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Friday Facts: Government Information You Can Use

This Week's Facts:

  1. Law Enforcement Cracking Down on Impaired Drivers

  2. Website Helps Students Plan & Prepare for College

  3. Federal Register Much More than Government Document

Agency Partners with
Public to Solve Problems

Challenge.gov, an online service of the General Services Administration, helps the federal government and the public work together to solve public problems. One of the latest efforts is a charge for web developers to create apps which prevent dating violence and sexual assault. Young women and young men both face these issues. Apps Against Abuse provides an opportunity to make a difference by providing expertise and opinions about applications that help prevent abuse.

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Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Elisabeth O’Donnell
Federal Documents Librarian
&

Kim Brown-Harden
State Documents Coordinator

Indiana Federal Depository Library Program

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Law Enforcement Cracking Down on Impaired Drivers

Indiana Criminal Justice InstituteAs summer comes to a close, people from all over Indiana and other states will be traveling to celebrate the Labor Day holiday. The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute warns Hoosier citizens to Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. This statewide campaign began August 9th and ends September 5th. Motorists traveling through Indiana will see increased police presence on roadways throughout the state. Saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints will target and arrest impaired drivers and motorcyclists.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly a third of the nation’s traffic-related motor vehicle fatalities involved a driver or motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol content of more than .08, which is an average of one fatality every 48 minutes. Drive Sober or get Pulled Over is a national enforcement effort supported by federal funding given to the Traffic Safety Division of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. Click here for more information about the campaign. Please remember to drive safely and keep the keys for impaired friends before they get behind the wheel.  

Website Helps Students Plan & Prepare for College 

LearnMore IndianaMost Indiana colleges and universities begin this week. Many students will be leaving home for the first time and may have questions or concerns about college life. The Indiana Department of Education has tools and resources to help them navigate the unchartered waters of college. LearnMore Indiana has information for seniors and beginning college students on topics such as getting credit cards; how to choose a major; transitioning from high school; and other resources to help Indiana students succeed in their college career. Also, the Indiana State Police offers safety tips for college students on their website.  Here’s to a successful, safe academic year!  

Federal Register Much More than Government Document

Federal RegisterThe Federal Register is a great source for US citizens. Not only does it contain rules and regulations as proposed by the federal government and other organizations, but it also includes executive orders and other presidential documents. Most people know that laws are passed by Congress and signed into law by the President. However, what they don’t always realize is that while the law tells what citizens and federal agencies need to do, it doesn’t always tell them how to do it. This is where the federal regulatory system comes in. These rules and regulations are developed by federal agencies and dictate how a law is to be carried out. They are posted in the Federal Register as proposed and citizens are allowed to comment on them before they are formalized into actual rules. Once that happens, they are compiled and codified by subject into the Code of Federal Regulations.

The Federal Register dates from the 1930s and is available in print or on microfilm at your local Federal Depository Library. You can also get to it online. One source is through FDsys, where you can view the current issue as well as issues dating back to 1994. However, another and more user-friendly source is FederalRegister.gov. This is the official website of the Office of the Federal Register. It is really easy to navigate – you can browse by topics, such as Health & Public Welfare or Environment, or by type of notice. For example, if you are looking to see if a rule was proposed, you can go in the Proposed Rules section for that day. The website contains a good explanatory section about the Federal Register and also explains the format of the publication. You are unable to submit comments for proposed rules here – the easiest way is to go to Regulations.gov for that – but you can view the rules themselves, and each section tells you the different ways to comment on each rule as well as when the deadlines are. Using this website is a great way to make an often confusing publication much more understandable!

Friday Facts is a free publication produced by the Indiana State Library, distributed weekly in an electronic format.
Past issues are archived at
www.in.gov/library/newsroom.htm.

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