NCSL press release

Denver—In 2016, state legislators debated more than 1,900 traffic safety bills. This legislative response was stirred by the continued rise in traffic accidents and fatalities in 2015.

The report, Traffic Safety Trends: State Legislative Action 2016, by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) states 35,092 people died in crashes on U.S. roadways in 2015, a 7.2 percent increase in just one year. This is the largest percentage increase in nearly half a century. Of those, 10,265 died in alcohol-impaired accidents—accounting for 29 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities. Another 9,557 fatalities occurred in speeding-related crashes—accounting for 27 percent of motor vehicle fatalities. Projections are showing that traffic deaths in 2016 once again have increased.

NCSL’s report examines 2016 federal and state legislation, and provides tables and charts detailing state traffic safety laws.

The report highlights the following policy areas:

  • Federal Updates
  • Occupant Protection
  • Impaired, Drugged, and Distracted Driving
  • Teen and Older Drivers
  • Speeding and Speed Limits
  • Automated Enforcement
  • Motorcycle Safety
  • School Bus, Pedestrian, and Bicycle Safety

The report was released on Tuesday, April 4. The report comes from NCSL’s State Legislative Action Team, and is under the jurisdiction of the Natural Resources and Infrastructure (NRI) Committee.

View the report Traffic Safety Trends: State Legislative Action 2016


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.