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Report Says New Jersey Second Best at Driver Safety Regulation

According to a highway safety report, New Jersey has among the most comprehensive roadway safety laws in the country. In terms of rules regulating seat belt use, impaired driving, as well as distracted driving, New Jersey falls behind the District of Columbia.

Out of 15 possible points, New Jersey got a score of 13. According to the report, the state could improve its score by passing laws requiring an ignition interlock device for drunk-driving offenders, banning teens from driving between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., and requiring 30-50 hours of supervised driving for teenage drivers. Passing such regulation would, according to the report, cut back on motor vehicle accidents and help states save money on costs associated with such accidents.

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety is a coalition dedicated to lobbying for driver safety laws on behalf of consumer, health and safety groups, and insurance companies. The ranking was conducted by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, and was based on a set of 15 driver safety laws.

Critics of the report say that it over-emphasizes laws which in reality are counter-productive to highway safety. They say, for example, that ignition interlock devices actually create more of a distraction for drivers.

While the coalition's recommendations are only the views of a special interest group, it is hoped that they will encourage lawmakers to improve safety measures on roadways in order to prevent car accidents leading to injury and death.

Pennsylvania didn't fare well at all in the report. The state actually received a failing grade. Among the reasons for the score are the state's lax laws which allow drivers to use cell phones, text, and fail to wear a seatbelt without fear of being ticketed.

Source:, "N.J. driver safety laws are second-best in country, report says," Megan DeMarco, 24 Jan 2011.

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