The following is the introduction to this important document from the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, a document which highlights that various state governments around the USA are unacceptably lax in creating laws which could save many thousands of American lives each year :
We Don’t Have to Wait for Fully Autonomous Cars to Stop Needless Deaths and Injuries
Effective and Available Countermeasures Must Be Adopted Now
The 2018 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws marks the 15th annual publication by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates). This report serves as a navigational tool giving guidance on successful measures to reduce preventable motor vehicle deaths, injuries and crash costs. Each day on average, approximately 100 people are killed and 6,500 more are injured on our roadways across the country. Yet, solutions continue to languish or be ignored in state capitals, Congress and at the U.S. Department of Transportation.
People differ on whether lane splitting on motorcycles should be legal or not, but this technique — as with, for example, permitting “right turns on red” at traffic lights — has more to do with the convenience of drivers or riders than it does with best safety standards. In any event, whatever your stance on the subject, it is NOT legal in Washington State.
Whenever people argue that it is the right of a motorcyclist to accept additional risk of serious injuries or death, if they wish to do so, a key part of the argument is casually forgotten, and that is the often huge extra expense to everybody else if the worst happens. It is now many years since the average cost, per body, of fatal road-crashes in the USA went above $1 million. Indeed it is a well above a million dollars now.
While it is something one might reasonably expect only in relation to poorer, “third-world” countries, the United States of America fails to do well in any of the legislative requirements to achieve basic standards of road safety, as outlined in the most-recent edition of the Global Status Report on Road Safety, by the World Health Organisation [WHO].
As of tomorrow –July 23, 2017 — it will be against the law for Washington State drivers to use hand-held cell phones while they are driving. This applies to all electronic devices, including tablets, laptops and video games. Tickets for driving while using hand-held electronics will go on a driver’s record and be reported to their insurance provider:
In this post, I am not particularly picking on California as such, because the weird situation I’m about to describe apparently happens in many, or maybe even all states (see the Massachusetts example in the photo below).
On July 20, 2017, the California Department of Motor Vehicles published this on its Facebook timeline: ‘Don’t litter! The fine is $1,000, & you may be forced to pick up what you threw. Convictions go on your driving record.’ (Our italics, for emphasis.)
An attached photograph on the DMV post shows a picture of somebody dropping trash from the driver’s door window of a white car.
Twenty-five years ago, in 1992, the World Medical Association — the world’s top doctors — made a recommendation that no country on earth should allow a blood-alcohol limit higher than 0.05 percent. Things started to move early in this new 21st Century and suddenly virtually all of the nations in Europe and many countries elsewhere had dropped their limits from 0.08% (or equivalent) to 0.05%.
Utah has now taken the laudable step of becoming the first state in America to follow suit and introduce this life-saving legislation, but the uninformed are now appearing out of the woodwork, hollering and howling in protest.
I wish you fortitude, Utah. Stick to your excellent principles and save even more lives!