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Traffic safety advocates optimistic about new laws in coming administration

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Posted at 10:09 AM, Jan 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-12 17:10:01-05

Traffic safety experts have described U.S. roads as “risky racetracks” during the pandemic.

More tickets were written for going faster than 100 miles per hour last year than previous years. Distracted and impaired driving also went up.

That’s all while people were wearing their seatbelts less, which led to more deadly crashes based on the number of miles driven than we saw in past, traditional traffic years.

“The positive news is that we know how to solve this. We don’t have to wait for a new vaccine or unproven safety technologies. We have the answers. We just need the leadership to move forward with them,” said Cathy Chase, President of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.

Reducing deaths on roads comes down to about 16 laws, according to Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.

The group just released their annual grades on how states are doing passing these laws – things like rules around teen drivers, impaired and distracted driving, child passenger safety, and occupant protection.

Advocates say there are nearly 400 of these laws missing from states, really because people don't understand how effective they are.

“Once state elected officials realize by passing an all-occupant seatbelt law, the percentage of people that buckle up automatically goes up,” said Chase.

On the federal level, advocates say they're optimistic about the new administration coming in to help pass new legislation.

One of the top priorities is making driver assistance systems like blind spot detection mandatory.