NHTSA Seeks To Have New Cars Contain Devices To Detect Impaired Drivers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Calling it “the first step” in an effort to make impaired-driving prevention technology standard in all new passenger vehicles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Tuesday gave “Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” (ANPRM).

Under the ANPRM, information will now be gathered on the state of technology that detects impaired driving and on how it can be deployed safety and effectively. The goal is to develop a standard to prevent driver impairment.

NHTSA’s effort helps fulfill a requirement of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed last year by Congress. It engaged the agency to determine effective ways to prevent intoxicated individuals from getting behind the wheel.

“It is tragic that drunk driving crashes are one of the leading causes of roadway fatalities in this country and far too many lives are lost,” said Polly Trottenberg, the U.S Department of Transportation’s deputy secretary.

The latest data available from 2021 reported that 13,384 people were killed in drunk driving crashes, according to the NHTSA press release, which also touted the agency’s annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” impaired-driving campaign.

“Impaired driving crashes are 100 percent preventable – there’s simply no excuse or reason to drive impaired by alcohol or drugs,” said Ann Carlson, NHTSA’s Acting Administrator. “We urge everyone to be responsible this holiday season. If you’ve had anything to drink, use public transportation, arrange for a sober driver, or call a taxi or ride-hailing service and get home safely.”

No timetable was given by NTSHA for doing its research and no hint was supplied as to when action to require new vehicles to have devices that detect impaired individuals might occur.

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