Editorial roundup

Driverless cars pose risks we’re not ready to take

The (Lock Haven, Pa.) Express, Aug. 23

We love technology … most of the time.

We use it everyday.

Sure, it can be a pain … and it does become addicting.

Look at all the people walking around staring only – and long and hard – at their cellphones.

There’s a limit … or at least, there should be a limit that parents place on their kids’ use of technology so they don’t fail to understand the true benefits of human interaction.

Adults need limits, too.

Ugh … it stinks we even have to say that.

Computer technology is everywhere, and the multi-billion dollar corporations that control most of the cellular and digital technology you see and use are working very hard to make you believe you cannot live without the digital revolution.

OK … so having said that, we do NOT want to see computerized driver-less cars riding up and down our streets anytime soon.

But get ready people, because money talks and word is out that ride-hailing service Uber will start hauling passengers in self-driving cars (apparently with human backup drivers) on the streets of Pittsburgh within the next several weeks.

Further, driver-less cars soon will populate a heavily traveled toll road in Ohio that is a connector between the East Coast and Chicago.

Much of the testing, up to now, has been in California along with a handful of Western U.S. states and on closed courses, such as one operated by the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

“It’s got to start happening on real roads. That’s part of getting the consumer confidence,” Randy Cole, director of Ohio Turnpike, told the Associated Press last week.

Confidence in driver-less cars?

Not here.

Not now.

Not sure when.

Call us too conservative, or too cautious.

We can take it.

The U.S. Transportation Department has said it will propose federal government guidelines for self-driving vehicles later this year.

Meanwhile, states are grappling with how to regulate the technology.

A handful – including Nevada, California, Michigan and Florida – have approved guidelines for testing these vehicles on public roads.

Pennsylvania has not developed such regulations, restrictions or limits so far as we know.

It should in advance of what is now spreading across the country.

And Keystone State lawmakers had better give the public ample opportunity to weigh in BEFORE more driver-less cars hit our roads.


The (Newark, Ohio) Advocate, Aug. 20

…While alleged embezzlement from a local government remains somewhat rare locally, there have been several high-profile thefts from groups with very public roles…

There are so many thefts … the Ohio Attorney General’s Office operates a Charitable Law section to monitor nonprofit groups and investigate possible problems. The office even publishes a booklet detailing the best ways to protect organizations that “rely on the good-faith efforts of invaluable volunteers and sometimes paid staff members.”

Many of us are intimidated by tracking funds for organizations such as churches or community groups. We’re grateful when people with financial management skills step forward to volunteer time for paying the bills and tracking funds. We also tend to be a bit too trusting.

But when people agree to serve on a board or in a leadership role in any organization, they must make sure they focus on protecting the organization. We realize that’s often easier said than done…

That’s why board members must ensure written procedures are being followed and pay close attention to all disbursements. Make sure no single person has sole access to deposits and reporting of financial information.

Reality tells us that as long as people have access to someone else’s money, there’s an opportunity for theft, especially if the treasurer is facing unknown personal challenges.