Imagine a future when technology stops a driver from driving drunk. A day when technology that is as standard in new vehicles as airbags and anti-lock brakes detects when a driver is impaired and then stops the car before tragedy can strike. A day when drunk driving is eliminated forever.
Technology exists to lead us to that day. Now it’s up to us, our partners, Congress, auto makers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to start the process for mandating this type of technology in all new vehicles. When fully implemented, drunk driving prevention technology in all new vehicles will save 9,400 lives a year, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
But first, Congress must pass bipartisan legislation introduced in both chambers. The Senate bill, RIDE (Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone) Act in the U.S. Senate, was introduced by Senators Ben Ray Luján (D-New Mexico) and Rick Scott (R-Florida). The House bill, the HALT (Honoring Abbas Family Legacy to Terminate Drunk Driving) Act (HR 2138), was introduced by Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-Michigan), David McKinley (R-WV) and Kathleen Rice (D-NY). Both bills call for a federal rulemaking process that will lead to drunk driving prevention technology as standard equipment in new vehicles in a few years.
To achieve MADD’s goal of No More Victims, drunk driving prevention technology on all new cars must be mandatory. The lives that will be saved are far too precious to make safety an option.