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MADD, Victims and Survivors Call on USDOT, NHTSA To Prioritize Drunk Driving Prevention Tech Mandate

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) sent a letter today signed by  more than 650 drunk driving crash victims and survivors calling on the U.S. Department of Transportation and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to do everything possible to meet the Congressional mandate for installing advanced passive drunk driving prevention technology in all vehicles.

In a letter to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, victims and survivors representing all 50 states noted that more than 9,400 lives can be saved by technology every year when drunk driving prevention technology is installed in all vehicles.

“We have lost sons, daughters, husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, and best friends, and we have suffered life-changing injuries ourselves,” the victims and survivors wrote. “Every year of delay will mean unnecessary deaths and more grieving families like ours.”

The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed into law by President Biden on November 15, 2021, includes a requirement for DOT to issue an advanced impaired driving prevention standard within three years. Implementation in vehicles would start two to three years later. Among the technologies to be considered are driver and driving monitoring, alcohol detection or a combination of those systems.

The bill signing was “a momentous and hopeful day for us and hundreds of thousands of other drunk driving victims who are represented by Mothers Against Drunk Driving,” because it “sets the country on a path to truly end drunk driving,” the letter states.”

MADD National President Alex Otte, a survivor who signed the letter, commended Secretary Buttigieg and NHTSA Deputy Administrator Dr. Steve Cliff for their commitment to addressing traffic safety at a time when fatalities are increasing.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Secretary Buttigieg and Dr. Cliff on the timely completion of this historic rulemaking. Lives can and must be saved, and injuries can and must be prevented,” Otte said.

Last month, NHTSA announced that 38,824 people were killed in traffic crashes in 2020, more than any year since 2007. Alcohol-related deaths spiked 14 percent from 2019 to 2020, exceeding 11,000 for the first time since 2008.

For more information about drunk driving prevention technology, visit madd.org/HaltAct.

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save more than 400,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit www.madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.

Contact: Becky Iannotta, [email protected]

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