Traffic safety mostly our responsibility
A citizen's panel appointed by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius a year ago released a report Tuesday of recommendations to improve traffic safety in Kansas. The panel, called Driving Force, made 28 recommendations in 11 areas of studies -- from better statewide trauma care and emergency medical services to how to address problems associated with teen and senior drivers.
Some of the recommendations require legislative action. Realizing the difficulty in getting all the recommendations through the Legislature this year, the panel proposed they be phased-in the next three years. This year's recommendations were for a standard $60 fine for all passengers and drivers not wearing a seat belt and graduated driver's licensing for young drivers. The latter would restrict newly licensed young drivers from driving during nighttime hours and in other at-risk situations until they gain more experience.
Like many of the recommendations in the report, the legislative action proposed for this year is logical and supported by studies. We would hope the Legislature approves the two recommendations.
We would also suggest the state's drivers review the report, which can be viewed at www.ksdot.org/DrivingForce/default.asp. What viewers will find is they have the means to address some of the concerns identified with no legislative actions. We can wear seat belts in vehicles or helmets when riding motorcycles. We can absolutely refuse to drive after drinking alcohol or while talking on the cell phone, and we can insist those who persist in endangering others through such behavior be removed from the road.