Philadelphia Injury News

Improving Pennsylvania highway safety laws

Based on a newly issued report, Pennsylvania is a highly progressive state  but its highway safety laws are not in place that results to deaths, injuries and costs that could otherwise have been prevented.

Some of the enumerated short comings involved lack of a total primary seat belt laws enforcement due to the following limitation: (1) police are not allowed to apprehend drivers or passengers who are 18 or older for not wearing a seat belt unless they are cited for another traffic offense; (2) a motorcycle helmet law applicable to all bikers; and (3) failure to place greater restrictions on teen drivers or individuals convicted of DUI offenses.

NHTSA data reported that in 2012, around 136 lives in Pa. could have been saved with 100% use of seat belts while 39 lives could not have been wasted by 100 % wearing of motorcycle helmets.

Studies made by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety stated their laws needed to step from secondary to primary enforcement especially seat belt laws that will lower driver death rates by 7%.

Last year, four teenagers from Bucks County who were students of Council Rock South High School were involved in a deadly SUV crash. Two were pronounced dead on the scene for they had no seat belts on when the van overturned several times off the road of NE Pennsylvania. The third victim died after admission to the hospital due to severe injuries although he had on a seatbelt and a fourth victim sustained minor injuries although he was unbuckled.

When primary enforcement laws are passed, the use of seat belt usage rates increase from 10 to 15%.

NHTSA strongly recommends the passage of motorcycle helmet laws in Pennsylvania as the use of this safety hear gears reduce the chance of fatal injury by 37% for motorcycle drivers and 41% for passengers. Without the implementation of strong laws, helmet use is low and deaths are high.

Other recommendations in the report were:  (1) bans the use all cellphone even those hands-free apps for drivers under the age of 18; (2) lengthening the time of prohibiting drivers under the age of 18 from driving without adult supervision starting from the hours between 10:00 o’clock in the evening to 5:00 o’clock in the morning from Pennsylvania ban that starts 11:00 o’clock in the evening to 5:00 o’clock in the morning; and (3) prohibiting anyone under the age of 18 to obtain an unrestricted driver’s license.

Finally, it recommends that Pennsylvania mandates installing of ignition interlock devices (IID) in all vehicles of drivers convicted DUI that currently required only for repeat offenders.

It is not all negative as Pennsylvania has shown moderately positive performance in setting in place eight out of the 15 recommended laws; that included – child endangerment, booster seat, use of open container, learner’s permit laws and text message.

If you or your loved one has been harmed or fatally injured due to negligence or someone else fault, contact an injury lawyer now for free consultation. You may be entitled to financial compensation for economic damages, as well as pain and suffering.


Source: Daily Local Com


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