2019 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety released their 2019 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws last week. This reports analyzes federal and state laws, policies and programs that prevent motor vehicle crashes, save lives, reduce injuries and contain costs to see how our nation is performing with regards to driver safety. Each state was rated on the effectiveness of its laws at protecting drivers on our nation’s roadways. The report also identifies gaps in each state’s laws and recommends laws that are needed to meet optimal safety standards (Advocates). Unsurprisingly, laws supporting ignition interlock device use are on the list.
Ignition Interlock Law Progress
Advocates, in addition to organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), supports all-offender ignition interlock laws. Currently only 32 states and Washington, D.C. have enacted all-offender IID laws; however, Advocates is committed to working with state legislators and MADD to ensure all 50 states require all drunk driving offenders to install an ignition interlock device to reinstate their license.
The 2019 Roadmap has good news to report on the IID front - in 2018, both Iowa and Idaho adopted ignition interlock laws that now require all offenders convicted of impaired driving to install a device, which improves both states’ ratings from red to yellow — states are given a ranking of green (laws in good standing), yellow (laws in need of updating or strengthening) or red (little or no protective regulations). While Iowa and Idaho took a step forward in the right direction in terms of adopting proven ignition interlock laws, several states still need to take that same step toward improvement. The 2019 Roadmap indicates that laws related to impaired driving are still needed: 33 laws for all-offender ignition interlocks, child endangerment, and open containers.
Download Infographic: IID Laws By State
Road to Improvement
In 2017, there were 37,133 crash fatalities on American roads, and in 2016, three million people were injured in a motor vehicle accident. Advocates recommends 16 fundamental laws each state should enact to help prevent or reduce the number of accidents and fatalities, yet no state currently has enacted all 16 laws. This year’s report found that 406 laws are still needed to meet Advocates’ recommendations. In addition to the 33 laws in regard to impaired driving, laws in the following areas are still urgently needed:
- Primary enforcement seat belt laws for both front seat and rear passengers
- All-rider motorcycle helmet law
- Rear facing carseats through age two
- Graduated driver licensing (GDL) for teen drivers
- GDL cell phone restriction
- All-driver text messaging restriction
Each day, more than 100 people are killed on American roads and 8,500 more are injured. Advocates publishes this report each year in hopes to reduce those numbers. To learn more about Advocates and to read the 16th edition of the annual Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws, visit saferoads.org.