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Oregon and Washington Receive Perfect Scores in New National Roadway Safety Scorecard
Sunday, November 30th, 2008

With Thanksgiving weekend just passed, let us give thanks to the wise public officials of Oregon and Washington who enacted the motor vehicle laws and regulations that enabled those two states to earn perfect scores in the 2008 ENA National Scorecard on State Roadway Laws: A Blueprint for Injury Prevention, a report released in late November by the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA).

The 2008 report examines roadway safety laws and regulations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and rates each state based on the following 13 criteria (each state was awarded one (1) point for each ENA criterion that was present in their respective state laws, with 13 points the maximum attainable – only Oregon and Washington received perfect scores of 13):

  1. Does the state have a primary enforcement seat belt law?
  2. Does the state’s primary enforcement seat belt law apply to all seating positions?
  3. Does the state have a booster seat law?
  4. Does the booster seat law cover children up to age 8 years?
  5. Does the state have a child passenger safety law covering all children up to age 16 years in all seating positions?
  6. Does the state have a graduated driver licensing (GDL) law with a six-month holding period provision at the learner's stage?
  7. Does the state have a GDL law with a provision requiring 30-50 hours of supervised driving at the learner's stage?
  8. Does the state have a GDL law with a nighttime restriction provision at the intermediate stage?
  9. Does the state have a GDL law limiting drivers in the intermediate stage from carrying more than one passenger under age 20 years?
  10. Does the state have a universal motorcycle helmet law requiring all riders to wear a helmet?
  11. Does the state’s universal motorcycle helmet law require that all riders’ helmets meet federal protection standards?
  12. Does the state mandate installation of an ignition interlock device as a vehicle sanction to restrict or separate hard-core drinking drivers from their vehicles?
  13. Does the state have enabling legislation that provides appropriate officials the authority to develop, maintain and evaluate a state trauma system and its components?

ENA notes that each of the laws addressed in the criterion above has been shown to save lives. Thus, the goal of publishing the scorecard is to motivate policy-makers, opinion-leaders and the general public to take a more active role in advocating for these effective vehicle safety laws, regulations, and programs.

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