Texas ranks at the bottom in a new report grading states based on traffic safety laws. A new report released by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (AHAS), entitled “Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws.” According to the report, Texas has one of the worst records among the states for passing highway safety laws.
AHAS slapped a grade on all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on their performance in passing 15 basic traffic safety laws. The state of Texas joined several states at the bottom of the ranking.
Texas has 80,000 miles of state-run roadways, and the last day in which no one died on state roads was Nov. 7, 2000. While Texas became the first state to pass an 85-mile-per-hour speed limit in 2012, state lawmakers have been slow to adopt many of the traffic laws AHAS feels would be proactive steps to improving road safety and reducing traffic fatalities.
The group is attempting to put pressure on a number of states to adopt laws that have been proven to work to reduce accidents and fatalities. The report points to a new federal grant program that provides incentives for states to enact stricter teen driver licensing regulations, more stringent distracted driving laws and occupant protection laws, as well as ignition interlock laws that reduce drunk driving accidents.
Among the 15 highway safety laws evaluated by AHAS – most of which they found Texas to be deficient in passing – include seat belt, booster seat and motorcycle helmet law. They also want to see Texas pass greater restrictions and requirements for teen drivers, as well as bans on texting while driving, and more stringent laws regarding impaired driving.
As of 2012, Texas had only seven of the 15 recommended laws in place. During 2012, 10 state legislatures enacted one of the recommended traffic safety laws. Only 19 states have a motorcycle helmet law that affects all riders, despite the fact that 4,612 motorcycle riders were killed and 81,000 injured in 2011.
To meet their recommendations, the report found that an additional 316 new laws would have to be passed in all states. Even now, after all of the campaigns and PR about distracted driving, 15 states still have not passed a law banning all drivers from texting while driving, including Texas, in part because Gov. Rick Perry, in an unprecedented action, vetoed a texting ban passed by the Texas Legislature.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one as the result of an accident, call the San Antonio Car Accident Lawyer at Hill Law Firm today.