Safety report shows Rhode Island among safest, Massachusetts most dangerous

Massachusetts was ranked as one of nine states in the country to be considered most unsafe for traffic safety laws, landing in the “danger” category, according to a new report by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.

Meanwhile, Rhode Island found itself on the opposite end of that spectrum, got high marks, as one of six states with a “good” grade.

According to the report, the Ocean State currently implements 10 of the recommended 16 laws by the group, while Massachusetts has just five.

Capt. Robert Hart with the Warwick Police Department told ABC 6 News Rhode Island’s ranking is good, as the laws have proved lifesaving at the scenes of crashes he’s responded to.

“The fact that we have such good laws on the books right now we would have much more fatalities and serious injuries,” Hart said.

According to the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety report released Tuesday, 67 people were killed on Rhode island roadways in 2021, meanwhile, in Massachusetts, that number was much higher, totaling 413.

Chief Dean Isabella of the Seekonk police department, who also spent more than 30 years in Providence told ABC 6 that after his experience in both states, with both laws, he wasn’t surprised the data showed Massachusetts was more dangerous than Rhode Island.

“[You see] that they’ve adopted these practices that have been shown to mitigate some of these issues that have been known to cause traffic fatalities,” Isabella said.

Isabella is now calling on the legislature of the commonwealth to follow in the direction of Rhode Island and pass more laws to improve roadway safety.

Also on Wednesday, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation released new data which showed the laws have proven successful over the past three years in Rhode Island.

In 2020, there were 65 fatal crashes through the first 11 months of the year, in 2021, that number fell to 60, and so far this year, the downward trend of deadly crashes has continued, with 45 so far through the first 11 months of the year.

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