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Mandating Anti-Drunk Driving Tech

Strategy to Reduce Drunk-Driving

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Exploring the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) initiative to require anti-drunk driving technology in all new passenger vehicles to reduce drunk-driving incidents.

NHTSA’s First Step

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NHTSA has issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, marking the first significant step towards integrating anti-drunk driving technology in new cars. This initiative aims to establish safety standards for potential alcohol-impairment detection in vehicles.

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Fulfilling Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

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The move seeks to fulfill the bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which mandates establishing a safety standard for such technology by November 2024. This law is part of a concerted effort by Congress to reduce road fatalities caused by drunk driving.

The Grim Statistics

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In 2021, over 13,380 lives were lost due to drunk-driving crashes, with societal costs amounting to $280 billion. These staggering figures include lost wages, quality of life, medical expenses, and other costs, underlining the urgency of addressing this issue.

Polly Trottenberg’s Statement

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Polly Trottenberg, Deputy Secretary at the Department of Transportation, emphasizes the tragic nature of drunk-driving crashes as a leading cause of roadway fatalities. She highlights the importance of the proposed rulemaking as a first step toward a new safety standard.

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The Role of the Regulatory Notice

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The regulatory notice is pivotal for the NHTSA to gather essential information on deploying this technology safely and effectively. It also supports the agency’s ongoing research and technological advancements in this area.

Potential Technologies Under Development

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Various technologies are currently being developed to prevent impaired individuals from operating vehicles. These include breath- or touch-based sensors and cameras monitoring eye movements to detect intoxication.

Implementation Challenges

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The NHTSA must ensure its effectiveness before mandating the technology. Once the guidelines are finalized, automakers will be given at least three years to install the technology in new vehicles.

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MADD’s Support and Urgency

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Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), a leading nonprofit organization, has strongly supported the NHTSA’s initiative. They urge swift action in finalizing and implementing these rules to prevent further loss of life.

Tess Rowland’s Appeal

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MADD National President Tess Rowland, in her statement, stresses the human cost of drunk driving. She calls for expedited action, emphasizing the importance of saving lives and preventing tragedies similar to what she has experienced.

The Alarming Rise in Drunk-Driving Deaths

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According to MADD, drunk-driving deaths in the U.S. have increased alarmingly. The last decade saw a 35 percent rise in such fatalities, with more than 13,000 deaths reported for the first time since 2007.

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Impact of Technology on Safety

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This initiative by the NHTSA represents a crucial effort in combating drunk-driving incidents through technological advancements. As the process unfolds, the impact of these technologies on road safety and their effectiveness in saving lives will be closely monitored.


Malik is a skilled writer with a passion for news and current events. With their keen eye for detail, they provide insightful perspectives on the latest happenings. Stay informed and engaged!