The Delaware way re: state of emergencies

Being born and raised in Delaware I can tell you sometimes Delaware’s state of emergencies are a joke

(12) Restrict the use or operation of motor vehicles on Delaware roads, including but not limited to, highways, express highways, roadways, and private roads as defined in § 101 of Title 21. The levels of restriction of the use or operation of motor vehicles during a state of emergency shall be as follows:

a. Level 3 Driving Ban: A “Level 3 Driving Ban” shall mean that no person shall operate a motor vehicle on Delaware roadways when a Level 3 Driving Ban has been activated, except for those persons designated as first responders and essential personnel, including public utilities as defined in § 102(2) of Title 26 and operators of snow removal equipment employed or contracted by a public or private entity, pursuant to this chapter and the plans set forth there under, and by executive order of the Governor. All businesses, professional offices, organizations, entities, etc. shall be encouraged to take appropriate protective actions to protect their citizens, customers, and employees by termination of operations or shelter in place. An employer of a public or private entity shall not terminate, reprimand, discipline, or in any way commit any adverse employment action against an employee who, as a result of the activation of a Level 3 Driving Ban, fails or refuses to report to work during the pendency of the driving ban. Any person or entity in violation of an activated Level 3 Driving Ban under this subsection shall be penalized pursuant to § 3125 of this title.

b. Level 2 Driving Restriction: A “Level 2 Driving Restriction” shall mean that no person shall operate a motor vehicle on Delaware roadways when a Level 2 Driving Restriction has been activated, except for persons designated as essential personnel including operators of snow removal equipment employed or contracted by a public or private entity. “Essential personnel” for purposes of this subsection shall mean those employees and/or personnel who are necessary to maintain the core functions of a government body or entity, and to maintain the health and safety of the people in Delaware by providing services provided by public utilities as defined in § 102(2) of Title 26 healthcare services, and food and fuel deliveries during a state of emergency, regardless of whether they are employed by a public or private entity. A waiver from a Level 2 Driving Restriction may be granted when a significant safety, health or business necessity is shown for issuing such a waiver. The Secretary of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of this subsection. An employer or entity which has not been granted a waiver shall not terminate, reprimand, discipline, or in any way commit any adverse employment action against an employee who, as a result of the activation of the a Level 2 Driving Restriction, fails or refuses to report to work during the pendency of the driving restriction. Any person or entity who violates an activated level 2 driving restriction under this subsection shall be in violation of § 4176D of Title 21.

c. Level 1 Driving Warning: A “Level 1 Driving Warning” shall mean that any person operating a motor vehicle when a Level 1 Driving Warning has been activated shall exercise extra caution in the operation of their motor vehicle. Nonessential employees, regardless of whether employed by a public or private entity, are encouraged not to operate a motor vehicle on the State’s roadways when a Level 1 Driving Warning has been activated, unless there is a significant safety, health or business reason to do so.

With Hurricane Sandy approaching what would trigger a Level 3 total driving ban? For surely weren’t no going to see snow! So there will be no need for snow removal equipment. So its down to power-outages, flooding, down trees, down wires, blowing debris and traffic lights out due to power-outage.

School are usually the first organizations to close. Business for the most part do so voluntarily. But for a Delaware governor to declare Level 3 driving ban takes  allot. It looks like Monday trough Tuesday is going to be a mess and risky travel for anyone. In my opinion there should be a Level 3 driving ban for this time frame. We need to let utility crews do their jobs and let emergency worker do their jobs. We shouldn’t be on the road adding to the workload of those workers and police.   

Delaware governors are reluctant to call for a full state of emergency because business interest complain. I see it this way, if the governor is so concerned about state workers whom many are given the day off during events like this then governor should show the same concern for the citizens of Delaware. For many its not an option to stay home because many employers will hold employees accountable for a no show. Those who can make it in are often given a gold star for their efforts. At a time where jobs are hard to come by and keep many employees concern with their own safety will put it at risk fearing they would lose their jobs or have a negative mark against their employment record. 

Lets say the governor did declare a level 3 driving ban. Many people will still take to the roads and police will turn the other way. For as long as I can remember, Delaware’s state of emergency when it comes to the roads aren’t respected. 

Delaware Governor Markell said this re: WDEL;

“But Governor Markell isn’t asking you to leave right now, not just yet because he says a state of emergency can have a devastating impact on people’s lives and businesses.”  

I see no reason why there should be a business consideration when it comes to the health, safety and welfare of Delaware citizens. Sure a state of emergency will be an inconvenience on people’s lives. However, what about the risk imposed on emergency workers? At a time of great emergency for the community I don’t see how devastating a day or two of asking people to stay of the road will be to them.

“We only want to be in one when it’s necessary, and so should we declare one, you can be certain that it’s because it’s necessary,” says Markell.

Describe “necessary” ?   

About these ads

10 Responses

  1. The storm is not supposed to really kick in until Sunday night. The flood watch starts at 8PM Sunday according to the weather site I looked at.

    Even though Wilmington has already declared Southbridge state of emergency – they have until 6PM Sunday to evacuate, things shouldn’t start getting dire until Sunday night.

    People can still drive around and shop until then! The state of emergency in DE makes it illegal to drive around so no use in getting ahead of ourselves.

  2. Just got a call from CSD….school is closed Monday & Tuesday

  3. Why should there be a state of emergency right now? An emergency would be people not being able to go out to get supplies, or especially, to help prepare their sick or elderly parent or family member for the storm.

    • No not now! I am taking when the storm is about to make landfall of at least 24 hours and lifted if things aren’t as bad.

  4. There is now a State of Emergency – but it sounds like (I’m listening to Gov. Markell now) driving is allowed tonight and tomorrow… sounds like driving will be allowed until 8pm tomorrow.

  5. I’m ready to not be allowed to drive. I keep thinking of more things we ”need” and running out to the store. My husband doesn’t worry at all. He doesn’t get why people go buy water. He said he will hold a pitcher out the window and get us water. :) Now if only it would rain wine.

    • I can never remember a time when water wasn’t working unless of course you have a well. But surely you can boil rain water.

  6. Whoops, it’s technically not a state of emergency… yet. Honestly, that was one confusing press conference. There are mandatory evacuations.

  7. A State of Emergency HAS to be declared for the state for be able to get federal help on any clean up as well as to activate reservists and open shelters IF it becomes necessary. The State of Emergency actually has nothing to do with driving. The driving ban levels are a totally seperate order. For example, the state of Maryland currently hasdeclared a state of emergency, but there are no bans on driving (except for box trucks? And trucks on bridges? Go figure).

  8. I just heard the governor on TV news… basically even though it isn’t that bad this morning, they didn’t want people driving to work and then getting stuck there all night. The wind is picking up as I write this.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,071 other followers