In its 2010 Roadmap Report on State Highway Safety
Laws, a nonprofit group claims that Virginia as one of the nine worst states for traffic safety. The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, an alliance of consumer, health and safety groups, and insurance companies and agents, encourages the adoption of federal and state laws, policies and programs that it asserts can save lives and reduce injuries. According to the Washington Post:
Virginia failed to pass muster on 10 standards set by the group, including requiring blood-alcohol testing in fatal accident cases, banning open containers, mandating use of an ignition locking device that keeps people convicted of drunken driving from driving drunk again, and requiring applicants to be 16 before obtaining a learner’s permit.
Virginia came in for the most criticism in the group’s report card because of so-called secondary enforcement, laws that the police only can enforced if they first stop a motorist for another violation.
“In the case of Virginia, they could raise some of these secondary laws into primary enforcement” and be elevated from the lowest status, said Judith Stone, president of the advocacy group.
The group said that five laws it deemed important had been rendered impotent in Virginia because of secondary enforcement. Three of them were laws intended to restrict teenagers in nighttime driving, cellphone use and carrying passengers. Seat-belt law enforcement is secondary in Virginia, as is the ban on text messaging while driving.
The methodology and state rankings of this group may or may not be valid. That notwithstanding, safety on Virginia’s roads is a serious issue. If you or a loved one have been injured in a Virginia car accident, the Law Offices of Richard J. Serpe, P.C. stand ready to assist. Call Toll Free 877-544-5323, for a no-obligation consultation.