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April 5, 2010

Transportation Does Not Take a Back Seat in State Legislatures

Denver – The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) accurately predicted that transportation would be one of the Top 9 issues state legislatures would grapple with last year. And now the Conference provides a way to track transportation bills across the United States.

A range of transportation issues were introduced, debated and enacted across the country during the 2009 legislative sessions. Forty-six states considered nearly 200 bills related to distracted driving. In 33 states, legislators debated more than 100 bills regarding school bus safety. In addition, lawmakers in 46 states introduced 229 bills related to impaired driving, ranging from ignition interlocks, breath tests and treatment. And hand gestures, shouting, tailgating and speeding could now fall within the definition of aggressive driving in 13 states that debated legislation.

NCSL has compiled traffic safety legislation from all 50 states and put it together in "Traffic Safety and Public Health: State Legislative Action." This 55-page report summarizes the many bills regarding traffic safety issues that were considered by state legislatures in 2009. It also provides information about current traffic safety issues.

Issues examined in this latest NCSL report include occupant protection, distracted driving, driver licensing, impaired driving, speed limits, motorcycle helmets, school bus safety among other issues.

All of the bills discussed in this report can be found on the NCSL-NHTSA Traffic Safety Legislative Tracking Database.

Traffic Safety Legislative Tracking Database

Many laws pertaining to traffic safety are passed in an effort to improve safety on the road and keep all drivers safe. NCSL has teamed up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to create the Traffic Safety Legislation Tracking Database. This searchable database covers legislation passed in all 50 states pertaining to traffic safety, going back to the 2007 legislative sessions.

“This database will allow legislators and constituents to see what efforts have been done on the part of the states to protect everyone when they get behind the wheel,” said Anne Teigen, transportation policy specialist at NCSL.

NCSL’s database tracks legislation on 14 different safety topics. You are able to search for introduced, pending and enacted legislation related to drunk driving, seat belts, teen driver issues and more. The traffic safety legislation database is located on NCSL’s website. For more information, contact the NCSL press room.

NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.