The Biden Administration recently passed the H.R. 3684 – Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which will mandate automobile makers to install new technology in vehicles to prevent drivers from driving under the influence.
According to AP News, vehicles with monitoring systems will be rolled out no later than 2026. $17 billion from the Act will be allocated towards road safety programs, which could lead to safe bike paths and greener spaces on busy roadways.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 20,160 people died from traffic collisions during the first half of 2021; speeding, drunk driving, and not wearing seatbelts were the culprits. It’s also been noted that roughly 10,000 deaths each year are due to alcohol-related crashes in the United States, amounting to 30% of all traffic fatalities.
Some convicted drunk drivers are required to use breathalyzer devices attached to an ignition interlock that checks blood alcohol levels. Infrared cameras that monitor driver behavior have also been implemented, with automakers like General Motors, BMW, and Nissan installing them in their vehicles. These cameras will make sure drivers are watching the road, and they will check for signs of drowsiness, consciousness, and impairment.
Rear-seat reminders to alert parents that their child has been left in the back seat are also a part of the bill. This mandate could begin as early as 2025. Roughly 1,000 children have died from vehicular heatstrokes caused by accidental parental neglect since 1990.
Alex Otte, the National President of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), described the bill as monumental and advised that it marks the beginning of the end of drunk driving.
“It will virtually eliminate the No. 1 killer on America’s roads.”
I have to agree with Ms. Otte, this is a step in the right direction. So for the first time, President Biden and his administration won’t get any complaints from me.
Until Next Time…
Photo Credit: The Washington Post
Segura, E. (2021, November 11). Your Next Car Could Include Newly Required Drunk Driving Prevention Tech. Motortrend. Retrieved November 13, 2021, from https://www.motortrend.com/news/anti-drunk-driving-technology-mandated-infrastructure-bill/.
Yen, H., & Krishner, T. (2021, November 9). Congress mandates new car technology to stop drunken driving. AP News. Retrieved November 13, 2021, from https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-joe-biden-technology-business-health-068ee87392b0cca1444053b854a514dd.