Highway safety needs to be bigger priority for Indiana, says new report

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A new report suggests Indiana needs a lot of improvement in terms of highway safety.

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety released its 10th Annual Roadmap of Highway Safety Report. Spokesperson Cathy Chase says more than half of all people killed on roads weren’t wearing seatbelts.

One positive about the state is that Indiana has a strong seatbelt law, but on the other hand, lacks an all-rider motorcycle helmet law.

It’s good news that 2011 highway deaths fell to 32,367, a 1.9 percent decrease from 2010. However, preliminary figures for the first nine months of 2012 indicate a 7.1 increase increase in fatalities compared to 2011. Moreover, annual costs to society from motor vehicle crashes remain at more than $230 billion.

Chase says 750 people died in highway crashes in 2011 and 8,319 have died in the past ten years in Indiana. Tips to help the state improve include:

  • Raising the graduated driver licensing law to be age 16 instead of 15 to give young drivers another year of maturity.
  • Expanding and toughening driving restrictions for teens between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  • Introducing ignition interlocks, devices that detect alcohol in the driver’s breath before they can start vehicles, for those who’ve been arrested for drinking and driving offenses before.
  • Creating a law that would compound charges for those who drink and drive with children in their vehicles.

To see the full report, click here.

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