Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is dismayed by a proposal by Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD) and co-sponsors Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Mike Braun (R-IN) to reverse a bipartisan law that will lead to impaired driving prevention technology in all new vehicles. Senator Rounds sought to block the law before it was passed as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in November 2021.
“It’s impossible to understand why a law that could virtually end impaired driving and had bipartisan support is being challenged, when we know that drunk driving deaths have increased to more than 12,000 for the first time since 2007,” said MADD National President Alex Otte. “Technology exists that can stop the deaths and injuries on our roads caused by impaired driving. The longer we delay moving forward with the rulemaking, the more families and communities will be needlessly impacted.”
The Advanced Impaired Driving Technology provision in the Infrastructure Law directs the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to issue a safety standard to require impaired driving prevention technology in new cars, which could save more than 9,400 lives a year and prevent countless injuries.
The legislation that became part of the Infrastructure Law was led in the Senate (RIDE Act) by Senators Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Rick Scott (R-FL), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Gary Peters (D-MI), and in the House (HALT Act) by Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-MI), David McKinley (R-WV) and Kathleen Rice (D-NY).
“We lose over 10,000 lives to drunk driving every year, causing unimaginable pain to families and communities across the country,” said Congresswoman Dingell. “We have the technology now to prevent drunk driving, and every day we fail to implement it, more lives are lost to preventable tragedy. It is beyond time we made sure it is implemented in vehicles. Reversing this critical provision will endanger American lives, our communities, and make our roads less safe.”
The legislation received broad support from Anheuser-Busch, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, the Beer Institute, Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, National Safety Council and the Governors Highway Safety Association and 13 major auto insurance companies including Amica Mutual Insurance Company, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company.
“The law that passed in November sets a reasonable timeframe for NHTSA to set the safety standard and for automakers to begin equipping all new cars with advanced impaired driving prevention technology by 2027,” Otte said. “This is the most significant vehicle safety rulemaking ever undertaken by NHTSA in terms of lives saved and injuries prevented. It must proceed as already mandated by Congress. Senator Rounds’ ill-advised legislation would result in thousands of preventable deaths and injuries every year.”
For more information, 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% 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.