There are so many federal agencies tasked with ensuring that American motorists stay safe that it can be hard to keep them straight. Nevertheless, their unique responsibilities function to ensure that no safety issues slip through the cracks. Given the prevalence of devastating motor vehicle accidents which occur on American roadways each year, the missions of these agencies are both critical and urgent.
According to its website, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) "represents the state and territorial highway safety offices that implement programs to address behavioral highway safety issues, including: occupant protection, impaired driving, and speeding. GHSA provides leadership and advocacy for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy, enhance program management and promote best practices."
Recently, the GHSA used the forum of its annual meeting to strengthen its focus and policies regarding two critical behavioral highway safety issues: drugged driving and distracted driving. These behaviors contribute to thousands upon thousands of road fatalities every year.
Specifically, the agency has moved to support handheld technology bans for all drivers in all states. This is a significant policy shift from the agency's previous support of prohibiting only texting while driving.
The GHSA's executive director explained recently that "While texting and handheld bans are both critical, texting bans by themselves can be difficult for law enforcement to enforce." She also emphasized that "Passage of these laws will provide states a practical platform for discussing why any phone use while driving is dangerous."
In addition, the GHSA will now be actively supporting zero tolerance drugged driving laws, which allow drivers to be held responsible for drugged driving simply by having drugs in their systems.
The hard stances that the GHSA is taking will hopefully embolden states to crack down on these dangerous practices for the benefit of motorists everywhere.
Source: TheTrucker.com, "GHSA strengthens policies on distracted, drugged driving," Sep. 6, 2012