Pennsylvania needs to do more to make its roadways safer.
That’s according to a new report from a National Safety Group.
As Crispin Havener reports the advocates for auto and highway safety has been pushing for years for Pennsylvania to make changes to some of their driving laws like primary enforcement for seat belts, mandatory helmets for motorcyclists, and restrictions for young drivers.
Over the past two years, road safety experts say driving is getting more dangerous.
“We are now at a critical point in our nation’s surface transportation history.”
2020 Saw the most people killed in crashes in 13 years, despite fewer miles being traveled due to the pandemic. And preliminary data from the first 6 months of last year shows an additional 18% spike.
“Unfortunately we know from experience and data that our roads have become more deadly in recent years with more speeding and impaired driving”
In their annual report out Tuesday, the advocates for auto and highway safety said part of the reason is that 42 states including Pennsylvania, don’t have optimal highway safety laws on the books.
“State and the U.S. Dot are overdue in enacting life saving proposals.”
Some of what Pennsylvania is dinged for includes laws the group has asked the Keystone State to add for years, like seat belt laws being a primary offense, an all rider motorcycle helmet law, and tougher restrictions for new drivers.
“Allowing this carnage to continue year after year when solutions are readily available is simply unacceptable.”
But there’s been no movement on changes out of Harrisburg. The state’s seatbelt law has been untouched since it passed in 1987, and the state repealed its mandatory motorcycle helmet law in 2003.
The state in recent years has also allowed the maximum speed limit to go up from 65 to 70 and remains the only state to not let local police officers use radar guns. A bill that passed the senate almost unanimously last year to change that has not been voted on in the state house.
But the advocates say such laws are needed now more than ever as the number of tragedies is getting out of control and needs to be curtailed before it happens to your loved one.
“They are family members, friends, and loved ones who are tragically impacted by preventable losses and serious debilitating injuries.”