Within the next three years, two Japan-based auto-manufacturers are expected to begin construction of a $1.6 billion factory in the Huntsville area. The good news is that the factory is expected to bring upwards of 4,000 jobs to the greater Huntsville area once the factory is fully operational. However, lawmakers and advocacy groups have expressed concerns that the state’s existing traffic laws and infrastructure may need tweaking in order to support the increased burden the factory will place on the area’s highways.
Alabama Traffic Laws Rated as Middle-of-the-Road
When followed, strict traffic laws can prevent Alabama car accidents. However, over time, as a city grows, its population increases, and the type of traffic on the roads changes. When this happens, existing traffic laws may need to be amended and new laws passed to accommodate a city’s changing needs.
According to a recent study conducted by a traffic-safety advocacy group, Alabama was one of 31 states that received a “yellow” rating regarding its traffic laws. The study ranked each of the 50 states as well as the District of Columbia as either “green,” “yellow,” or “red,” based on the traffic laws currently on the books.
The group’s main concerns regarding Alabama’s existing laws revolve mostly around young and inexperienced drivers. For example, distracted driving is a major cause of serious and fatal Alabama car accidents. However, under current laws, graduated driver license (GDL) holders are not strictly prohibited from using a cell phone while driving. Thus, it is believed that Alabama distracted driving accidents would be reduced if such a prohibition was put into place.
The group also suggests that Alabama lawmakers pass a law requiring that children under two be placed in rear-facing child seats, pass stricter laws regarding nighttime driving for young drivers, and implement a requirement that teens be at least 16 years of age before obtaining their learner’s permit.
Alabama’s Highway Infrastructure May Need Revamping
According to another local news report, lawmakers are discussing the effect the new Toyota-Mazda facility will have on the existing highway infrastructure in and around the Huntsville area. The main concern of the lawmakers is the Interstate 565 corridor, since the new factory will bring not just increased car traffic but also a significant increase in large commercial trucks carrying raw materials into the area and finished products out of the area.
One lawmaker explained that, as the only direct interstate into and out of Huntsville, I-565 is critical to Lawrence County, Limestone County, Colbert County, Morgan County, and Cullman County. Thus, lawmakers have continued the discussion of widening I-565 to seven lanes of traffic as well as making improvements to the Greenbrier interchange. While these discussions have been going on for some time, lawmakers have not had the funding necessary for the highway improvements. However, with the announcement of the new Toyota-Mazda factory, lawmakers are working to plan and prioritize for these needed improvements.
Have You Been Involved in an Alabama Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in any kind of Alabama car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. At the Reeves Law Firm, Attorney Greg Reeves works diligently on behalf of the rights of Alabama accident victims. Attorney Reeves has extensive experience handling Alabama car accident cases, including those caused by inattentive and distracted drivers, and he knows what it takes to be successful on behalf of his injured clients. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Reeves, call 256-355-3311 to schedule a free consultation today.