More than 37,000 people are expected to be killed on U.S. highways this year, and one group is renewing calls for states to pass traffic safety laws.
At a news conference Thursday, the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety released its annual report evaluating progress being made by 50 states and D.C. in implementing 16 laws related to child passenger safety, teen drivers, impaired and distracted drivers, motorcycle helmet requirements, and primary enforcement of front and rear seat belt laws.
No state has all of the 16 recommended laws.
The “2020 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws” rankings find:
- D.C. is green and has made significant progress adopting lifesaving laws.
- Maryland is yellow and is one new law away from achieving green status.
- Virginia is in the group’s red danger zone and said to be falling dangerously behind.
As for some of the ways the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety believes localities could improve:
- D.C. could pass a booster seat child protection law, impose stronger nighttime restrictions in graduated driver licensing laws, and make 16 the minimum age for a driver’s license learner’s permit.
- Maryland could pass a primary enforcement seat belt law for rear passengers, make 18 years old the age to receive an unrestricted driver’s license, and require rear-facing child safety seats through age 2.
- Virginia could make front and rear seat belt requirements subject to primary enforcement, make 16 the minimum age for a driver’s license learner’s permit and prevent teen drivers from driving at night, and pass an open container law.
See the full report here.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to remove quotes from Elda Ramiraz, who spoke at a previous year’s news conference.