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Group releases yearly evaluation of states traffic laws

Even though highway fatalities have fallen by close to 25 percent over the past 10 years, there are still far too many lives lost and families torn apart by fatal motor vehicle accidents.

For that reason, safety advocates are still encouraging states to do more to bolster their traffic laws. The Washington D.C.-based Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety is one group that routinely evaluates states based on their traffic laws and calls out areas in need of improvement. 

In the group's 2015 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws, states were graded based on their enforcement -- or lack of enforcement -- of 15 traffic safety laws that the group deems vitally important in order to save lives.

The state of California earned a "green" rating for its enforcement of the 15 laws, which means that the state is "significantly advanced toward adopting all of Advocates' recommended optimal laws." However, the group noted that there is still room for improvement in the state.

The Advocates determined that the state is still in need of a graduated licensing program for teen drivers as well as an ignition interlock law for all drunk driving offenders.

On the other hand, states like Arizona and Florida earned "red" ratings, meaning that "the sate falls dangerously behind in adoption of Advocates' recommended optimal laws."

Throughout the entire country, there were 32,719 people who killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2013 alone, according to the deputy administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Advocates believe this number could be reduced dramatically if states take action to implement the 15 optimal traffic laws. After seeing first-hand how fatal motor vehicle accidents affect families, we hope states take notice and implement these laws.

Source: Safety and Health Magazine, "States must bolster traffic safety laws, advocates say," Jan. 27, 2015

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