La. Ranks High For Safe Driving Laws, Other S.C. States, not so Much

January 14, 2009

A new report finds Louisiana is among 15 states to have made progress in enacting key highway safety laws. Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas did not fare so well.

The 55-page study was done by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, based in Washington, D.C.

The organization uses 15 laws on teenage driving, impaired driving, seat belts and motorcycle rules as its highway safety measuring stick.

Louisiana won praise for its laws dealing with seat belts, motorcycle helmets, sobriety checkpoints and ignition interlock devices. The state got credit for parts of laws dealing with how teenagers get driver’s licenses and booster seats for youngsters.

However, Advocates said the state needs tougher laws on nighttime driving and passenger rules for new drivers; open container regulations and penalties for repeat drunken drivers.

The 2009 report found that four states – Arkansas, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming – were the worst performing states because they have the fewest of the most fundamental lifesaving laws.

Additionally, 14 states are perilously close to being rated as poor. These states on the edge are Arizona, Kansas, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Oklahoma was found to be advancing but continues to have numerous gaps in its highway safety laws.

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