WASHINGTON — A new report finds American motorists “strongly support” a broad array of safety measures, from reducing local street speed limits and building more roundabout intersections to stricter seatbelt enforcement efforts.
According to an article in the Journal of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, based on a survey of 2,000 U.S. motorists conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago for the Road to Zero Coalition, the report, entitled “Underutilized Strategies in Traffic Safety: Results of a Nationally Representative Survey,” found support for a variety of motor vehicle safety initiative, including:
- Increasing the use of sobriety checkpoints to discourage impaired driving (65 percent)
- Deployment of more speed and red-light cameras to discourage reckless driving (60 percent)
- Reducing local speed limits by 5 miles per hour (69 percent)
- Alcohol ignition locks for people who have been convicted of driving while intoxicated (83 percent)
- Saliva screening to prevent drugged driving (74 percent)
- Stricter seat belt law enforcement (82 percent)
- Requiring cars to have seat belt reminder chimes (70 percent)
- Passing mandatory motorcycle helmet laws (86 percent)
- Replacing dangerous intersections with roundabouts (73 percent)
- Installing rumble strips on more roads (90 percent)
The only question on which those motorists polled were totally divided was lowering the blood alcohol limit to .05 in their state. Yet 56 percent of the drivers participating in the survey said they would support such a lower limit if the penalty involved fines and the suspension of one’s license rather than criminal charges.
The survey also found that drivers were taking advantage of ridesharing services to avoid drinking and driving as 60 percent of those who said they’d used a ride sharing service in the past year said they had done so at least once to avoid drinking and driving.
“The results of this poll are clear: Safe roads are a priority for Americans, and they support ideas that encourage everyone to slow down and avoid impaired driving. Given the research available, this makes perfect sense,” said James Fell, a principal research scientist at NORC at the University of Chicago, in a statement. “Drivers are also now taking the extra step to do something about making our roads safer as evidenced by their use of ridesharing apps to get home safely.”
The NORC was established in 1941 as the National Opinion Research Center.