Traffic Safety Laws

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The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety has given California a Green ranking for implementing key traffic safety laws. The organization feels that the state has done a good job in keeping motorists safe. The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety release an annual roadmap of state highway safety laws, which compares and rates states across the nation, based on whether or not they have enacted essential traffic safety laws. These laws typically refer to DUI, texting while driving, novice drive laws, and others.

California traffic safety laws

The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety compare the states based on a system of Red, Yellow, and Green ratings. The organization deems states ranked Green as having enacted many of the recommended key laws. However, Red states have been found to be dangerously behind in enacting key traffic safety laws. A Yellow rating typically refers to a state that has enacted some essential traffic safety laws while falling behind on implementing others.

California, which has been given a Green rating, indicates that as a state we have performed well on enacting several of the key traffic safety laws that the organization recommends. However, California is not perfect. The organization feels that California could do a much better job of keeping motorists safer if we had better and stronger laws for teen drivers. One of the recommendations the organization makes is stronger nighttime driving and passenger restrictions for teen drivers. The organization has also suggested a minimum age of 16 to obtain a learner’s permit.

Increase in crash deaths in 2012

The organization feels that if these traffic safety laws were enacted, may lives could be saved in traffic accidents annually, following the increase in crash deaths in 2012. The President of the organization, Jacqueline Gillan, states in the report:

“The traffic safety progress we’ve made since 2005 is at risk of being undone,

Several states have been moving backwards and most states are not moving at all to enact lifesaving laws. Last year only 10 state highway safety laws were enacted, in contrast to 16 laws passed in 2011 and 22 laws passed in 2010. Now is the time for states to act and get the ‘triple bonus’ of preventing deaths, saving taxpayer dollars, and reaping additional federal dollars available from the MAP-21 grant program. Every state legislature is in session this year and there is no excuse for inaction by Governors and elected leaders.”

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