Louisiana is one of only five states to receive the highest rating for its traffic safety laws in the 14th Annual Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws from the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (AHAS).
The report rates all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on the number of recommended traffic safety laws they have.
Louisiana received a green rating because it has nine of the 15 recommended traffic safety laws, including:
- Front seatbelt law – This allows law enforcement to pull over and write tickets for front seat occupants who were not wearing their seatbelts.
- Rear seatbelt law – This is the same as the front seatbelt law except it applies to passengers in the back seat.
- All-rider motorcycle helmet law – This allows law enforcement to cite riders who are not wearing a helmet that meets U.S. Department of Transportation standards.
- Supervised driving requirement – Teenage drivers with learner's permits must have 50 hours of training, including 10 hours at night, with an adult who has a driver's license.
- Six-month holding period – This requires teenage drivers with learners permits to always be supervised by an adult with a driver's license.
- All-offender ignition interlock – This requires all drunk driving offenders to have an ignition interlock installed in their vehicles.
- Child endangerment by drunk drivers – This provides special penalties for an impaired driving offender who puts a minor in danger.
- Ban on text messaging – This is a law prohibiting sending or receiving text messages unless there is an emergency.
- Electronic device/cellphone restriction – This prohibits teenage drivers from using any cellular devices unless there is an emergency.
The other states that received a green rating include Oregon, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Washington. The District of Columbia also received a green rating.
The report comes as traffic deaths have increased in recent years. 2015 saw the largest year-over-year increase in traffic fatalities in almost 50 years.
The trend continued last year, as the number of traffic fatalities in the first nine months were eight percent higher than the same period in 2015.
Tips to Improve Louisiana Traffic Safety Laws
Even though the Bayou State received a high rating, legislators could still do more to improve the state's traffic safety laws, according to AHAS President Jackie Gillan.
Louisiana needs to upgrade its booster seat law to cover children up to age eight, says Gillan.
She also recommended that Louisiana raise the age for obtaining a learners permit to 16 and expand its graduated drivers licensing laws.
When these types of laws are comprehensive, lives are saved, according to Gillan.
If you were injured or lost a loved one in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation, including medical bills and lost wages. Contact Simien & Simien's car accident lawyers today for a free legal consultation.