Report Says Alaska Lags in Highway Safety
Says more laws are needed
A new highway safety report says Alaska is behind the curve when it comes to highway safety laws that are in place.
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, based in Washington D.C., released an annual report card grading all 50 states and the District of Columbia on their performance in adopting basic highway safety laws.
Alaska ranked in the “Yellow” category, meaning the state needs improvement because of gaps in Advocates’ recommended laws.
The report says Alaska needs more safety laws in place, which include a cell phone restriction provision, and says we should raise the driving age from 16 to 18.
In 10 states, it’s illegal to have a cell phone in your hand while driving. And in 30 states, new drivers are banned from using cell phones – that's according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Alaska is one of 35 states that bans texting while driving, but some lawmakers say it’s not specific enough.
Alaska State Troopers say highway laws are still trying to keep up with technology, but say that it doesn’t necessarily translate into safer roads.
“I personally don't think more laws is ever a solution to anything, we need to work with the existing laws we have, it doesn't mean that we can't create better laws,” said Alaska State Trooper Lt. Tom Dunn.
Troopers say it comes down to our actions, when we get behind the wheel.
“The best thing that we can physically do, is as a community, slow down, leave plenty of time to get where we need to go,” he said.