2010 Highway Safety Report

The 2010 Roadmap to State Highway Safety Laws report is out.

Published by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, a coalition of insurance, consumer, health, safety and law enforcement organizations that promote safer roads and highways, it shows that promoting 15 model laws could save lives on our highways and roads. States are graded on their performance in adopting and maintaining model traffic safety laws. The report concludes that not one state has enacted all of the recommended laws. They include:

  • Adult Occupant Protection – Seat belt enforcement and all-ride motorcycle helmet laws.
  • Child Passenger Safety – Child booster seat law requiring children ages 4 through 7 be placed in a booster seat.
  • Teen Driving Graduated Driver Licensing – This phases in full driving privileges in a three-state process and allows for primary enforcement of the law.
  • Impaired Driving – Drunk drivers would face an ignition interlock device if they have violated the law in the past. There would be mandatory blood alcohol testing in fatal crashes and an open container ban.
  • Distracted Driving – A ban on text messaging for all drivers unless there is an emergency.

There are almost 40,000 fatalities and 2.3 million injuries at a cost of $230 billion every year.

Every day 102 people were killed on the streets and highways while more than 6,000 are injured.

The report is being issued as the state legislatures convene for their 2010 session. In the past, the federal government has used the “sanctions” approach to compel the state to adopt top priority highway safety laws or face losing federal Highway Trust fund monies.

Expect to see more laws in 2010 that address primary seat belt enforcement laws, ignition interlocks for first offenders, all-driver text messaging restrictions, and minimum graduated driver licensing programs.

States were graded using Green (good); Yellow (caution, needs improvement); and Red (danger). The placement was based on whether the state adopted the law and not on any evaluation of the state’s highway safety efforts.

States with a Green rating:

  • District of Columbia
  • New Jersey
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • Tennessee
  • Minnesota
  • California
  • Washington

States that earned a Red rating:

  • South Dakota
  • Arizona
  • North Dakota
  • Wyoming
  • Virginia
  • Vermont
  • Pennsylvania
  • Ohio
  • Nebraska

Source reports: http://ehstoday.com/safety/news/highway-safety-report-states-make-grade-8971/; http://www.saferoads.org/