More states fail in highway safety report
Several states dropped in their safety ratings in the Washington-based Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety’s (Advocates) 2010 Roadmap Report on State Highway Safety Laws. The safety rating decreases were a result of the Advocates’ inclusion of text messaging restrictions, graduated driver licensing (GDL) programs and ignition‐interlock laws for drunk driving offenders in the report’s analysis. Six states that last year earned Green ratings, the highest grade for model performance, this year fell to Yellow ratings, and an additional six states fell from Yellow to the worst‐performing Red rating.
The Advocates’ report considers a set of 15 model laws — including seat belt, booster seat and motorcycle helmet measures — in ranking each state’s highway safety laws. “Our goal this year in adjusting the 15 model laws that we evaluate was not to make it harder for states to earn the Green rating,” said Advocates President Judith Lee Stone in a statement. “Rather, our intent was to highlight the documented need for more states to adopt these highly effective lifesaving laws aimed at high‐risk behaviors.” One state was added to the Green category, while another improved from Red to Yellow.
The District of Columbia, with 13.5 of the 15 model laws, topped the list of best states, while South Dakota, which has only three of the model laws in place, received the lowest ranking. The 2010 highway safety report cards are being released as state legislatures across the country are convening their 2010 sessions, said Advocates Vice President Jackie Gillan in a statement. “Timing is everything, and the time is right to increase the pressure on states to act urgently to pass these lifesaving laws this year,” Gillan said. “If our state legislatures cannot find a way to adopt these model laws, we have Congress waiting in the wings to compel them to finally do so.”
Over the past decade, an average of 40,000 Americans were killed and 2.5 million were injured each year in motor vehicle crashes at an economic cost of $230 billion – an average of 110 deaths, 7,000 injuries and $630 million in economic losses every day, according to Advocates.
Download 2010 Roadmap Report on State Highway Safety Laws and watch a Webinar on the report.