Group Finds Texas Could Do Better in Implementing Traffic Safety Laws

by William J. “Will” Maiberger, Jr. on 01/29/2013

A comparison of all 50 states on the implementation of essential traffic safety laws finds that Texas could enact many traffic safety laws that could help save hundreds of lives every year.  The analysis was conducted by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, a auto safety organization that rates all 50 states based on whether they have implemented the 15 essential traffic safety laws every year.  These laws include everything from bans on cell phone use while driving for all drivers, to anti-DUI laws and graduated driver licensing programs.

States are graded based on their performance in implementing these laws.  States that rate “green” have shown the best performance in implementing these laws, and “red” denotes the worst performers.  A “yellow” rating denotes that the state is on the right track, but could do much better by enacting more traffic safety laws.

The comparison finds that with a “yellow” rating, Texas has a number of highway safety laws that have helped keep motorists safer, could do much more.  For instance, the state could enact motorcycle helmet laws for all riders.  Texas used to have mandatory motorcycle helmet laws, but repealed the law a few years ago under pressure.  As a result, Houston motorcycle accident lawyers have found that motorcycle accident fatalities have skyrocketed around the state.

The report also recommends stronger graduated driver’s licensing programs for teenagers.  For starters, the organization recommends a minimum age of 16 for a learner's permit and a minimum age of 18 for an unrestricted license.  The group also recommends that Texas’ graduated driver licensing laws include stronger nighttime restrictions, and that the state implement ignition interlock laws that would require an interlock device to be installed in the vehicles of all DUI offenders, including first-time offenders.  

Tags: Automobile Accidents, Texas

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