The 2007 Roadmap



This report highlights gaps in Advocates' list of 15 essential and lifesaving highway safety laws and is a call to action for Governors and state legislators. Motor vehicle crashes continue to cause over 43,000 deaths and 3 million injuries per year and cost the nation over $230 billion. Passage of the 15 laws identified in Advocates' report will help prevent these tragedies and, at the same time, will save the states billions of dollars in economic costs associated with highway crashes.

(61 pages...please be patient)

In January 2004, Advocates published its first State Roadmap Report to provide guidance to each state on where it stood relative to the rest of the nation in implementing highway safety laws. This year, with few new laws to report, Advocates urges states to set an aggressive highway safety legislative agenda to stem the tide of deaths and injuries on our nation's roadways. More than any other action, public policy interventions change behavior and have immediate impact on improving outcomes. The laws recommended by Advocates save lives and save money.

Deaths from motor vehicle crashes changed very little this past year, (43,443 in 2005, from 42,636 in 2004) and motor vehicle crashes are still the leading cause of death for all Americans ages four to 34, killing 119 people every day. By any definition, this is truly a public health epidemic. If each highway safety law is considered a vaccine to inoculate our children, our friends, and our communities against a leading cause of death, every law listed in our Roadmap report should be at the top of each state's legislative agenda in 2007.

Occupant Protection

Seat Belts: Only three states, Alaska, Kentucky, and Mississippi adopted a primary enforcement seat belt law; 25 states still need to adopt this important law.

Motorcycle Helmets: Currently, 30 states do not require all-rider helmet law protection. In most of the 20 states and DC with the optimal law, anti-helmet groups battle each year to repeal the all-rider helmet requirement. There were six unsuccessful repeal attempts in 2006. No state passed a motorcycle helmet law in 2006.

Booster Seats: While five states passed booster seat laws (AL, HI, KS, MO, WI), only two of the states enacted Advocates' recommended booster seat law that covers children up to age eight (HI, KS, MO, WI). Out of 38 states and the District of Columbia (DC) with booster seat laws, only 15 states and DC have the recommended optimal booster seat law.

Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL)

Minimal improvement occurred in the enactment of laws to improve teen driver safety. A total of 12 new laws, covering five major GDL provisions, were passed nationwide. Only one nighttime restriction (KY), three passenger restriction (DE, KY, MO), five 30-50 hours supervised driving (DE, GA, IL, KY, MO), one 6-month holding period provisions (UT), and two cell phone restrictions (NC, WV) were passed nationwide. Only one state, Delaware, has adopted all five of Advocates' optimal GDL provisions.

Impaired Driving

Only two impaired driving laws recommended by Advocates were passed among all 50 states: two High BAC laws(HI, NE).

Please Read the Full Report to Find Out More About:

  • Advocates' Grading Criteria
  • Complete State Listing of Existing Highway Safety Laws
  • Definitions of the 15 Lifesaving Laws
  • In-depth State-by-State Highway Safety Information
  • Emerging Trends in Highway Safety Legislation

For more information on this report, please contact Jaime Alvis at or (202) 408-1711.

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