.799-$3.699)                                    Diesel

Find the most up-to-date local gas prices with the AAA Fuel Finder by logging onto AAA.com and clicking on Gas Saving Tips & Tools. AAA members can also obtain a copy of the Gas Watcher’s Guide at their local AAA Northeast office.

AAA Fuel Saving Tip of the Week

Keep track of gas mileage. If you notice a decrease in fuel economy, your vehicle may not be operating at peak performance.

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Quincy Man Held On $400,000 Bail

By SCOTT JACKSON

A Quincy man accused of extorting a Sharon rabbi was held on $400,000 cash bail Thursday.

Nicholas Zemeitus, age 30, of Willard Street, Quincy, and formerly of Nancy Road, Milton, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Tuesday and was ordered held until a bail hearing Thursday in Norfolk County Superior Court.

A Norfolk County Grand Jury on May 7 indicted Zemeitus on extortion and other charges. Investigation into the alleged extortion, which involved a Sharon resident, began roughly one year ago. Prosecutors allege Zemeitus extorted $480,000 from the victim.

Zemeitus was arrested shortly after 3 p.m. on Monday on a Norfolk Superior Court indictment warrant at his Quincy place of business by Sharon police working with the Quincy Police Department.

Zemeitus faces seven indictments of Larceny over $250; two indictments of Receiving Stolen Property valued over $250, a single indictment of Larceny under $250 and one indictment of Extortion.

These indictments are the result of an extensive Norfolk County Grand Jury investigation, investigation by the Sharon Police Department Detective Bureau and Det. Scott Leonard, and the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit – Norfolk District Attorney’s Office.

Zemeitus’ girlfriend, 24-year-old Alexa Anderson, was arraigned Thursday on the same charges, except the extortion charge. She pleaded not guilty and was released on personal recognizance.

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Stop & Shop Triple Winner® Game’s 25th anniversary continues its mission to help cure childhood cancer

Stop & Shop continues its partnership with Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and The Boston Red Sox with the 25th anniversary of its Triple Winner Game to help cure childhood cancer. The organizations are inviting Massachusetts Stop & Shop customers to participate in the Triple Winner Game at the cash registers.

Now while ticket supplies last, customers can help cure childhood cancer by making a $1 contribution* to the Jimmy Fund to receive a Triple Winner scratch ticket.  The ticket could be an instant winner of a free product   or a cash prize up to $10,000 or provide the customer with a product coupon.

Stop & Shop, in partnership with the Boston Red Sox, has raised $56.5 million through the Triple Winner Game since 1991. This year, the company aims to raise $2.5 million for The Jimmy Fund at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through its in-store campaign, “Help Cure Childhood Cancer.”

“We are grateful for the support we receive from our customers, associates and friends to help raise the funds needed to save lives and bring hope to families who are battling cancer,” said Don Sussman, president of Stop & Shop Divisions. “Together as a community we can raise even more money to support Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund in their efforts to fund pediatric cancer research and patient care.”

“The future is here,” said Mark Kieran, MD, PhD, director of the pediatric medical neuro-oncology program at Dana-Farber. “Thanks in part to the incredible support of the Stop & Shop family, we have reached our goal of identifying some of the underlying genetic pathways that give rise to pediatric brain tumors. We have opened the first clinical trials that will provide important research from which to base treatment. With clinical trials available in New England, across the country and around the world, the generosity of Stop & Shop will benefit children locally and globally as we learn more about tailoring treatment strategies that will improve outcomes for these special patients.”

About the Jimmy Fund

The Jimmy Fund (www.JimmyFund.org) solely supports Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, raising funds for adult and pediatric cancer care and research to improve the chances of survival for cancer patients around the world. The Jimmy Fund is the official charity of the Boston Red Sox, Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge, and the Variety Children’s Charity of New England. Since 1948, the generosity of millions of people has helped the Jimmy Fund save countless lives and reduce the burden of cancer for patients and families worldwide. Follow the Jimmy Fund on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thejimmyfund and on Twitter: @TheJimmyFund.

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Hancock Cemetery Recommended For $500,000 In Conservation Funds

Hancock Cemetery Restoration – (from left to right) architect Jim Edwards; building and monument conservator Ivan Myjer; the City’s selected gravestone conservator for Phase 1 of the cemetery restoration, Ta Mara Conde; and Paul Holtz of the Massachusetts Historical Commission, on the final walk through of the cemetery following completion of Phase 1.

Hancock Cemetery Restoration – (from left to right) architect Jim Edwards; building and monument conservator Ivan Myjer; the City’s selected gravestone conservator for Phase 1 of the cemetery restoration, Ta Mara Conde; and Paul Holtz of the Massachusetts Historical Commission, on the final walk through of the cemetery following completion of Phase 1.

The Hancock Cemetery, which began a complete restoration last year, recently received grant funding to complete the scope of work recommended in its 2012 Master Conservation Plan.

The work to be completed in this next phase of the conservation includes restoration of the historic iron fence along Hancock Street, replacing the chain link fence with a historically appropriate iron picket and granite pier fence, pruning selected trees that currently endanger burial sites, and replacing the asphalt pathways with concrete.

Money for this second phase of the project comes from a $190,000 grant award from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and a recommendation for $310,000 from Quincy Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds. (The CPA funding recommendation is reviewed by the Mayor for inclusion in the City budget for fiscal year 2016. The City budget is assessed by the City Council in June, after which point the CPA grants and their dollar values can be confirmed.)

The first phase of the cemetery restoration was completed in August 2014. It consisted of treatment and resetting of more than 260 grave markers. For more information on the Hancock Cemetery conservation and restoration project contact Kara Chisholm, Assistant Planner, kchisholm@quincyma.gov or 617-376-1050, or see the Planning Department’s YouTube channel, Quincy PCD.

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