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Federal agency proclaims most wanted safety measures

The National Transportation Safety Board, which helps oversee the safety and security of the nation's highways, has issued its Most Wanted list of measures local governments and the private sector can take in order to reduce the number of traffic-related fatalities.

The Board believes that by taking all of its proposed measures, the annual death toll, 37,000 fatalities due to fatal car crashes and other motor vehicle accidents, could be reduced considerably. The Board is particularly taking aim at three bad driving habits: drunk or drugged driving, distracted driving and speeding.

With respect to distracted driving, the Board acknowledged the epidemic nature of the problem in that, despite existing laws and public awareness campaigns, the problem does not seem to be getting much better overall. In 2017, the Board estimates about 3,100 people died because of distractions.

Regarding drugged and drunk driving, the Board has again specifically proposed that states lower the legal blood alcohol content limit down from .08 to .05. The Board believes doing so will give law enforcement and others additional tools to reduce the current death toll related to drunk driving, a toll that included over 11,000 highway deaths.

The Board also had some specific proposals for curbing the common practice of speeding, another deadly habit that causes at least 10,000 deaths annually. The Board hopes that law enforcement agencies will be able to make broader use of cameras and that those who design roads and vehicles can devise systems that make it harder to speed.

With or without these measures, drivers in Houma, Louisiana, and the surrounding areas should already know that the habits the Board identified as their top three priorities are unsafe and, frankly, unacceptable. A family who loses a loved one because a driver engaged in one of these habits may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim.

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