Proposed Legislation Aimed at Protecting Teens and Adult Drivers, Reducing Risks of Car Accidents in Greensboro, Charlotte, Nationwide

The introduction of Mariah’s Law has safety advocates and Greensboro car accident attorneys among others, applauding the efforts of Democratic leaders of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

EIN News recently reported that new legislation that could improve state traffic laws, consumer information and safety of vehicles in order to reduce the number of car accidents in North Carolina and throughout the country.
The proposed Motor Vehicle and Highway Safety Improvement Act of 2011 (MVHSIA) , or Mariah’s Law, is named after a teen killed in an Arkansas car accident caused by texting while driving. The law proposes to address:

  • Restructure safety defect and consumer information
  • Improve child passenger safety.
  • Concentrate on distracted and impaired driving reforms.
  • Enhance standards in terms of motor vehicle safety.
  • Review and improve teen driver licensing programs.

“Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for all Americans ages 5 to 34. And the annual highway death toll costs our nation over $230 billion a year,” said Jacqueline Gillan, vice president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. “Too many people are needlessly dying because states have been slow to enact laws to protect teen drivers, keep drunk drivers off our roads and ban the dangerous and deadly practice of texting while driving.”

We posted previously on our North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog about two proposed bills, the Safe Drivers Act of 2011 and Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection (STANDUP) Act that would federally mandate and bring consistency throughout the U.S. to eliminate texting while driving and create graduated drivers licensing programs that are uniform from state to state.

The STANDUP Act is a provision of MVHSIA in which $22 million of federal grant money would be poured into a state adoption of laws aimed at limiting teen passengers in the car with teen drivers, limiting teens driving at night, and banning cell phone use. In order to receive grant funding, states would need to adopt laws that restrict these areas of teen-related driving issues. States that identify safety issues and impose stricter laws will benefit by receiving grant funds.

“These measures will provide states with effective guidelines to help ensure drivers’ safety and prevent risky behavior – especially among teen drivers. I will continue to fight to strengthen protection for drivers and make our roads safer for everyone,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.

MVHSIA would also direct the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to create a standard that will protect consumers from unreliable electronic systems that control safety mechanisms installed in a vehicle. By giving consumers more easy access to safety-related data, defects and recalls, it is hopeful that the government can then instill more confidence in the vehicle safety programs and investigations it performs.

“This bill is about saving lives,” said Senator Mark Pryor, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance. “We’ve strengthened programs designed to stop dangerous driving behavior, and we’ve stepped up vehicle safety so that families are protected by strong safety standards and devices when an accident does occur.”

If you have been injured and want to understand your rights following a car accident in Charlotte, Greensboro, Winston-Salem or Statesville, contact the car accident attorneys at the Lee Law Offices, P.A for a free initial consultation at 1-800-887-1965.

Additional Resources:

Safety Advocates Praise Senate Introduction of Motor Vehicle and Highway Safety Legislation, by PR Newswire, EIN News

Most Wanted List Emphasizes Teen Driver Safety in Order to Reduce Car Accidents in North Carolina, Nationwide, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, July 25, 2011

Statewide Distracted Driving Programs Could Reduce Car Accidents in Asheville, Elsewhere in North Carolina, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, July 20, 2011

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