Florida drunk driving crashes and arrests have kept the state solidly near the bottom of the list of states who take a strong stand against drunk driving. With drunk drivers ruling the roads in the Sunshine State, it’s not surprising that the National Safety Council (NSC) has given Florida an F rating in road safety.
In the report “The State of Safety: A State-by-State Report” the NSC highlights which states are doing well with road, community, home, and workplace safety, and it also puts a spotlight on states that aren’t where they should be for things like drunk driving, drugged driving, and workplace incidences like falls.
In terms of road safety, and that includes Florida drunk driving crashes and arrests, Florida received an F grade from the NSC. It wasn’t at the very bottom of the list, ranking 44th out of 50 states, but Florida roads were the venue for almost 3,000 traffic crash deaths in 2015.
A few issues that made the NSC give Florida an F rating include:
• Florida doesn’t require ignition interlocks for all offenders
• Distracted driving is still a major issue as there is no total cellphone ban for all drivers
• Seat belts aren’t required by all passengers in all seated positions in a vehicle
Florida could make great strides to overcome their NSC letter grade if they did one thing: pass an all offender ignition interlock law. An all offender bill was recently on the table and it did pass through a few committees, but it died before it could gain any traction.
If Florida had passed an interlock law this year they would have joined 30 other states who have also passed this life saving law, and with other bills in other states scheduled for hearings in upcoming sessions, Florida doesn’t need an F grade from the NSC to show it’s really lagging behind in terms of road safety.
In this case, F doesn’t stand for Florida; it stands for failure. Let’s hope 2018 is the year the state gets its act together and makes an attempt to fix these issues.