Motor vehicle accidents claimed 37,461 lives in California and around the country in 2016, and a further 4.6 million road users were left injured.
Road safety experts say that law enforcement agencies, regulators and legislators must work together to make the nation's streets and highways safer, and a report released on Feb. 6 by the National Governors Association provides recommendations that are designed to help lawmakers achieve this goal.
The NGA report encourages governors to adopt road safety strategies that have been successful in other states and nurture cooperation between state and federal safety agencies. Legislative and regulatory recommendations include stricter seat belt laws, speed limit revisions, public transportation initiatives and policies that promote cycling.
Governors are also urged to implement more comprehensive graduated driver's license programs.
The nation's police departments are tasked with enforcing road safety laws and regulations, and the report provides governors with several law enforcement suggestions. The strict enforcement of speeding laws is strongly recommended, and the report advises governors to consider the widespread deployment of speed cameras and other traffic enforcement technology.
The report also recommends that governors take a more vigorous approach to drunk driving enforcement by increasing the number of DUI courts in their states and ordering more frequent sobriety checkpoints.
More rigorous policing could also benefit car accident victims.
Plaintiffs in civil court must establish that the defendant acted negligently, and Costa Mesa auto accident injury lawyers may find police reports and official investigations valuable sources of information when making these arguments. Most accidents are caused by or involve human error, and those errors are more likely to come to light when police are diligent and investigations are thorough.
Source: National Governors Association, State Strategies to Reduce Highway and Traffic Fatalities and Injuries: A Road Map for States, Feb. 6, 2018