More than a dozen states are getting failing grades from Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. On Monday, the group released its annual report card which looks at the laws states have on the books to prevent injuries and death on our roads.
From laws that stop texting behind the wheel, to those that require all motorcycle riders to wear a helmet, safety advocates say states should be doing more to save lives.
In 2016, more than 37,000 people died in crashes, up 5.6% from the previous year. The year 2015 also saw a jump. Motor vehicle fatalities rose 8.4% over 2014.
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety just released a new roadmap evaluating states on 16 traffic safety laws.
Rhode Island, Delaware, Oregon, Washington, California, the District of Columbia and Louisiana all scored in the green with laws that enforce wearing seat belts in the front and back seat, text messaging restrictions and some restrictions on teen drivers.
South Dakota and Wyoming were at the bottom of 13 states landing in the red. None have a rear seat belt law or rear-facing car seat or booster laws crafted for child passenger safety.
This group is also advocating automated enforcement including speed and red light cameras. Melissa Wandall lost her husband after a driver sped through a red light.
"We have the technology to curb this deadly and dangerous behavior,” said Wandall.
And advocates want to see collision avoidance systems in all vehicles, not just as a luxury upgrade feature.
As more states legalize the use of marijuana, Advocates for Highway & Auto safety are eager to see new research about impairment and impact on the roads.