January 30, 2007

AND PASSIVE ALCOHOL TESTS ARE ON THE WAY:

16 states see road deaths slashed (Larry Copeland, Alan Gomez and Oren Dorell, 1/30/07, USA TODAY)

Traffic deaths dropped substantially in 16 states last year, in many cases reflecting stepped-up enforcement and education campaigns, according to a USA TODAY analysis of statistics reported by the states. [...]

Illinois saw traffic deaths fall below 1,300, the lowest total since 1924. Road deaths there have been dropping every year since 2003, when the state enacted a law that allows police to stop motorists solely for not wearing seat belts.

"These numbers represent clear and convincing evidence to us that the law is working and seat belts really do save lives," Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich says.

Last year, three other states -- Alaska, Kentucky and Mississippi -- enacted such laws, bringing the number to 25. All three states reported declines in traffic deaths. Officials in Kentucky and Mississippi attributed the drops to the new law.

Among other factors cited in states that had drops in traffic fatalities: stiffer drunken-driving laws, police checkpoints aimed at aggressive driving, improved highway design, and graduated license programs and other safety efforts targeting young drivers.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 30, 2007 8:07 AM
Comments

I would like to know if the drop in traffic deaths is accompanied by an increase in the number of traffic injuries.

Say, you normally would die in a crash, but survive mangled beyond recognition because you're wearing a seat beat.

Are we creating a whole new population of life-long paraplegics who would have died without seat belts?

Posted by: John J. Coupal at January 30, 2007 10:41 AM

Maybe people drove less because of high gas prices?

That has to be one possibility if we take seriously Orrin's arguments in favor of raising gas taxes to make people behave differently. :)

Posted by: kevin whited at January 30, 2007 10:59 AM

A lot more people are working from home at least part of the time.

Posted by: erp at January 30, 2007 11:20 AM

Seat belts are all that matter.

Posted by: b at January 30, 2007 1:59 PM

drunks

Posted by: oj at January 30, 2007 2:40 PM

Nope. Seat belts.

Posted by: b at January 30, 2007 3:46 PM

You'd have to be a fool to drink and drive, and not wear your seat belt.

Posted by: AllenS at January 30, 2007 7:18 PM
« IF YOU NEVER UNDERSTOOD VIETNAM IT'S ESPECIALLY HARD TO DRAW COMPARISONS TO IRAQ: | Main | DRAGON SLAYER: »