Improvement Needed On Traffic Safety Laws In New England, Says Advocacy Group
A highway safety advocacy group says Vermont and New Hampshire are "dangerously behind" adoption of recommended traffic laws, and Massachusetts and Connecticut are faring only slightly better.
An annual report card from Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety said all four states lack strong seat belt laws needed to get its top rating, according to its president, Cathy Chase.
"A state cannot achieve this distinction without a primary enforcement seat belt law covering both front and rear seat occupants," Chase said in an online briefing. "Eight states and D.C. received a green rating."
Maine, Rhode Island and New York received the top rating, since they have laws that allow police to stop drivers for not wearing seat belts.
The group said preliminary data shows there's been less vehicular travel across the country in 2020, but the fatality rate from motor vehicle crashes "jumped dramatically."
"This public health toll is significant, staggering and deserving of serious attention and swift action," Chase said.
The group is urging states and Congress to pass stronger traffic safety laws, including the use child car seats and motorcycle helmets.