Wednesday, January 27, 2010
On January 12, the Baltimore Sun reported that Maryland ranked among the top four states in the nation on the annual report card issued by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (AHAS). The state got a ratings boost from its recently adopted ban on text-messaging behind the wheel.
The state was given credit for adopting more than 11 of the 15 model laws recommended by AHAS. Achieving a high score in the ranking has become more difficult as the group has ratcheted up its goals for tougher laws.
Ranking first in safety in this year’s list was the District of Columbia, which was credited with adopting more than 13 of the model laws. New Jersey and Illinois also scored higher than Maryland. The laws cover such areas as required safety devices (seat belts and motorcycle helmets), child passenger safety, teen driving, drunk driving and distracted driving.
Areas in which the group said Maryland fell short were its failure to set 16 as the minimum age for a learner’s permit (it did raise the bar to 15 years, nine months), passenger and cell phone restrictions on teen drivers and an ignition interlock requirement for all drunk drivers. Maryland improved its score by adopting the texting ban and by raising its minimum age for an unrestricted license to 18 in 2009.
(Source: Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun, January 12, 2010.)
POSTED AT: 8:50:00 PM