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Road safety organization laments ‘complacency’ of state lawmakers

In our last post, we talked about how our city of San Francisco is taking steps to improve pedestrian safety by better enforcing sensitive pedestrian areas. The increased presence of police officers will deter motor vehicles from travelling at unsafe speeds, and make them less likely to make a risky driving decision.

However, what is the state of California doing to improve pedestrian safety? Or, for that matter, what is the state doing to improve road safety in general?

According to a new report from the Advocates of Highway and Auto Safety, California may not be doing enough. Though the source article does not specifically mention California, the AHAS report charges all states with becoming “complacent” when it comes to passing new legislation for road safety.

The non-profit organization says that, after a decade of reduced traffic fatalities, the complacency of law makers has led to an increase in the number of fatal accidents. From January to September of 2012, fatal car accidents jumped 7.1 percent over the same time period in 2011; that’s the largest year-over-year increase in fatal car accidents since 1975, a staggering statistics that demands action.

The report further points out that in 2011, 22 new traffic safety laws were passed by state legislatures. The number plummeted to 10 last year.

So what does this mean for the everyday driver or pedestrian in California? It means accidents are on the rise, and they can happen to anyone at anytime. Even with improved motor vehicles that are safer than ever and laws that are crafted to protect everyday people, we are still human. Mistakes are going to happen. When these mistakes happen, the victims need to know how to respond. A civil lawsuit may be the only way for a victim to be able to pay for medical costs incurred because of an accident.

Source: USA Today, “Group: Strong road-safety laws are lagging in states,” Larry Copeland, Jan. 15, 2013

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