A Chance to End Drunk Driving
The 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) requires auto manufacturers to implement drunk driving prevention technology in new vehicles as early as 2026. It does so by directing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to initiate a rulemaking process and set a final standard within three years for impaired driving prevention technology on all new vehicles.
In January, NHTSA initiated an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to solicit responses about how to move forward with its required rulemaking under the IIJA. This is the first opportunity for the public to weigh in and express to NHTSA the importance of this lifesaving technology.
According to NHTSA data, impaired driving has killed more than 100 bicyclists every year since 2015. Dating back to 2007, each year between 15-16% of total bicyclist fatalities are caused by drunk drivers with BACs of .08% or higher. An additional 15-22% of bicyclists killed each year are killed by drivers who hit and run and are unable to be tested for impairment.
While progress has been made on making drunk driving less socially acceptable, the last decade has seen a plateau in drunk driving-related deaths and recent years have seen more bicyclists killed by impaired drivers. Advanced Impaired Driving Prevention Technology offers a new approach to preventing impaired driving that is supported by Congress and nearly two-thirds of respondents in a nationally representative survey. Even Anheuser-Busch calls implementation of this technology “a strong step in the right direction.”
The League has commented to express our support for NHTSA fulfilling its congressional mandate and moving this technology forward. NHTSA will accept comments from the public until March 5th.
If you are interested in providing a comment, there are some great background resources available from Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Their advice for an effective comment is to submit one that shares your personal story about the dangers and devastation of drunk driving. In sharing your personal experience, consider these questions to help share your story:
Why is ending drunk and impaired driving important to you?
How has impaired driving impacted your life?
Why is it important that drunk and impaired driving prevention technology be required in all new vehicles?
If you or a loved one has been impacted, consider attaching a photo.
Go to regulations.gov Docket NHTSA-2022-0079-0015 to express your support for ending drunk driving.