YCQM: August 13, 2017

BURLINGTON, Vt. ( WCAX ) GOOD MORNING,
EVERYONE, I'M DARREN PERRON.
RIGHT NOW ON "YOU CAN QUOTE ME,"
THE OPIATE CRISIS HAS DOCTORS
DIALING BACK PRESCRIPTIONS.
BUT ADVOCATES FOR CHRONIC PAIN
PATIENTS SAY IT'S LEAVING LOVED
ONES IN KILLER PAIN.
ALSO, A RASH OF DEADLY CRASHES
IN VERMONT.
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO KEEP PEOPLE
ALIVE BEHIND THE WHEEL?
AND TENSIONS SKY-HIGH BETWEEN
THE U.S. AND NORTH KOREA.
AND THAT'S WHERE WE BEGIN THIS
MORNING.
BOTH SIDES CONTINUE TO MAKE
THREATS.
WENDY GILLETTE IS AT THE WHITE
HOUSE WITH THOSE DETAILS AND
WHAT CHINA AND RUSSIA ARE DOING
TO TRY TO COOL THINGS DOWN.
>> Reporter: DARREN, THERE ARE
ONGOING BACK-DOOR COMMUNICATIONS
BETWEEN NORTH KOREA AND THE
U.S., BUT THEY ARE NOT DOING
MUCH TO ESCALATE THE TENSION
BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES AS A
WAR OF WORDS ESCALATES.
PRESIDENT TRUMP ISSUED A NEW
WARNING TO NORTH KOREAN DICTATOR
KIM JONG UN THIS MORNING.
HE TWEETED "MILITARY SOLUTIONS
ARE NOW FULLY IN PLACE, LOCKED
AND LOADED SHOULD NORTH KOREA
ACT UNWISELY.
HOPEFULLY KIM JONG UN WILL FINED
ANOTHER PATH."
>> THEY HAVE BEEN DOING THIS FOR
A LONG TIME, FOR MANY YEARS.
AND IT'S ABOUT TIME THAT
SOMEBODY STUCK UP FOR THE PEOPLE
OF THIS COUNTRY AND FOR THE
PEOPLE OF OTHER COUNTRIES.
>> Reporter: NOT TO BE OUTDONE,
NORTH KOREA ISSUED ITS OWN
WARNING, SAYING "IF THE U.S.
LAUNCHES AN ATTACK ON THE NORTH,
THEN IT WILL IMMEDIATELY REDUCE
THE U.S. MAINLAND INTO A FIELD
OF NUCLEAR WAR.
PRESIDENT TRUMP CONTINUES TO
PUSH CHINA TO DO MORE TO STOP
ITS NEIGHBOR AND CLOSE ALLY FROM
TAKING ANY DRASTIC STEPS.
>> I THINK CHINA CAN DO A LOT.
AND I THINK CHINA WILL DO A LOT
MORE.
>> CHINA DELIVERED A WARNING TO
NORTH KOREA TODAY, SAYING IF IT
STRIKES THE U.S. FIRST, CHINA
WILL STAY NEUTRAL.
BUT BEIJING HAS ALSO CALLED ON
THE U.S. TO NOT TAKE STEPS TO
FURTHER ESCALATE TENSIONS IN THE
REGION.
AND RUSSIA'S FOREIGN MINISTER
HAS CALLED ON NORTH KOREA TO
STOP TESTING MISSILES.
IN EXCHANGE FOR THE U.S.
CANCELLING ITS MILITARY
EXERCISES WITH SOUTH KOREA.
THE U.S. ANNOUNCED TODAY IT WILL
CARRY OUT ITS ANNUAL JOINT
EXERCISES, BEGINNING AUGUST
21ST.
NORTH KOREA HAS ALWAYS VIEWED
THE TRAINING AS PREPARATION FOR
AN INVASION.
THE PENTAGON SAYS THERE ARE
17,500 U.S. TROOPS IN SOUTH
KOREA PARTICIPATING IN THOSE
MILITARY EXERCISES, AND ANOTHER
3,000 U.S. TROOPS WILL COME INTO
THE COUNTRY FOR THE EXERCISES.
THEY HAVE BEEN PLANNED FOR
MONTHS.
AT THE WHITE HOUSE, WENDY
GILLETTE, CHANNEL 3 NEWS.
>> DARREN: JOINING ME NOW TO
TALK ABOUT THE RELATIONS BETWEEN
THE U.S. AND NORTH KOREA IS
MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE POLITICAL
SCIENTIST, MATT DICKINSON AND
UVM POLITICAL SCIENTIST MATTHEW
CARLSON.
THANK YOU BOTH FOR BEING HERE.
APPRECIATE IT.
SO DO YOU THINK THIS WAR OF
WORDS WILL LEAD TO ACTUAL WAR?
>> WELL, PARTLY THIS DEPENDS ON
NORTH KOREA, AND I AM INTERESTED
TO HEAR WHAT MATT HAS TO SAY
ABOUT THAT.
I DON'T THINK THIS REPRESENTS A
CHANGE IN DOCTRINE IN THE UNITED
STATES' PART, ALTHOUGH THE
RHETORIC CERTAINLY HAS BEEN
RACHETED UP.
BUT I THINK AT THIS POINT I
WOULDN'T READ TOO MUCH MORE INTO
WHAT TRUMP HAS SAID.
REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF
STATE IS REMINDING US THAT
EVERYTHING IS IS PRETTY MUCH
STATUS QUO.
>> WHAT DO YOU THINK?
>> IT COULD LEAD TO CONFLICT.
IF -- IT WOULDN'T TAKE MUCH FOR
EITHER SIDE TO MIS-CAL CUE
LACHLT SO IN THE NEXT --
MISCALCULATE.
IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS THE
POSSIBILITY FOR CONFLICT COULD
BECOME PRETTY GREAT.
>> DARREN: DOES IT EVEN MATTER
WHAT PRESIDENT TRUMP IS SAYING?
A LOT OF REPUBLICANS ARE COMING
OUT AGAINST DEMOCRATS WHO ARE
CRITICIZING THE PRESIDENT AND
GOING AFTER HIM, SAYING YOU
KNOW, KIM JONG UN WILL DO THIS
NO MATTER WHAT, REGARDLESS OF
WHAT DONALD TRUMP SAYS.
WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON THAT?
>> WELL, ANYTIME THE PRESIDENT
MAKES A STATEMENT IT IS SEEN AS
AN INDICATOR OF U.S. FOREIGN
POLICY.
HE IS, FOR BETTER OR WORSE, THE
REPRESENTATIVE OF NATIONAL
SOVEREIGNTY, SO HE SPEAKS FOR
THE NATION.
SO, YEAH, THE RHETORIC MATTERS.
AND ALSO I THINK MATT'S POINT IS
WORTH REPEATING, THE DANGERS OF
MISTAKEN SIGNALING, AN
ESCALATION, A SPIRALLING
SITUATION THAT GOES OUT OF
CONTROL IS CERTAINLY POTENTIAL
HERE.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
>> IT MATTERS HOW NORTH KOREA
PERCEIVES DONALD TRUMP'S
STATEMENTS.
IF THEY MISPERCEIVE THEM, WE
COULD HAVE MAJOR CONFLICT.
>> DARREN: WHAT HAPPENS IF THIS
HAPPENS?
HERE WE HAVE, YOU KNOW, THERE'S
TALK ABOUT GUAM AND, YOU KNOW,
THERE WAS SOME INDICATION THAT
NORTH KOREA WAS LOOKING TO
LAUNCH A MISSILE THAT COULD
REACH THE U.S.
WHAT'S THE POTENTIAL HERE?
>> NEXT WEEK THEY PROMISED TO
LOB FOUR MISSILES NEAR GUAM, SO
IT IS GETTING TO A SHOWDOWN
WHETHER WE WOULD SHOOT THOSE
MISSILES DOWN OR NOT.
SO NEXT WEEK COULD BE HUGE NEWS.
>> DARREN: WHAT DO YOU THINK
ABOUT SOME PEOPLE SAYING THAT
THIS IS POTENTIALLY STRATEGIC ON
THE PART OF PRESIDENT TRUMP.
AS EVERYBODY KNOWS, HIS NUMBERS
RIGHT NOW, APPROVAL NUMBERS,
PRETTY LOW.
SIGNIFICANTLY LOW.
AND WHEN THERE'S WAR, TYPICALLY
A PRESIDENT'S NUMBERS GO UP.
IS THIS AN STRATEGIC MOVE?
>> YOU ARE ASKING US TO GET
INSIDE THE HEAD OF DONALD TRUMP.
I AM NOT SURE ANYONE IS ABLE TO
DO THAT.
IT IS HARD TO USE THE WORD
STRATEGIC AND DONALD TRUMP IN
THE SAME SENTENCE.
HE SEEMS TO BE A SHOOT FROM THE
HIP TYPE OF GUY, IMPULSIVE, DOES
NOT REALLY THINK THROUGH HIS
STATEMENTS.
IT MIGHT BE SIMPLY THAT HE WAS
ASKED ABOUT NORTH KOREA, IN A
PRESS CONFERENCE, AND SIMPLY
RESPONDED FROM HIS GUT.
THERE IS NO INDICATION THAT THE
U.S. FORCE POSTURE HAS CHANGED
AND THIS IS A WELL THOUGHT OUT
POLICY THAT IS SUPPORTED BY
SECRETARY OF DEFENSE AND
SECRETARY OF STATE.
SO IT'S POSSIBLE IF SOMETHING
HAPPENS, AS MATT DESCRIBES IT,
SURE, RALLY AROUND THE FLAG
EFFECT WILL BOOST HIS
POPULARITY, AT LEAST IN THE
SHORT-TERM, BUT IN THE
LONG-TERM, ALL BETS ARE OFF.
>> THE "NEW YORK TIMES" SAID HE
SHOT FROM THE HIP AND REMARKS
MADE WERE OFF THE CUFF.
SO HE'S MADE NORTH KOREA
PRIORITY SINCE HE'S BEEN
ELECTED, SO PERHAPS HE'S PLAYING
TO HIS BASE BY USING THE
RHETORIC THAT HE DID.
>> IS THIS A DISTRACTION FROM
THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION INTO
MEDDLING IN THE 2016 ELECTION?
>> IT WILL DOMINATE THE
HEADLINES, PARTICULARLY IF AS
MATT SUGGESTS, THEY LAUNCH
MISSILES TO GUAM.
THAT CERTAINLY WILL TAKE THE
HEADLINES FOR A WHILE.
THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION NOT
GOING TO GO AWAY.
EVENTUALLY JOHN MUELLER WILL
REPORT ON WHAT HE FINDS AND THAT
WILL BE BACK IN THE NEWS.
>> DARREN: THE WORLD IS WATCHING
HERE.
CAN ANYTHING BE DONE BY OTHER
WORLD LEADERS TO, AS WE HEARD IN
WENDY'S REPORT, TRY TO COOL
THINGS DOWN?
>> SURE.
I MEAN, CHINA, RUSSIA, PLAYING
THE BACK THEMES AS WE HEARD,
SOUTH KOREA HAS A NEW PRESIDENT
WHO COULD VERY PIVOTAL IN THIS
DISPUTE.
JAPAN MAY SAY MORE, DO MORE, AS
WELL.
SO THERE'S SOME HOPE AT LEAST
FOR OTHER LEADERS STEPPING IN.
>> PART OF THE ISSUE HERE IS
THAT WE HAVE TRIED MULTI-LATERAL
TALKS FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS, AND
DONALD TRUMP HAS COME INTO THE
PRESIDENCY CLAIMING WE NEED TO
CHANGE POLICY.
0 NOT CLEAR WHAT THAT CHANGE
WOULD ENTAIL, WHETHER THERE IS A
BETTER POLICY THERE.
BUT HE CERTAINLY HAS CREATED THE
EXPECTATION THAT HE IS GOING TO
CHANGE POLICY HERE.
>> DARREN: GENTLEMEN, THANK YOU
BOTH FOR JOINING ME.
I APPRECIATE IT.
AND COMING UP NEXT, AN
ALL-TOO-COMMON FACTOR IN FATAL
VERMONT CRASHES: NO SEAT BELT.
WHY, AND WHAT CAN BE DONE.
THAT'S COMING UP AFTER THE
BREAK.
>> DARREN: TRAGEDY ON THE ROAD.
THE LAST WEEK WAS A DEADLY ONE
IN VERMONT.
>> DRIVERS, DO YOUR JOB.
>> BROWNINGTON, BRIDGEPORT,
SOUTH ROYALTON AND MILTON, FIVE
CRASHES, EIGHT FATALITIES.
THE SUDDEN SPIKE IN DEADLY
COLLISIONS SPARKED LAW
ENFORCEMENT TO TRY TO SEND A
MESSAGE TO VERMONTERS.
>> THESE CRASHES SHOULD BE A
STARK REMINDER TO ALL OF US WHO
DRIVE IN VERMONT OF OUR
RESPONSIBILITY TO DRIVE SAFELY.
>> THE RECENT WRECKS BRING THE
TOTAL NUMBER OF DEATHS ON
VERMONT ROADS TO 38, AND 40, IF
YOU COUNT ATVs.
16 PEOPLE WERE NOT WEARING SEAT
BELTS, INCLUDING THE FOUR KILLED
IN THE BRIDPORT CRASH.
>> IF YOU ARE THE DRIVER OF A
VEHICLE, INSIST ON SEAT BELTS
FOR ALL OCCUPANTS.
>> WHAT'S ALARMING HERE IS THAT
THE STATE HAS SEEN THE NUMBER OF
FATAL CRASHES RISE STEADILY
SINCE 2014 WHEN 44 PEOPLE DIED
ON VERMONT ROADS.
IN 2015, THAT NUMBER JUMPED TO
57, AND LAST YEAR, 62 PEOPLE
WERE KILLED.
THESE LATEST CRASHES PUT THE
STATE ON TRACK FOR SIMILAR
NUMBERS THIS YEAR.
LAST YEAR AT THIS TIME WE SAW 38
FATAL WRECKS.
AND WE'RE THERE THIS YEAR, TOO.
>> AS OF TODAY, WE HAVE TWO MORE
TRAFFIC FATALITIES THAN WE GO AT
THIS POINT IN 2016.
>> DARREN: POLICE ARE PROMISING
MORE PATROLS, BUT VERMONT
DOESN'T ALLOW COPS TO PULL
SOMEONE OVER FOR NOT WEARING A
SEAT BELT.
IT'S A SECONDARY OFFENSE,
MEANING A DRIVER MUST BE PULLED
OVER FOR SOMETHING ELSE FIRST.
AND STATE POLICE WON'T SAY IF
THEY WOULD SUPPORT UPPING THE
SEAT BET -- SEAT BELT LAW TO A
PRIMARY OFFENSE.
>> THAT'S NOT GOING TO BE THE BE
ALL AND END ALL TO CHANGE DRIVER
BEHAVIOR, WHETHER WE HAVE A
MANDATORY SEAT BELT LAW OR NOT.
>> NOW THE COMMISSIONERS AND
LIEUTENANT GARRY SCOTT WITH THE
STATE POLICE JOIN ME TO TALK
MORE ABOUT THIS.
GOOD MORNING.
>> GOOD MORNING.
>> DARREN: I WOULD LIKE TO
FOLLOW UP THERE, STUDIES SHOW
THAT SEAT BELT USE INCREASES BY
5% IN STATES WITH A MANDATORY
PRIMARY LAW WHEN IT COMES TO
SEAT BELTS.
WHY DOESN'T VERMONT HAVE THIS?
>> FIRST OF ALL, I THINK IT IS
IMPORTANT FOR EVERYBODY TO NOTE
THAT IT IS NOW ILLEGAL TO DRIVE
WITHOUT A SEAT BELT.
YOU KNOW, WHERE THE STATISTICS
COMES THAT INCREASED USAGE COMES
WITH THE PRIMARY SEAT BELT LAW,
I AM NOT SURE WHERE THAT COMES
FROM.
BUT TO ME, THIS IS REALLY ABOUT
DRIVER BEHAVIOR.
PEOPLE SHOULD WANT TO BUCKLE UP,
BECAUSE IT MAKES YOU MORE SAFE.
NOT BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT IS
TELLING YOU YOU HAVE TO DO IT.
I MEAN, IT IS REALLY A SIMPLE
EQUATION, BUCKLE UP AND YOU ARE
50 TO 70% MORE LIKELY TO SURVIVE
A SERIOUS CRASH.
THAT'S WHY PEOPLE SHOULD DO IT,
NOT BECAUSE YOU MIGHT GET A
TICKET, WHETHER IT'S PRIMARY OR
SECONDARY.
>> DARREN: HAVE YOU TALKED TO
THE GOVERNOR ABOUT THIS?
>> I HAVE NOT DISCUSSED THIS
DIRECTLY WITH THE GOVERNOR, BUT
I KNOW THE GOVERNOR IS EXTREMELY
CONCERNED ABOUT THE UPTICK IN
FATAL ACCIDENTS THAT'S OCCURRED
THE LAST FEW DAYS.
I KNOW HE HAS INDICATED IN MANY
PRESS ACCOUNTS THAT HE'S
RETHINKING HIS VIEWS WITH
RESPECT TO THE PRIMARY OR
SECONDARY SEAT BELT LAW.
THAT'S SOMETHING WE ARE GOING TO
LOOK AT, WE ARE GOING TO STUDY,
ASSESS, WE ARE GOING TO LOOK AT
THOSE KINDS OF STATISTICS, AND
MAKE WHATEVER ADJUSTMENTS NEED
TO BE MADE AT THE UPCOMING
LEGISLATIVE SESSION.
>> DARREN: COMMISSIONER, AS YOU
MENTIONED, THE GOVERNOR IN THE
PAST HAS NOT SUPPORTED IT BEING
A PRIMARY OFFENSE, BUT AS YOU
MENTIONED, HE IS REEVALUATING
THAT IN THE WAKE OF THIS
TERRIBLE WEEK THAT WE'VE HAD
HERE.
LET'S LISTEN WHAT HE TOLD US.
>> WE HAD A COMPLIANCE RATE THAT
WAS UNMATCHED THROUGHOUT THE
NORTHEAST, BUT IT APPEARS TO BE
SLIPPING IN THE CATASTROPHIC
EVENT THE LAST WEEK, AND THE
NULL OF DEATHS WE'VE EXPERIENCE
-- THE NUMBER OF DEATHS THIS
YEAR ALONE, AND MANY OF THEM ARE
UNBUCKLED.
AND IT FORCES YOU TO THINK, IS
THERE ANOTHER WAY.
SO I'M WILLING TO LISTEN TO WHAT
THE ADVOCATES ARE PROMOTING.
>> WOULD YOU SAY THAT YOU ARE
SOFTENING IN THAT POSITION, YOU
ARE WILLING TO SAY LET'S GO FOR
THIS?
>> YEAH.
I AM SOFTENING MY POSITION.
I'M WILLING TO LISTEN, BECAUSE
IT'S NOT JUST THOSE VICTIMS,
IT'S EVERYONE IN THE VEHICLES,
AS WELL AS THE FIRST RESPONDERS,
AND WHAT THEY HAVE EXPERIENCED
IN THE AFTERMATH.
>> DARREN: DO YOU THINK IT'S
LIKELY THAT THE LAW WILL CHANGE
HERE?
>> I THINK, YOU KNOW, WHAT THE
GOVERNOR IS SHOWING IS
LEADERSHIP ON THIS.
HE HAS LOOKED AT THE PROBLEM,
WILLING TO TAKE ANOTHER HARD
LOOK AT IT, AND MAKE SOME
DECISIONS WHEN THE LEGISLATURE
COMES INTO SESSION IN JANUARY.
I THINK THAT'S WHAT LEADERSHIP
LOOKS LIKE.
>> DARREN: WHAT IS THE SEAT BELT
FINE IF YOU ARE NOT WEARING IT
RIGHT NOW?
>> I BELIEVE IT'S $25.
IT'S NOT MUCH.
>> $25.
>> DARREN: IS THAT ENOUGH?
>> WE WILL LOOK AT THAT,
REASSESS.
MAYBE IT IS, MAYBE IT ISN'T.
AGAIN, MY POINT IS, PEOPLE
SHOULD WANT TO BUCKLE UP.
IT MAKES YOU SAFER.
THAT SHOULD BE THE PRIMARY
DRIVER BUG LINK UP, NOT --
BUCKLING UP.
NO THE WHETHER YOU ARE GOING TO
GET A $25 TICKET OR A TICKET AT
ALL FOR NOT WEARING A SEAT BELT.
AGAIN, IT IS ALREADY ILLEGAL NOT
TO WEAR A SEAT BELT.
>> LIEUTENANT SCOTT, LET'S TALK
ABOUT WHY YOU THINK THIS IS
HAPPENING.
BACK IN 2014 THE NUMBERS REALLY
LOW, ACTUALLY I THINK, IF I
REMEMBER RIGHT, IT WAS THE
LOWEST SINCE LIKE WORLD WAR II
OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.
WHY THE SUDDEN UPTICK, AND WHY
ARE WE SEEING THE TREND GO THE
OTHER WAY?
>> 2014 WE SAW GAS PRICES WERE
AT THE HIGHEST THEY WERE, THE
ECONOMY WAS A LITTLE DIFFERENT.
WE SAW FEWER TRAVELERS ON THE
ROADWAY.
NOW GAS PRICES COME DOWN, BECOME
A LITTLE MORE NORMALIZED,
TRIPLE-A SAID THERE WOULD BE
MORE PEOPLE ON THE ROADWAYS AND
WE ARE SEEING THAT.
WE SAW THAT THROUGH THE WHOLE
SUMMER.
THAT'S PROBABLY A CONTRIBUTING
FACTOR.
AND AGAIN, TO REITERATE WHAT THE
COMMISSIONER IS SAYING, DRIVER
BEHAVIOR.
I THINK PEOPLE ARE JUST A LITTLE
BIT MORE RISKY ON THE ROADWAYS.
IT'S THE WARMER MONTHS,
HISTORICALLY WE'VE ALWAYS SEEN
MORE SIGNIFICANT, OR DEADLIER
CRASHES DURING OUR SUMMER
MONTHS.
WE'LL HAVE MORE CRASHES DURING
THE WINTER BECAUSE OF
WEATHER-RELATED, BUT SUMMERTIME
DRIVING, PEOPLE ARE DRIVING
FASTER AND IF THEY ARE NOT
BELTED IN, THE CHANCES OF BEING
KILLED INCREASE DRAMATICALLY.
>> DARREN: SO WHAT IS STATE
POLICE'S RESPONSE?
WE TALKED ABOUT MORE PATROLS.
IS THAT WHAT WE ARE GOING TO BE
SEEING THIS SUMMER?
>> I THINK IN THE SHORT-TERM, I
THINK WE ARE GOING TO HAVE SOME
SATURATION PATROLS, EACH OF THE
BARRACKS WILL BE OUT THERE IN
FORCE ON THE INTERSTATES, ON THE
SECONDARY ROADS, ENFORCING THE
LAWS, AND TRYING TO SLOW PEOPLE
DOWN.
YOU KNOW, THE PRIMARY CAUSE OF
THESE DEATHS ARE DRIVING WHILE
UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL,
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF
DRUGS, TEXTING WHILE DRIVING,
DISTRACTED DRIVING, AND THEN
SPEED.
I MEAN, THOSE ARE REALLY THE
FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO THESE
UPTICKS IN DEATHS.
SATURATION PATROLS, I THINK YOU
CAN PROBABLY SEE MORE ARRESTS
FOR EXCESSIVE SPEED, THOSE
PEOPLE DOING 30 MILES AN HOUR OR
MORE OVER THE POSTED LIMIT, AND
THEN I THINK WE WILL ALSO
PARTNER WITH OUR LOCAL SHERIFFS
AND LOCALS TO TRY TO, AGAIN,
SATURATE.
BUT THAT'S A SHORT-TERM
SOLUTION.
AGAIN, THIS IS ABOUT CHANGING
DRIVER BEHAVIOR.
I MEAN, VERMONT TALKS ABOUT, ONE
COMMUNITY, WE LOOK OUT FOR EACH
OTHER.
THAT APPLIES ON THE ROADS, TOO.
>> DARREN: IS THIS COSTING THE
DEPARTMENT A LOT MORE, YOU
STEPPED UP PATROLS, OR WAS THIS
IN THE WORKS?
IS.
>> I THINK TRAFFIC SAFETY IS
SOMETHING WE DO DAY IN, DAY OUT.
WE DO IT EVERY SINGLE DAY, EVERY
DAY OF THE YEAR.
SO THIS STEPPED UP ENFORCEMENT
WILL, OBVIOUSLY WE HAVE SOME
RESOURCE WILL BE NEEDED, PEOPLE
DOING ROAD PATROL AND SATURATION
PATROLS WILL NOT BE WORKING ON
SOMETHING ELSE.
>> DARREN: LIEUTENANT SCOTT, I
KNOW YOU HAVE RESPONDED TO ALL
OF THESE ACCIDENTS OVER THE LAST
WEEK.
SOME HORRIFYING SCENES.
HOW DO OUR TROOPERS DEAL WITH
THIS, AND WHAT IS IN PLACE TO
MAKE SURE THAT YOU FOLKS ARE
OKAY?
>> THE DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN
PRETTY PROACTIVE IN THAT WE DO
HAVE A MEMBERS ASSISTANCE
PROGRAM.
IT IS MORE LIKELY THE TROOPER
WILL SPEAK TO ANOTHER TROOPER
ABOUT WHAT THEY ARE
EXPERIENCING, AND THEN WE DO
HAVE DEPARTMENT CLINICIANS,
EVERY SPECIAL TEAM, WHETHER IT'S
THE S.W.A.T. TEAM, THE TSU, BOMB
SQUAD OR CRASH RECONSTRUCTION,
WE MEET WITH THEM YEARLY, SORT
OF GET A TEMPERATURE WHERE THEY
ARE AT AND HOW THEY ARE DOING.
IT IS A COULD BE -- CONSTANT
THROUGHOUT THE YEAR OF MAKING
SURE PEOPLE ARE BEING SAFE, AND
THAT AFTER EACH INCIDENT WE HAVE
A DEBRIEF AS WELL.
>> DARREN: IS THIS PROTOCOL FOR
THE DEPARTMENT, OR IS THIS
SOMETHING THAT, YOU KNOW, AFTER
LIKE A TERRIBLE WEEK LIKE WHAT
WE HAVE HAD.
>> YEAH.
IF WE HAVE A SIGNIFICANT, LIKE
THE WILLISTON CRASH IN OCTOBER,
WE HAD MULTIPLE DEBRIEFS, THERE
WAS SO MANY PEOPLE INVOLVED IN
THAT, THAT WAS SOMETHING WE
WANTED TO MAKE SURE ALL OUR
MEMBERS WERE OKAY.
>> DARREN: WE WERE GETTING A
REPORT EARLIER IN REGARDS TO THE
BRIDPORT CRASH.
THERE WAS A REPORT OUT OF
GEORGIA WHERE TWO EVER THE
VICTIMS LIVED, SAYING THAT THE
FEMALE IN THE CAR HAD CALLED HER
MOM TO SAY THAT ALL OF HER
PASSENGERS WERE SLEEPING, THAT
SHE HAD NEEDED TO WAKE UP HER
BOYFRIEND, TO THEN GET BEHIND
THE WHEEL.
ARE YOU FOLKS LOOKING AT WHETHER
OR NOT SOMEONE FELL ASLEEP
BEHIND THE WHEEL IN THAT CRASH?
>> EVERY TIME A VEHICLE GOES
LEFT OF CENTER AND CROSS --
CRASHES HEAD-ON INTO ANOTHER
VEHICLE, WE WANT TO LOOK AT
EVERYTHING.
THIS IS STILL VERY EARLY IN THIS
INVESTIGATION, BUT IT IS NOT
RULED OUT.
OBVIOUSLY THESE FOLKS WERE
WORKING LATE INTO THE HOURS THE
NIGHT BEFORE, AND MOVING TO
ADDISON COUNTY TO START WORKING
AGAIN.
SO IT'S NOT -- WE CAN'T
CONCLUSIVE LIVE SAY THAT IS THE
CONTRIBUTING FACTOR TO THE
COLLISION.
>> DARREN: GENTLEMEN, ANYTHING
YOU WANT TO ADD?
ANY MESSAGE YOU THINK THAT
VERMONTERS NEED TO HEAR TO KEEP
OUR ROADS SAFER?
>> I GUESS -- I THINK IT'S TIME
FOR EVERYBODY TO MAYBE EVALUATE
THE WAY THEY DRIVE.
I THINK IT IS A GOOD OPPORTUNITY
TO PAUSE WHEN YOU HAVE SOMETHING
LIKE THIS HAPPEN, TAKE A PAUSE,
THINK ABOUT THE WAY YOU DRIVE,
AND BE RESPONSIBLE DRIVER.
EVERYBODY OUT ON THE ROADS, ALL
VERMONTERS THAT ARE DRIVING OWE
EVERY OTHER VERMONTER A DUTY OF
CARE OUT THERE.
AND I GUESS THAT WOULD BE MY
POINT, IS TAKE RESPONSIBILITY
FOR THE WAY YOU DRIVE.
DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE.
DON'T SMOKE DOPE AND DRIVE,
DON'T IT IS -- TEXT AND DRIVE
AND SLOW DOWN.
>> COMMISSIONER, LIEUTENANT,
THANK YOU BOTH.
APPRECIATE YOUR TIME.
COMING UP NEXT, KILLER PAIN.
CHRONIC PAIN SUFFERERS
STRUGGLING WITH NEW OPIATE
REGULATIONS.
DON'T GO AWAY.
\M\M
>> DARREN: THERE IS WIDESPREAD
AGREEMENT IN THE MEDICAL
COMMUNITY THAT PEOPLE OFTEN GET
HOOKED ON OPIATES INITIALLY
THROUGH A LEGAL PRESCRIPTION
FROM THEIR DOCTOR TO TREAT PAIN.
ACCORDING TO THE CDC, 91
AMERICANS DIE EVERY DAY FROM AN
OPIOID OVERDOSE.
SINCE 1999, THE NUMBER OF
OVERDOSE DEATHS INVOLVING
OPIOIDS QUADRUPLED.
IT'S LED TO A TIGHTENING OF THE
BELT, AND A STIGMA WITH
DISPENSING DRUGS.
WHAT ABOUT THE PEOPLE SUFFERING
FROM CHRONIC PAIN?
EVA McKEND SPOKE TO FAMILIES WHO
SAY NEW REGULATIONS ARE HURTING
THEIR LOVED ONES.
>> SHAKING, VOMITING, AND IN
SEVERE PAIN.
TAMMY'S HUSBAND, DOUG HALE, MADE
ONE FINAL TRIP TO THE DOCTOR
LAST YEAR BEFORE DECIDING HE
COULD TAKE NO MORE.
>> THE DOCTOR SAID I'M NOT GOING
TO RISK MY LICENSE FOR YOU
ANYMORE, AND HE SHOWED US THE
DOOR.
>> THE 53-YEAR-OLD RUTLAND
FATHER HAD BEEN BATTLING A
NUMBER OF CHRONIC ILLNESSES FOR
YEARS, INCLUDING TWO CONGENITAL
BIRTH DEFECTS.
OPIOIDS MADE HIM STAY -- STABLE,
BUT TAMMY SAID THE MEDICAL
COMMUNITY'S SWIFT CHANGE IN
ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE DRUG MEANT
DOUG WOULD BE ABRUPTLY WEANED
OFF.
>> ONCE YOU NEED OPIOIDS, YOU
ARE LUMPED IN WITH THE ADDICTS,
AND IT IS NOT THE SAME THING, IT
IS APPLES AND ORANGES.
>> DAYS AFTER LEAVING THE
DOCTOR'S OFFICE, HE TOOK HIS OWN
LIFE.
>> PEOPLE ARE LEFT WITH THREE
CHOICES: THEY CAN LIVE IN
UNRELENTING PAIN WITH NO HELP.
THEY CAN TURN TO STREET DRUGS.
OR THEY CAN COMMIT SUICIDE.
>> IT'S NOT ONLY TAMMY.
>> DON'T MISS NOTHING.
>> JIM LESARD TAKES CARE OF HIS
CHRONICALLY ILL WIFE MARIE, AND
SAYS HE'S RECENTLY RUN INTO THE
SAME PROBLEM.
>> BOTTOM LINE, IT'S RUINED
THEIR LIFE.
TO SEE THEM SUFFER LIKE THAT.
>> MARIE ON LIQUID OXYGEN FOR
HER BREATHING.
YOU CAN HEAR HER SCREAMING IN
AGONY IN THE BACK ROOM.
>> IT'S HARD.
YOU HEAR HER CRYING.
YOU CAN'T DO ANYTHING.
SORRY.
>> TAMMY AND JIM BOTH CAME TO
CHANNEL 3 WITH THEIR STORIES,
BECAUSE THEY ARE KERND --
CONCERNED ABOUT THE VERMONT
HEALTH DEPARTMENT'S NEW RULES
FOR PRE DESCRIBING OPIATES.
>> WE ARE FOCUSED ON THE INITIAL
PRESCRIPTION MUCH MORE THAN THE
CHRONIC PAIN PATIENTS.
>> XHIRGSER LEVINE SAID THE --
COMMISSIONER LEVINE SAID THE
RULES, INSTITUTED LAST MONTH,
GEARED TOWARDS LIMITING OPIOIDS
WITH PEOPLE WITH ACUTE PAIN,
LIKE FRACTURED BONES.
HE SAID THOSE RULES WOULD NOT
HAVE APPLIED TO SEVERE PAIN
PATIENTS LIKE DOUG AND MARIE.
BUT HE ACKNOWLEDGES THAT THERE
COULD BE CONFUSION.
>> THERE CAN BE AN EROSION OF
USE OF OPIOIDS TO A POINT THAT
COULD BE SWINGING THE PENDULUM
TOO FAR, AND DENYING PATIENTS
SOMETHING THAT COULD BE VERY
USEFUL TO THEM FOR THEIR PAIN.
>> LEVINE SAID HE HOPES THE
MEDICAL COMMUNITY CAN FOCUS ON
ALTERNATIVES TO TREATING PAIN
THAT DON'T INVOLVE MEDICATIONS.
HE SAYS PATIENTS CAN ALSO BE
REFERRED TO CHRONIC PAIN
SPECIALISTS, THAT DOES LITTLE TO
SWAY TAMMY, WHO HAS BECOME AN
ADVOCATE FOR PEOPLE IN PAIN, AND
A STAUB -- STAUNCH CRITIC OF
WHAT SHE DESCRIBES AS A
ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL MENTALITY.
>> THE GUIDELINES ARE KILLING
PEOPLE.
>> DARREN: EVA JOINS US TO TELL
US MORE ABOUT THIS DIFFICULT
BALANCE, AND EVA, YOU SAT DOWN
WITH THE HEALTH COMMISSIONER.
WHAT ELSE DID HE HAVE TO SAY
ABOUT THAT?
>> HE REALLY WANTED TO STRESS
THAT THE STATE RULES ARE
SEPARATE FROM THE
CDC GUIDELINES
ON DOCTORS AND MEDICAL
PROFESSIONALS IN THE STATE, THEY
ALSO FOLLOW THOSE GUIDELINES,
BUT THEY ARE SEPARATE.
THOSE CDC GUIDELINES HAVE BECOME
STRICTER IN THE LAST YEARS, BUT
THE COMMISSIONER SAID VERMONT'S
RULES ARE AIMED TO COVER THINGS
LIKE SAFE STORAGE OF MEDICATION
AND WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVER
OPIOIDS, AND HE SAYS THOSE SORT
OF OTHER PARTS OF THE RULE KIND
OF, PEOPLE LOSE TRACK OF THAT,
AND THAT'S SIGNIFICANT AS WELL.
>> DARREN: IS THERE ANY RECOURSE
FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE, YOU KNOW,
HAVE A LEGITIMATE CONDITION
HERE.
THEY ARE LOOKING FOR A WAY OUT
OF THEIR PAIN.
IS THERE ANY RECOURSE, CAN THEY
FIGHT THIS IN ANY WAY?
>> FROM WHAT I LEARNED FROM
SPEAKING TO THESE FAMILIES, THEY
CAN GO TO A CHRONIC PAIN
SPECIALIST, BUT EVEN THAT CAN BE
A DEAD-END.
IT REALLY DEMANDS -- DEPENDS ON
ULTIMATELY WHO YOU SEE.
>> DARREN: WHAT SPARKED YOUR
INTEREST IN THIS STORY, WHY DID
YOU PURSUE IT?
>> I THINK THAT AFTER THESE
RULES WERE ANNOUNCED WE SPOKE TO
THE HEALTH COMMISSIONER ON AIR,
WE SPOKE TO MEDICAL
PROFESSIONALS, DOCTORS, WE
HAVEN'T REALLY SPOKEN TO CHRONIC
PAIN PATIENTS, AND THEY REALLY
FEEL AS THOUGH THEY ARE
SILENCED.
THEY FEEL AS THOUGH WHEN PEOPLE
TALK ABOUT OPIOIDS, IT'S ALWAYS
IN A VERY NEGATIVE WAY, BECAUSE
IT IS A HIGHLY ADDICTIVE DRUG.
BUT THERE'S THIS ENTIRE
COMMUNITY THAT KIND OF GETS
ERASED.
SO IT WAS IMPORTANT, I THINK, TO
SPOTLIGHT THEM, AND GIVE THEM A
PLATFORM, AND UNDERSTAND THEIR
SIDE OF THE DEBATE.
>> DARREN: A LOT OF MEDICAL
PROFESSIONALS AND FOLKS WHO HAVE
REALLY LOOKED AT THE OPIATE
CRISIS AS WE MENTIONED, IT OFTEN
STARTS, THIS ADDICTION, WITH
PRESCRIPTIONS.
>> MM-HMM.
>> DARREN: OBVIOUSLY I DON'T
THINK DOCTORS ARE TRYING TO GET
PATIENTS HOOKED ON THIS, BUT
WHAT DID DOCTORS SAY.
DID YOU REACH OUT TO FIND OUT?
>> WELL, THE HEALTH COMMISSIONER
IS ALSO A DOCTOR, AND I THINK
THAT HE FEELS AS THOUGH THAT
OPIOIDS ARE NOT THE BE ALL AND
END ALL.
HE REALLY WANTS THE MEDICAL
COMMUNITY AND PEOPLE IN GENERAL
TO REALLY FOCUS ON ALTERNATIVES
TO PAIN.
SO WHILE HE UNDERSTANDS AND
EMPATHIZES WITH PEOPLE IN THIS
SITUATION, HE ALSO SEES THE
OTHER SIDE OF THAT DEBATE AND
UNDERSTAND HOW DANGEROUS OPIOIDS
CAN BE, AND WANTS US ALL TO
REALLY START ENTERTAINING OTHER
WAYS WE CAN TACKLE THIS ISSUE
THAT DON'T INVOLVE DRUGS.
>> DARREN: DID YOU HEAR FROM
OTHER FOLKS AFTER YOU PRODUCED
THIS SERIES?
>> IT IS LIKE THE STORY OPENED
THE FLOODGATES.
SO MANY PEOPLE REACHING OUT TO
PLEA -- ME SAYING I AM IN
CHRONIC PAIN, I AM HAVING
TROUBLE ACCESSING MEDICATION.
IT'S BECOME TABOO AMONG DOCTORS.
YOU DON'T WANT TO BE THE DOCTOR
IN YOUR REGION THAT IS ON RECORD
AS PRESCRIBING THE MOST AMOUNT
OF OPIATES.
IT'S BECOME VERY UNPOPULAR,
BECAUSE OF HOW ADDICTIVE THEY
ARE, AND BECAUSE OF THIS CRISIS.
SO A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE IN THE
SAME BOAT.
DOUG AND MARIE WERE NOT THE ONLY
ONES.
>> DARREN: AND WHAT KINDS OF
STORIES WERE YOU HEARING FROM
OTHER FOLKS.
YOU MENTIONED THAT THEY WERE
SAYING THAT, YES, I HAVE THIS
CHRONIC PAIN PROBLEM AS WELL.
WAS IT ALMOST LIKE A SUPPORT
GROUP, IF YOU WILL, LIKE THEY
WERE RALLYING BEHIND EACH OTHER
TO SAY, HEY, I'M THERE WITH YOU,
TOO?
>> ABSOLUTELY.
A LOT OF THEM SAID THEY WANTED
TO BE CONNECTED TO THE FOLKS IN
MY STORY.
THEY SAID THAT THEY HAVE TRIED
MEDICAL MARIJUANA, AND IT'S
HELPED.
SO I GOT THAT PERSPECTIVE AS
WELL.
HAVE, HAVE -- HEY, HAVE YOU TOLD
THEM ABOUT MEDICAL MARIJUANA.
THAT'S WHAT WORKED FOR ME.
MY DOCTOR STARTED EVENING ME OFF
-- WEANING ME OFF OPIOIDS.
A LOT OF THEM TELLING ME THAT
THEY GOT ADDICTED TO HEROIN,
THAT THEY WERE ON A LEGAL
PRESCRIPTION.
THEIR DOCTOR WEANED THEM OFF.
THEY FELT LIKE THEIR BACK WAS
AGAINST THE WALL AND THEY TURNED
TO STREET DRUGS.
SO HEARING A LOT OF THAT
PERSPECTIVE AS WELL.
>> DARREN: EVA McKEND,
APPRECIATE YOUR HARD WORK ON
THAT.
THAT WILL DO IT FOR US.
THE NEWS CONTINUES NEXT, RIGHT
HERE ON CHAM 3.
-- CHANNEL 3.
THE WEEKEND CREW STANDING BY.
TAKE CARE, HAVE A GREAT SUNDAY,
EVERYBODY.
Captioning provided by Caption Associates, LLC
captionassociates.com