Tag Archives: traffic safety standards

Importance of uniform legislative standards in reducing accidents cannot be overestimated, July 31, 1934

I can’t get this out of my head: why are we waiting for states to adopt their own traffic safety standards instead of establishing National Traffic Safety Standards which states are required to adopt? What is this–the Wild, Wild West? We are the united states of America–are we not?

Why on earth don’t we establish National Traffic Safety Standards & require them to be adopted by States? (Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety held a press conference which I watched live-stream. They released their 13th Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws–outlining the 319 proven safety laws which many states have not adopted, including such things as seat belt usage, motorcycle helmet laws, impaired driving, child passenger safety, teen graduated licensing laws, and distracted driving.)

Should not proven safety standards be applied universally?

Note this statement from the 1934 National Conference on Highway Safety:

The importance of uniform legislative standards in reducing accidents and facilitating the movement of traffic cannot be over estimated, and the adoption of these standards by all States and municipalities is earnestly recommended.

Daniel C. Roper, Secretary of Commerce, Chairman, National Conference on Highway Safety, Washington, DC, July 31, 1934  ACT III – UNIFORM MOTOR VEHICLE CIVIL LIABILITY ACT

Later, Uniform Gudelines for State Highway Safety Programs were released by NHTSA. Where are we with that? Have we moved away from mandating states to adopt specific traffic safety standards? Is it optional? What is working and what is not working at this point?

National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act

Highway Safety Program Guidelines:
Section 402 of title 23 of the United States Code requires the Secretary of Transportation to promulgate uniform guidelines for State highway safety programs. These guidelines offer direction to States in formulating their highway safety plans for highway safety efforts that are supported with section 402 and other grant funds. The guidelines provide a framework for developing a balanced highway safety program and serve as a tool with which States can assess the effectiveness of their own programs. NHTSA encourages States to use these guidelines and build upon them to optimize the effectiveness of highway safety programs conducted at the State and local levels.

  1. Periodic Motor Vehicle Inspection
  2. Motor Vehicle Registration
  3. Motorcycle Safety | PDF version for print
  4. Driver Education
  5. Non-Commercial Driver Licensing
  6. Codes and Laws
  7. Judicial and Court Services
  8. Impaired Driving (updated)| PDF version for print
  9. [Reserved]
  10. Traffic Records
  11. Emergency Medical Services
  12. Prosecutor Training
  13. Older Driver Safety
  14. Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety(updated) | PDF version for print
  15. Traffic Enforcement Service (updated) | PDF version for print
  16. Management of Highway Incidents
  17. Pupil Transportation Safety
  18. Crash Investigation and Incident Reporting
  19. Speed Management(updated) | PDF version for print
  20. Occupant Protection(updated) | PDF version for print
  21. Roadway Safety

Is this still operative today?  If so, why are there 319 traffic safety laws which have not been adopted by states? Is it the duty of the federal government to protect its citizens from crash deaths & serious injuries?

NOTE the connection with federal funds to states: 


The Secretary may waive the requirement of paragraph (1)(C), in whole or in part, for a fiscal year for any State whenever the Secretary determines that there is an insufficient number of local highway safety programs to justify the expenditure in the State of such percentage of Federal funds during the fiscal year.

(c)Use of Funds.—

(1)In general.—

Funds authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section shall be used to aid the States to conduct the highway safety programs approved in accordance with subsection (a), including development and implementation of manpower training programs, and of demonstration programs that the Secretary determines will contribute directly to the reduction of accidents, and deaths and injuries resulting therefrom. Title 23 › Chapter 4 › § 402 23 U.S. Code § 402 – Highway safety programs


Delayed adoption and implementation of proven safety standards inevitably results in unnecessary, preventable deaths.

gertie 2947