WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

Report: Virginia's Traffic Loopholes Lead To Unsafe Conditions

Play associated audio
A new report on traffic safety laws nationwide has found Virginia sorely lacking.
Andrew Bossi: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thisisbossi/3293505639/
A new report on traffic safety laws nationwide has found Virginia sorely lacking.

Drivers in Virginia have a much higher risk of death, injury and economic losses because of loopholes in traffic safety laws, according to a report released today by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. 

The coalition has given Virginia the lowest of three rankings in its 2012 report [PDF], which grades all 50 states and the District of Columbia on their performance in adopting 15 basic highway safety laws. The District and Maryland both ranked among highest when it comes to traffic and auto safety laws.

The report says Virginia needs to toughen its traffic laws to close loopholes such as not stopping and ticketing drivers for failing to use seat belts or for cellphone use while driving. 

Jacking Gillan, president of Advocates for Auto Safety, says it would make more sense to have Virginia, Maryland, and the District to have the same traffic laws. 

"Considering how mobile this society is and how much driving goes on between Virginia,  Maryland and D.C., it just doesn't make any sense to have different rules for the road," she says. 

For example, not wearing your seatbelt is a primary offense in Maryland and D.C., but only a secondary offense in Virginia, meaning police can't pull someone over just for failing to wear the seat belt. The same goes for open containers. 

"In Virginia, you can drive around with an open bottle of alcohol in your passenger compartment," says Gillan.

The group calls for open containers to be banned, and for breathalyzer tests to be mandatory for drivers suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Gillan also says Virginia lawmakers also need to address a series of laws affecting teen driving, among them raising the learners permit age to 16. 

NPR

A Glimpse Of Listeners' #NPRpoetry — From The Punny To The Profound

It was a simple idea: Would you, our listeners, tweet us poems for National Poetry Month? Your response contained multitudes — haiku, lyrics, even one 8-year-old's ode to her dad's bald spot.
WAMU 88.5

Eating Insects: The Argument For Adding Bugs To Our Diet

Some say eating insects could save the planet, as we face the potential for global food and protein shortages. It's a common practice in many parts of the world, but what would it take to make bugs more appetizing to the masses here in the U.S.? Does it even make sense to try? A look at the arguments for and against the practice known as entomophagy, and the cultural and environmental issues involved.

WAMU 88.5

A Federal Official Shakes Up Metro's Board

After another smoke incident and ongoing single tracking delays for fixes, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx announced a shake-up of Metro's board.

NPR

'The Guardian' Launches New Series Examining Online Abuse

A video was released this week where female sports journalists were read abusive online comments to their face. It's an issue that reaches far beyond that group, and The Guardian is taking it on in a series called "The Web We Want." NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with series editor Becky Gardiner and writer Nesrine Malik, who receives a lot of online abuse.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.