Yesterday, the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (AHAS) released a report of the top states for road safety enforcement efforts. Rhode Island, for the fourth year in a row, was top of the list. Advocates is an alliance of consumer, public health, safety and insurance firms that support policies and programs designed to promote highway safety. On average, about 100 people are killed and 7,500 are injured daily with an annual economic burden of $242 billion, according to the Advocates President Cathy Chase. Advocates’ ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia on adoption of 16 traffic safety laws. “The 16 optimal laws are precisely the types of recommendations nurses endorse to help prevent crashes and fatalities from happening or to reduce their severity,” said Mary Jagim, former president of the Emergency Nurses Association. “The goal of this rating is not to shame those states but rather to serve as a clarion call to action.”
The “2020 Vision for Safety” focuses on five areas of motor vehicle laws – occupant protection, child passenger safety, graduated driver licensing, novice teen drivers, impaired driving, and distracted driving. No state has instituted all 16 of Advocates’ recommended laws. In 2019, 12 laws were passed in nine states and the District of Columbia that meet the criteria for the basic safety laws Advocates outlines in the report. New Jersey required ignition interlock devices for all impaired driving offenders. Arizona enacted a primary enforcement all-driver texting ban. Primary enforcement means an officer can pull a person over if they are not complying with that law. There has been significant progress by the Advocates’ efforts of stronger vehicle safety standards over the last three decades. “Vision for Safety” is progress for safer vehicles and safer drivers.