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Massachusetts Considers Stiffer Penalties for Drowsy Drivers

Last week, a state senate committee released a report that recommended legislation to reduce the number of drowsy drivers behind the wheel. According to some experts, there may be as many as 600 sleep-related auto accidents in Massachusetts per year, resulting in the deaths of 90 people.

The committee’s 34-page report recommends that the state require obese commercial drivers to be tested for sleep disorders and that more rest areas serve coffee. The report states that sleep-deprived drivers are just as impaired as those driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Additional recommendations from the report include adding new highway rest areas, limiting the number of hours worked by resident physicians and intern, and allowing coffee chains to give coffee coupons to new drivers and those renewing their driver’s licenses. The hope is that there measures would reduce drowsy driving and thus reduce car crashes as a result of impaired drivers.

Drowsy driving report suggests stiffer penalties, coffee, Boston Globe, March 6, 2009
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