Group forms to advance impaired driving prevention technology in new vehicles
WASHINGTON — An independent group of auto safety experts and consumer advocates will help develop technology that could prevent drunk or impaired drivers from starting their vehicles.
Provision of $1 trillion Infrastructure Act directs NHTSA to issue final rule by November 2024 requiring new vehicles to be equipped with advanced drink-driving prevention technology and impaired.
Once the rule is published, automakers would have two to three years to implement the technology as standard equipment in all new cars and light trucks.
The technical working group – co-chaired by Stephanie Manning, director of government affairs for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and Jeffrey Michael, former NHTSA associate administrator – will be responsible for supporting efforts to ensure the requirement is met as soon as possible. .
“We understand this is a very important regulatory commitment, but it is also necessary because there is the potential to save so many lives and essentially eliminate impaired driving, the leading cause of death. on the roads,” Manning said in a statement Tuesday.
“We plan to provide the best information on technologies and developments currently available from other regulators and the vendor community around the world to make the implementation of this vital technology a success,” he said. she adds.
Along with Manning and Michael, the group has 11 other participants, including Nat Beuse, Aurora’s vice president of security; Kelly Funkhouser, Automotive Technology Program Manager at consumer reports; Don Tracy, a retired Denso North America executive; and David Zuby, director of research at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
It is unclear whether automakers will be invited to participate in the group.
“We certainly look forward to learning more about what the auto industry is doing to help save lives and prevent injuries, finalize this standard, and end impaired driving once and for all,” said a spokesperson for the group. Automotive News.
Alcohol-impaired driving deaths account for approximately one-third of all road deaths in the United States each year. According to the IIHS, alcohol detection systems that prevent impaired driving could save more than 9,400 lives each year.
The Automotive Innovation Alliance, a trade association that represents most major automakers, said last year that the industry had long been committed to supporting public and private efforts to tackle driving with impaired by alcohol.
For its part, the industry has worked with NHTSA to develop the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety technology, which includes a breath-and-touch-based system to measure a driver’s blood alcohol level.
“We appreciate the efforts of congressional leaders and other stakeholders to advance a legislative approach that gives NHTSA the opportunity to review all potential technologies as options for federal regulation,” said John Bozzella, CEO of the alliance, in August before the infrastructure bill became law. .
Rep. Debbie Dingell, who led the supply with Sen. Ben Ray Lujan, DN.M., said now is the time to implement the technology and save lives.
“When Congress passed my legislation requiring automakers to install drink-driving prevention technology as standard equipment in new vehicles, we sent a clear message that we need to end this trauma now. “said Dingell, D-Mich.
As NHTSA begins the rulemaking process, she added, the newly formed group “will ensure that this technology is implemented quickly and effectively.”