Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-New Mexico) and Sen. Rick Scott (R-Florida) on April 22 introduced The Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone (RIDE) Act, which would mandate drunk driving prevention technology as standard equipment in all new vehicles.
The legislation would require the U.S. Department of Transportation to issue a rulemaking to make this lifesaving technology available in all new passenger vehicles.
The mandate would cover an array of prevention technologies like driver monitoring, which can detect signs of distracted, impaired or fatigued driving, as well as alcohol detection, which uses sensors to assess if a driver is under the influence of alcohol and if so, prevents the vehicle from moving.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, supports the legislation.
Moreover, MADD conducted a nationwide survey that indicates Americans support Congressional action to require drunk driving prevention technology as standard equipment in all new vehicles. Specifically, nine of 10 Americans said they support technology that is integrated into a car’s electronics to prevent drunk driving, with 89% saying it is a good or very good idea. Most of those surveyed (77%) back Congressional action to require this technology in all new vehicles.
Drunk driving remains one of the nation’s most serious roadway problems and the number one cause of traffic deaths.
Every two minutes someone is injured in a drunk driving crash and every 51 minutes someone is killed, according to MADD. More than 25% of all traffic deaths are due to alcohol-impaired drivers and 300,000 people are injured every year in alcohol-related crashes.