Editor's Page: State of safety
February 06, 2013
by Sean Kilcarr
If you think there are already too many traffic laws on the books, think again. At least one group firmly believes there aren’t nearly enough—and it’s out to convince governors and state legislators across the U.S. to pick up the pace.
“The traffic safety progress we’ve made since 2005 is at risk of being undone,” said Jacqueline Gillan, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, during a press event earlier this year. “Several states have been moving backwards and most states are not moving at all to enact lifesaving laws.”
For example, she said, only 10 state highway safety laws were enacted in 2012, in contrast to 16 laws passed in 2011 and 22 laws passed in 2010.
Why the fuss? Gillan said it’s simple. Preliminary National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data recorded the largest jump in traffic fatalities since 1975, a 7.1% increase in crash deaths during the first nine months of 2012 compared to the first nine months of 2011.
Every year, she explained, about 33,000 people are killed and over 2 million more are injured in crashes—costing the U.S. some $230 billion every year.
We’ll see which governors and state legislators are convinced.