Infrastructure Law Set November 2024 Deadline for New Auto Regulations that Will Save 10,158 Lives Annually
WASHINGTON – Forty-three national public health and traffic safety organizations and industries sent a letter today to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, urging him to begin the regulatory process that will lead to impaired driving prevention technology being built into every new vehicle sold in the U.S.
A provision in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act – signed into law two years ago next month – directs the USDOT to issue a final rule for an impaired driving prevention standard by November 2024.
“With one year left to meet the deadline prescribed by law, and with impaired driving rising to levels we have not seen in over a decade, MADD and our partners are pressing for impaired driving prevention technology to be prioritized,” said MADD CEO Stacey D. Stewart. “Every month that passes, 1,000 more people will die and even more will be injured due to someone’s decision to drive impaired. This has to stop.”
Traffic deaths are up across the country, and recent studies show an increase in alcohol and other drugs in drivers involved in fatal and serious-injury crashes. Auto and tech companies have already developed safety features to make cars safer, such as automatic emergency braking and lane assist. Integrating smart technology that passively detects driver impairment by alcohol and other drugs, distraction, drowsiness or a medical emergency is a natural next step – and already in the works across the industry.
According to an updated analysis by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 10,158 lives will be saved each year when impaired driving prevention technology is fully implemented in all vehicles.
“Given the current crisis and the outsized human impact drunk and impaired driving has on families and communities across the nation, it is essential that [USDOT] dedicate the necessary resources and attention to directly confront this crisis immediately,” the letter states.
The impaired driving provision in the Infrastructure Law, championed by lead sponsors Rep. Debbie Dingell and Senator Ben Ray Luján, is known as the HALT Act – Honoring the Abbas Family Legacy to Terminate (HALT) Drunk Driving – named in honor of five members of the Abbas Family from Michigan who were killed by a wrong-way drunk driver in Kentucky on January 6, 2019. The family – parents Rima and Issam and their children, Ali, Isabella and Giselle – were traveling home to Michigan after a Florida vacation.
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nonprofit leader in a movement to create a world where there are #NoMoreVictims of impaired driving. By working in collaboration with law enforcement to end underage drinking and all drunk and drugged driving, MADD has helped reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50%, saving more than 400,000 lives. The organization is a vocal advocate for tougher sentencing, new laws and new technology, including implementation of the Halt Act. MADD also has provided supportive services to nearly one million victims of drunk and drugged driving at no charge through local victim advocates and its 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. For more information or to make a donation, visit us at https://madd.org/and follow MADD on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn, and YouTube.