According to the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Arizona is a “red” state, meaning they believe it to be a dangerous state for drivers.  Why is this?  Apparently Arizona isn’t nanny state enough for this organization and doesn’t have enough driving laws.  What is the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety?  According to their website, this is their mission:

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety is an alliance of consumer, medical, public health, and safety groups and insurance companies and agents working together to make America’s roads safer. Advocates’ mission is the adoption of federal and state laws, policies and programs that prevent motor vehicle crashes, save lives, reduce injuries, and contain costs.

Note that this group doesn’t put the education of drivers at the top of the list, but enacting more laws. This mentality is clear based on this statement by the vice president of governmental affairs for advocates for highway and auto safety, Cathy Chase:

When a car is in a crash, the passenger’s first line of protection is having a seatbelt law.

Do you see the issue with this statement ?  Does “the law” protect passengers, or the seat belts themselves? The answer is self-evident.  If a driver or passenger puts on a seat belt, this will certainly help their chance of survival in the case of a crash, but if they do not have a seat belt on, they are not protected, regardless of what the law says.  I will concede that some vehicle travelers probably put on seat belts only to avoid being ticketed, but should the purpose of laws be the coercion of a person into doing something that is good for them to do to begin with?  Of course not, and not wearing a seat belt is hardly justification to be harassed at gunpoint by the police highway robbers.

I tried doing a little research about who funds Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, and have yet to find the answer.  Interestingly, I didn’t see any place on their website soliciting donations from consumers or those who are ultimately affected by their lobbying.  I think their history and structure blurb on their website gives an indication of the special interests involved:

Advocates was founded in 1989 by executives of a number of major property and casualty insurance companies and several prominent consumer and safety leaders. These two communities share virtually identical goals on highway and auto safety issues.

So, it seems they are a special interest group that attempts to benefit insurance companies whose business is guaranteed by state insurance mandates.

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