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D.C. Region's Traffic Laws Vary Widely

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D.C. and MD are being praised for strong traffic safety and drunk driving laws.
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D.C. and MD are being praised for strong traffic safety and drunk driving laws.

By David Schultz

The group Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety says the district has stronger traffic safety laws than any state in the nation. It also praised Maryland for its robust drunk driving laws.

Rep.Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) says the state takes this issue seriously.

"We need to treat this as a public health emergency because these are preventable crashes, preventable deaths," he says.

On the other side of the Potomac, it's a different story. The group says highway laws in Virginia are among the most permissive. Jackie Gillan, the group's vice president, says this discrepancy is crazy "when all of the thousands of people every day who cross between those states, and yet they're not covered by the same important traffic safety laws."

Among other things, Gillan wants the state to enact an open container law. Virginia is one of the few states where driving with an open container of alcohol is legal.

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