According to the National Safety Council (NSC) Congress recently included some bonuses in its Surface Transportation Reauthorization Bill.
Safe driving advocates with the NSC are applauding Congress for including a number of safety provisions to help to reduce the risks of traffic accidents in Massachusetts and elsewhere. The new provisions are being used to help to cut down on distracted driving car accidents and to beef up Graduated Driver’s Licensing (GDL) programs to better protect our young drivers.
Congress chose to target distracted driving and teen driving because of the risks they both pose. About 25 percent of all car accidents involve a distracted driver nowadays. In addition, car accidents continue to be the number one killer for teenagers across the country. Both tough distraction-related and tough teen driver-related laws prove to have what it takes to reduce risks of accidents. Now, Congress is calling on states to enact more of these tough laws to improve the safety of everyone.
Our Massachusetts personal injury lawyers understand that Congress is luring state legislatures by offering incentives for those who join the cause. In recent years, incentives have been offered to states that make tougher impaired driving and seat belt laws. It has been proven that each of these states that enacted these toughened laws actually showed a reduction in the number of car accident fatalities.
“This bill will help states make roadways safer. We are confident that incentives will provide encouragement to state legislators to enact distracted driving and teen driving laws that will reduce crashes,” said CEO and president of the NSC, Janet Froetscher.
Through this bill, there is about $13 million up for grabs for those states that adopt the toughest elements to their GDL programs. Some of the elements include passenger restrictions, nighttime restrictions, plenty of supervised driving time and laws to keep distractions out of these young driver’s hands. Effective GDL programs allow teen drivers to gain experience behind the wheel by sending them through a number of phases that slowly peel away restrictions. They’re exposed to more and more just a little at a time allowing them to get a thorough driver’s education and to slowly be exposed to driving privileges.
There is another $23 million that’s being set aside for states that devise tougher distracted driving laws. Legislators are trying to get more states to make it illegal for drivers to talk on cell phones and text message behind the wheel. In the state of Massachusetts, only drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from talking on a cell phone behind the wheel. All drivers are prohibited from text messaging.
The bill also includes funding for distracted driving research.
If your family is dealing with the repercussions of a car accident in Braintree, Dedham, Quincy, Boston or in any of the surrounding areas, contact Injury Lawyer Jeffrey S. Glassman. Our law firm offers free and confidential consultations to discuss the cases and the rights of accident victims. Call 877-617-5333 to schedule your consultation today.
More Blog Entries:
Boston Car Accidents & The Risk of Summer Road Rage, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, July 5, 2012
Teen Car Accidents in Massachusetts: A Look at Generation Y?, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, July 1, 2012