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Group Says Highway Safety Laws Save Lives, But Only In Some States

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By David Schultz

The group Advocates for Highway Safety studied the effects of some of the laws states have passed in the previous two decades. They found that laws mandating seat belt use were some of the most effective, saving almost 25,000 lives since 1990.

But, not all states have seat belt laws. For example, in Virginia failure to wear a seat belt is a secondary offense, which means police officers can't ticket you for it unless they pull you over for something else.

Judie Stone, the president of Advocates for Highway Safety, says bills to make this a primary offense have failed in Richmond numerous times.

"So that's a very important one because if you have that law in place, the use rates are much higher. And that means that lives are saved," says Stone.

Nationwide, Advocates found highway safety laws, mandating everything from booster seats to motorcycle helmets, saved 85,000 lives over the past 20 years.


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