The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) has released its 2008 National Scorecard on State Roadway Laws: A Blueprint for Injury Prevention, according to a recent press release. The report looks at roadway safety laws in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and ranks states based on 13 types of legislation that address: seat belt use; child passenger safety; graduated driver licensing for teens; universal motorcycle helmet requirements; ignition interlock devices to prevent drunk driving; and giving the proper officials the authority to develop, maintain and evaluate a state trauma system. States received one point for each type of legislation. Oregon and Washington were the only states to receive the best possible score of 13. Arkansas scored only three points, and North Dakota and South Dakota scored only four points each.

“Every year, there are more than 40,000 deaths on our nation’s roadways,” said ENA President Denise King, RN, MSN, CEN. “We can reduce those numbers and we know how. When it comes to injury prevention, the public is in the driver's seat. We must call on our policy makers to pass laws that are proven to reduce injuries and fatalities. Across the country, emergency department nurses, who treat roadway accident victims every day, are encouraging more and better traffic safety laws.”

When the ENA released its first National Scorecard in 2006, Arizona received the lowest score. In the past two years, the Arizona Emergency Nurses Association (AZENA) has worked with state lawmakers to enact five new safety laws and regulations recommended by ENA. Since 2006, only seven states — Alabama, Arkansas, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming — have failed to make progress in increasing the number of recommended roadway safety laws.

The full report is available online at a href="" target=_blank>