Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) has issued its second major call-to-action to automotive manufacturers, urging them to support federal legislation that would mandate all new vehicles be equipped with drunk driving prevention technology.
Specifically, MADD has asked the members of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation to support the HALT Act and the Senate RIDE Act, proposed by Senators Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) and Rick Scott (F-FL). Both bills would require the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTSA) to issue a rulemaking that will lead to drunk driving prevention technology as standard equipment on all new vehicles.
The challenge comes on the heels of MADD’s recent analysis of 241 vehicle technologies that can be installed in cars to help prevent impaired driving. MADD submitted the analysis — which included driver monitoring systems, driver performance monitoring systems, and passive alcohol detection systems — to legislators as support for the two pending bills.
MADD leadership believes the auto industry should step up, back the bill, and support the implementation of this technology that could save many thousands of lives annually.
This is the second time the organization has issued a direct challenge to automakers. In 2019, MADD’s former National President Helen Witty called on auto manufacturers and suppliers to make drunk driving prevention technology “commercially available … as soon as possible.”
Legislation to require advanced drunk driving prevention technology is supported by a host of advocates in addition to MADD including the National Safety Council, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the Governors Highway Safety Association, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility and Anheuser Busch.
An estimated 28 people in the U.S. die in drunk driving crashes every day —that’s one person every 52 minutes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.