D.C., Illinois, Oregon score highest on traffic safety group’s ‘report card’

Washington – The District of Columbia, Illinois and Oregon ranked at the top of the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety’s 11th annual “report card” for having adopted 12 of 15 recommended traffic safety laws.

South Dakota, with two of the recommended laws in place, and Mississippi, with four laws, ranked “worst.”

The report card grades and ranks the performance of all 50 states and the District of Columbia on 15 traffic safety laws recommended by the group. Eight states enacted one or more of the laws in 2013, compared with 10 states in 2012 and 16 states in 2011. The following laws went into effect in 2013:

  • Primary enforcement of safety belts: West Virginia (in front seats) and Hawaii (in back seats). Primary enforcement allows law enforcement officers to pull over and ticket a motorist for not wearing a safety belt; secondary enforcement laws require the motorist to first be pulled over for another violation.
  • Graduated Driver Licensing laws: Cell phone restrictions for Hawaii, Maryland and Utah; supervised driving requirement for Texas.
  • Ignition interlock devices for all offenders of alcohol-impaired driving: Maine and Tennessee.
  • Text messaging ban for all drivers: Hawaii and Virginia.