Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Study -- loopholes in PA traffic laws cost lives

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Jan 25, 2015 3:27 PM
Two vehicle crash in snow 600 x 340.jpg

Photo by Scott LaMar/WITF

What to look for on Smart Talk Monday, January 26, 2015:

Monday's Smart Talk also includes updates on winter weather and Pennsylvania road conditions.

Pennsylvania is one of a handful of states that don't do all they could do to save lives on the highways.  That's according to a new report from the group Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.

The Advocates (as we'll call them) report Pennsylvania is in the middle of the pack of states when it comes to making roads safer.

For example, the group says 136 lives could have been saved in 2012 if the state's seat belt law was a primary offense -- meaning police could cite drivers for not wearing a seat belt and not just when they've been pulled over for violating another law.

The Advocates also report that 39 people who were killed in motorcycle crashes the same year would have lived if they had been wearing a helmet.  Pennsylvania does not require motorcycle operators and passengers to wear helmets.

The group is also pushing for ignition interlocks for drivers convicted of driving under the influence and stronger cell phone restrictions while driving and nightime driving limits for teen drivers.

Cathy Chase, Vice President of Governmental Affairs for Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety appears on Monday's Smart Talk to discuss the recommendations

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  • Mark img 2015-01-26 09:47

    Two points for discussion, please:
    1. The motorcycle helmet law, which had few convictions because it is very obvious when a helmet is absent and thus had few violations (and fines…), was repealed. The seatbelt law, which still has many convictions (and fines…) as it is less obvious and so folks try to disregard it, has not been repealed. Follow the money…?
    2. “Pay-to-play” – So, surcharges/taxes/fines should be placed on folks with high blood pressure/weight issues/lack of exercise, skiers (actually, anyone playing any sport...), the elderly, anyone with firearms in the house, etc….?

  • Joe Burroughs img 2015-01-26 09:53

    I have been an avid motorcycle rider since 1964. I realize that this is not exactly "PC", but I am getting quite tired of the "Nanny State" advocated by your guest. IF, despite all the evidence about the dangers of not wearing helmets and seatbelts, as long as other people are not involved, let the idiots die!

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-01-26 09:55

    Jeff emails:

    Ms Chase has great ideas to protect passengers but more importantly ... what about enforcing the traffic violation laws that are in place already?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-01-26 09:56

    Jim emails:

    I am an avid motorcyclist. But, the helmet law is an issue that divides us motorcyclists. My opinion is that we should go back to the requirement that all motorcyclists must wear helmets. I think it is about as silly for motorcyclists to ride without a helmet as it would be for people to jump out of airplanes without a parachute.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-01-26 09:57

    Ben emails:

    Why isn't there mandatory retesting for driver's licenses. All of us forget and could use refresher courses. Some people have capabilities that diminish. Certainly for the aging, but I'd advocate retesting for all.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-01-26 09:58

    Styers emails:

    What do you think about mandatory installation of seat belts on school busses?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-01-26 09:58

    Monica Emails:

    Can you please discuss what if any safety restraints are required for riders in Amish buggies. They are on roads with motorized vehicles and seem to be involved in more wrecks but I'm not aware of any safety belts/child seats especially for babies.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-01-26 10:00

    Norman emails:

    I understand that if theres points for under 10 mph over limit theres greater chance to be fought in traffic court and possible extra cost if its the officers day off if he doesnt show usually thrown out of court and nothing payed

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-01-26 10:01

    Rachel Emails:

    I like the expression of, “Let those who pay have a say.”

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-01-26 10:03

    Toni emails:

    Are there any laws which compel employers to encourage employees to stay home and off the roads during significant snow events? As it stands right now, most employees risk life and limb on dangerous weather condition roads because of fear of loss of employment. Many inclement weather/road-related accidents and tragedies could be avoided if employees were encouraged to stay home and/or encouraged to go home slightly ahead of dangerous inclement weather conditions without fear of loss of employment.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-01-26 10:04

    Jeff emails:

    I appreciate the conversation about road safety and new laws to make us safer.As an everyday motorcyclist and a commercial driver,my answer would be ENFORCE the laws we all ready have and put a lot of discipline back into the minds of drivers, new and old.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-01-26 10:05

    A listener writes:

    I wear a helmet because I think it's a good idea. I do not think it's my place to infringe on the freedom of others to decide for themselves. That's why we live in a free country. Do you think we should outlaw sky diving, or mountain climbing or any number of other activities that are dangerous? It's really not your business to impose your morals on others.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-01-26 10:06

    A listener says,

    There is a threshold for timing of caution lights for safe stopping. In PA there is no uniform timing for caution lights and that causes accidents. Speed traps should not trump the safety of human lives.

  • ASSS img 2015-07-31 07:01

    Gps Phone Tracker With GPS tracking, police have transferred a suspected thief of flower in the Central Hessian Nidda. Since June flowers and pots were gone in the hamlet of lower Schmitten at night time and again, as the police announced on Monday. In cooperation with the Forestry Department, the investigators had a therefore a so-called GPS Tracker in a geranium pot. With success: Also this pot EndOf - and led officials to track down the suspected thief. With a search warrant police could ensure some 40 planters and two grills on his balcony and in his basement. None of it belonged to him.