Plan to Reduce Traffic Deaths
The Secretary of Transportation, Norman Mineta, is promoting a
plan to cut dramatically the rate of traffic deaths over the next
several years. The plan focuses on three main areas:
- Seat Belts. Increasing the use of seatbelts
from the current 79% up to 90% might save an estimated 3,200 lives
- Truckers. Limiting the number of hours truckers
can spend driving without rest could reduce driving impaired by
lack of sleep, a major cause of traffic fatalities, according
to the Transportation Secretary.
- Hard-Core Drunk Drivers. About one-third of
all alcohol-related traffic deaths involve “hard-core”
drunken drivers -- repeat drunken drivers or drivers with blood
alcohol concentration (BAC) levels at least twice the legal limit.
The plan calls for courts to impose jail sentences or mandate
treatment for hard-core drunken drivers. The Department of Transportation
estimates that doing so would save up to 7,000 lives each year.
In the past 20 years the number of alcohol-related deaths has dropped
by one-third, but the number of traffic deaths not associated
with alcohol has jumped 43%. If successful, the plan would cause
an even greater drop in alcohol-related traffic fatalities and stem
the increase in deaths not involving alcohol consumption.
- Howlett, Debbie. “Ambitious goal” set
on reducing road deaths: Plan aims to cut rate by a third. USA