MADD Goes To Washington D.C.

Posted on Oct 05, 2012

The Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) have joined forces to convince the House and Senate to support the nation’s priority safety grant program. As part of the 2012 Mothers Against Drunk Driving Convention, hundreds of drunk driving crash victim survivors, supporters and MADD volunteers from all over the country gathered in Washington D.C. They attended legislative meetings to ask for action on two extremely important issues. These two issues were full funding on priority highway safety programs and a passage of a Constitutional Amendment providing for crime victims’ rights.

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Will this program take effect?
MAP-21 is the federal surface transportation legislation. As part of this, Congress reorganized the nation’s priority safety grant programs into the new Section 405. However, the Continuing Resolution (CR) cannot fully fund this. CR is a type of appropriations legislation used by the United State Congress to fund government agencies. This happens if a formal appropriations bill has not been signed into law by the end of the Congressional fiscal year. New programs, such as those authorized under MAP-21, cannot be funded. Although Congress put the new grant programs into Section 405, the CR doesn’t contain the full $265 million in annual funding to start this new program. The new program includes: drunk driving prevention, distracted driving prevention and motorcycle safety.

If this does not change, states will have to rely on carryover funding from the year before. "Unless the CR takes into account the revised priority highway safety grant program structure authorized under MAP-21, as much as $120 million in essential traffic safety grant funds could be denied to the states for six months," GHSA and MADD stated. "The result would be devastating for highway safety, particularly at a time when preliminary government statistics show that highway fatalities are starting to increase after years of declines." "One specific result of inaction," GHSA and MADD added, "Is an immediate dramatic reduction in efforts to prevent drunk driving in some states. We are not asking for a funding increase, merely recognition of the new program structure already approved by Congress so that critical life-saving programs can be implemented in the states."

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GHSA and MADD both work hard to keep the highway as safe as possible for everyone. They try to prevent drunk driving and all dangerous forms of driving. They know all the terrible effects that unsafe driving actions, such as drunk and distracted driving, can cause. They are just asking for the funds they need to continue saving lives. The Schafer Law Office is a big supporter of MADD and GHSA. Our former director of Client and Media Relations, Yulee Schafer, attended the 2012 Mothers Against Drunk Driving National Conference in Washington D.C. She stated, “I was amazed at the level of commitment I saw from people all over the country.” Yulee has been an active supporter of MADD for many years and plans to continue her service to the program for years to come.

This safety grant program will prevent serious car accidents. As a Kentucky Personal Injury Attorney, I see people injured in car accidents almost every week. The most common causes of an accident were either a distracted driver or a drunk driver. Prevention is the key. Let’s all work together to improve road safety for everyone.

Michael Schafer
The Personal Injury Attorney for Louisville and Kentucky