Editorial roundup

The (Youngstown) Vindicator, April 11

Fifty years ago last month, the father of America’s civil-rights movement duly lashed out at the widening health gap between white Americans and minorities. Though not as brutal in the moment as were the billy clubs and attack dogs used to stifle discontent, the long-term pain of inaccessibility to basic health care dealt a harsh blow to the quality of life of blacks and other minorities. It also contributed significantly to the great divide between America’s haves and have-nots.

Two decades later in 1985, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released its landmark report, the Secretary’s Task Force Report on Black and Minority Health, better known as The Heckler Report. It reinforced King’s angst by documenting the prevalence of health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S. It called such disparities “an affront both to our ideals and to the ongoing genius of American medicine.”

Today, improvements in technology, standards of living and access to health care have begun to narrow those once colossal gaps. Nonetheless, health inequities remain a stain on our nation and an affront to our noble ideals…

Online: http://bit.ly/1VihzJL

The (Ashtabula) Star-Beacon, April 11

While drunk driving is rightfully considered the greatest scourge of the roadways, distracted driving is creeping up on the ignominious list of highway risks.

In 2014, about 10,000 people were killed in drunk driving crashes. Another almost 3,200 were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers, with another more than 430,000 injured. Last year, 34 injury-causing accidents resulted from distracted driving in Ashtabula, and another 100 property crashes could be attributed to it.

Distracted drivers “can be just as deadly as a drunk driver,” said Lt. Bret Henderson, commander of the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Ashtabula County post. Henderson and other law enforcement agencies across the country are working to raise awareness this month of distracted driving.

This message is especially important this time of year, as more and more teens will be hitting the road for proms and then summer jobs. While 16-24-year-olds are the primary offenders, as cellphones become more and more ubiquitous in our culture, it is not uncommon to see older drivers fall prey to the siren call of their phones while behind the wheel…

Online: http://bit.ly/20vr3kD