Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (AHAS) in Washington, D.C. assert that Pennsylvania’s highway safety laws lag behind ten other states, putting Pennsylvania drivers at a higher risk of preventable car accident injuries and deaths. In a newly released report, “Lethal Loopholes,” updating laws from secondary to primary enforcement, 136 lives could have been saved with just the seat belt law alone in 2012. The report goes on to highlight the fact that Pennsylvania could do much better if driving laws were changed as other states have done, including Delaware, California, Maine, Illinois, and the District of Columbia.
When states classify an offense as secondary, it means the driver cannot be cited for the offense unless another offense had occurred. Toughening laws, such as wearing seatbelts to primary enforcement or enacting a requirement for 100 % use, reduces fatal car accidents by seven percent as studied by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Further, AHAS would like to see Pennsylvania enact tougher laws and make certain offenses primary when it comes to motorcycle helmet use, restrictions on teens, and DUI offenses.
The NHTSA asserts that requiring motorcycle helmets reduces motorcycle fatalities for the operator by 37%, and by 41% for motorcycle passengers. More stringent motorcycle helmet laws would have saved 39 lives in fatalmotorcycle accidents in 2012. The AHAS affirms that motorcycle fatalities will remain high without laws to enforce helmet use.
The report further recommends prohibiting cell phone use, including hands free devices, for drivers under 18. In addition, the report recommends supervision of drivers under the age of 18 while driving between the hours of 10:00p.m. and 5:00 a.m.(currently, supervision is required between 11:00 p.m.and 5:00 a.m.). Also, no one under the age of 18 should be able to obtain a completely non-restricted driver license.
Lastly, the report would like to see Pennsylvania install ignition interlock devices (IID) for any driver convicted of DUI, not just those who have had two or more convictions. Current law requires offenders with two or more DUI convictions to install ignition interlock devices for a year after their driver license has been suspended and completed. Research has shown the installation of IIDs has reduced DUI offenses by repeat and first time offenders between 50 – 90%.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates Get Compensation for Victims of Pennsylvania Car Accidents
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a car accident caused by a drunk driver, distracted driver, or drowsy driver the Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates will fight for your rights and get you compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our law offices are conveniently located in Center City Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Voorhees, New Jersey representing clients injured in car accidents throughout the Delaware Valley and South Jersey. Call today to schedule a no cost confidential consultation at 215-567-6600 or use our convenient online contact form.