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Study rating Maryland and D.C.'s highway safety laws released

Each year, the alliance known as the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates) publishes a Roadmap to State Highway Safety Laws. This guide serves as a point of reference for state lawmakers who are concerned about the rate of motor vehicle accidents and accident-related injuries that occur on their state’s highways each year.

The Advocates compile data about each state’s highway safety laws and compare them with a set of laws that is currently considered ideal for preventing as many highway accidents as possible. These laws are broken into various categories, explained and compared on a state-by-state basis.

At the end of the report, each state is given an overall ranking of red, yellow or green and is given guidance on how state lawmakers can improve their state’s laws before the next report is published. States given a red rating are in need of significant reform. States given a yellow rating are in need of legislative improvements. States given a green rating are well on their way to preventing as many highway accidents as possible through legislative means.

The Advocates granted the District of Columbia a green rating and Maryland a yellow rating in its 2014 Roadmap. The District is advised to require all individuals convicted of drunk driving to install ignition interlock devices and to strengthen its nighttime and cellphone provisions of its graduated drivers’ license (GDL) program. Maryland is advised to also pass ignition interlock legislation, strengthen its GDL program in numerous ways and require primary enforcement of seatbelt laws for rear seat passengers.

Source: Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, “Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety releases the 2014 Roadmap to State Highway Safety Laws,” Jan. 22, 2014

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