Word on the Hill: D.C. Rated Fourth Best in Highway Safety Laws

Restaurant opening in the DMV

Despite how you feel about your morning commute, D.C. has good highway safety laws. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Despite how you feel about your morning commute, D.C. has good highway safety laws. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted February 1, 2017 at 5:00am

Happy February! Here’s some good news — your commute around Washington, D.C., isn’t as bad as you think.

The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety named their best and worst states when it comes to 15 basic highway safety laws. South Dakota was the worst, followed by Wyoming and Arizona.

Rhode Island was the best, followed by Delaware, Washington and the District of Columbia. Virginia was rated ninth worst and Maryland didn’t make the top ten on either list.

The study compared safety laws that addressed issues such as impaired and distracted driving, child passenger safety, primary enforcement seat belt laws, motorcycle helmets and teen driving.

To achieve the best rating, states must have had 11 to 15 laws, including primary enforcement seat belt laws, or nine or more laws including primary enforcement seat belt laws and an all-rider helmet law.

The group presented its 2017 roadmap of state highway safety laws on Tuesday at the Reserve Officers Association building. Download the whole report here.

Senate freshmen welcome squad

Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, co-hosted a dinner for the freshman senators at Heitkamp’s house Monday night. Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Todd Young, R-Ind., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., attended, as well as Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Angus King, I-Maine, and Thom Tillis, R-N.C. 

Heitkamp prepared the dinner, which included squash, enchiladas, tostadas, pepper jelly cream cheese dip, guacamole, seven-layer dip and cornbread. And Booker surprised the group with vegan shakes for dessert.

One of D.C.’s most popular restaurant opens second branch

For the suburban Virginia folks, the Tysons branch of the Southern Brazilian steakhouse, Fogo de Chão, is now open to the public, at 1775 Tysons Blvd. This is the first location in Northern Virginia and the second location in the Metropolitan D.C. area. Last Thursday, there was a private reception to celebrate the new restaurant. It was attended by former Redskins players Ricky Ervins, Doc Walker — current co-host of ESPN’s “Inside the Locker Room” — and Chris Cooley.

Staffer shuffle

Widmeyer Communications, part of Finn Partners, announced that Heather Foster is the agency’s new vice president on its pre-K-12 education team. Foster, an alumna of former President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, also worked in the White House Office of Engagement and the Education Department, and was a founding partner of the Obama-inspired My Brother’s Keeper Alliance.

Happy American Heart Month

February is American Heart Month and just in time, Good Company Wellness is coming to the D.C. metro area. The company delivers on-site services and strategies to residential and corporate communities, including meditation classes, yoga on the rooftop, and farm-to-table catering, among other things.

Save the date

The annual Congressional Baseball Game has been scheduled for June 15. 

Happy birthday to…

Sen. Michael B. Enzi, R-Wyo., 73.

ICYMI: Staffer guide

Heard on the Hill has released a guide to help staffers navigate Capitol Hill, from getting that first job to learning how to make the most of your career. Check it all out here

What’s going on?

Have any tips, announcements or Hill happenings? Send them to AlexGangitano@cqrollcall.com.