The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended that all new cars sold in the U.S. come with blood alcohol detection devices to prevent drunk people from driving. The Associated Press reports that if the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) follows the advice, alcohol-related collisions, one of the leading causes of traffic fatalities in the United States, may decline.
The NHTSA believes roadway deaths in the United States are nearing crisis levels. The number of fatalities last year was over 43,000, the highest in 16 years, as more Americans hit the roads after the pandemic. According to preliminary figures, deaths increased over the first half of this year but decreased from April through June, which officials hope continues.
While the NTSB has no regulatory jurisdiction, the suggestion is intended to pressure NHTSA to act. Changes could go into effect in as little as three years if the NHTSA chooses to move on the recommendation. NTSB Chairman Jennifer Homendy said, “We need NHTSA to act. We see the numbers. We need to make sure that we’re doing all we can to save lives.” She added, “The faster the technology is implemented the more lives that will be saved.”
Additionally, the agency recommended systems be installed in vehicles to monitor drivers’ behavior and ensure they’re alert.
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