WASHINGTON — The Property of Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) yesterday hosted a policy briefing on Capitol Hill to discuss the challenges and opportunities to address the dangers of impaired driving to make our roads safer.
The policy briefing, “Driving Impaired: Clearing the Road Ahead,” is the third installment in PCI’s 2017 Capital Engagement Series. Jessica Hanson Hanna, PCI’s senior vice president, public affairs moderated the panel of experts including Catherine Chase, vice president of governmental affairs at the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety; Hannah Izon, manager of federal government affairs at the Association of Global Automakers; J.T. Griffin, chief government affairs officer at Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD); and Michael Brown, Chief of Police of Alexandria, Virginia.
“PCI is pleased to partner with our panelists to discuss the dangers of driving impaired, and solutions to make our roads safer,” said Hanna. “Driving drunk, drugged, or distracted impairs your judgement, motor coordination, and reaction time. Just as Americans have learned the risks of drunk driving, we need to recognize and address the increasing dangers of drugged and distracted driving, including more research, public awareness, and enforcement to make our roads safer.”
“The tragic news is that impaired driving fatalities are on the rise. The good news is that there are proven solutions to make our roads safer for all motorists. It is time for state elected officials to take immediate action to address traffic safety when they convene for the 2018 legislative session next month. States are still lacking common-sense laws requiring all-offender ignition interlock devices, primary enforcement seat belt requirements for all occupants, cell phone bans for novice teen drivers, texting-while-driving bans that prohibit other electronic communications, among others. We need our state and federal officials to prioritize safety to turn the tide on impaired driving and overall traffic safety,” said Chase.
“Two years of increases in the number of drunk driving fatalities is unacceptable. MADD is concerned that the trending increase in highway deaths points to a public health crisis that has largely gone unnoticed,” said Griffin.
“Advanced vehicle technologies such as automated driving systems will increasingly improve safety on our roadways, but the challenge of impaired driving cannot be addressed by technology alone, especially in the near term. Industry, government, and safety groups must work together to support public education, strong traffic safety laws, and high visibility enforcement,” said Izon.
PCI’s Capital Engagement Series is a series of briefings and policy discussions that bring together thought leaders and experts to discuss the importance of property casualty insurance and the current issues impacting the industry. Earlier this year, PCI held policy discussions on assisting communities with natural disaster preparation and recovery and navigating the future of autonomous vehicles.