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January 23, 2014 2:00 PM, EST
Advocacy Group Rates State Highway Safety Laws

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety said eight states added laws on vehicle operations in 2013 but that the overall climate for safety regulation became worse.

On Jan. 22, the group published its annual Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws. The report rates the states and the District of Columbia on whether they have enacted 15 laws in areas such as seat belt usage, motorcycle helmet mandates and bans on distracted driving.

Advocates rated 10 states and the District as good, 11 states as dangerous and 29 in the middle as requiring caution.

The eight states that enacted one or more safety laws last year are Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia. The areas of regulation were seat belts, impaired driving, texting restrictions and age-related restrictions aimed at younger drivers.

The group said three states improved to good from caution last year, but 12 states declined either to caution from good or to dangerous from caution.