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BLOW TO DRIVE?

At a glance

  • The NTSB, which has no regulatory authority itself, has told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that it should implement a requirement for the systems along with a program that would incentivize automakers and consumers “to adopt intelligent speed adaptation systems that would prevent speed-related crashes” even when alcohol is not involved.
  • According to the NTSB, there were 11,654 fatalities occurred in alcohol-impaired crashes in 2020, which represented approximately 30% of all accident-related deaths.
  • NHTSA is already working on the topic as the infrastructure bill signed into law by President Biden in 2021 included a requirement for all vehicles to be equipped with passive alcohol interlocks, which would make them inoperable if a high blood alcohol level is detected.
  • The law dictates that regulations be developed within three years and gives automakers two years to comply, but allows the Department of Transportation to extend the periods, if technically necessary.

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