The U.S. Congress will mandate automakers by law to implement technology that prevents drunk drivers from driving, according to the Associated Press (AP).

The mandate was included in the $1 trillion infrastructure budget package that President Biden is expected to sign. 

The new technology is anticipated to be in place by 2026, as it will take time for the new technology to be developed and installed in vehicles. 

This new legislation had already been attempted in 2019, where a bill had been introduced that aimed to install alcohol detection systems by 2024, as indicated by the digital magazine Car and Driver.

As reported by the same magazine, ignition interlock devices are currently used in the United States that have a breathalyzer that makes the driver unable to start the car if it detects alcohol when blowing into a pipe, but they are only implemented for those who have received any convictions for drunk driving. 

Sam Abuelsamid, an analyst at Guidehouse Insights, a market consulting services firm, explained that breathalyzers are not a practical solution because drivers would not want to be forced to blow every time they get in the car.

So, he said, the most appropriate and effective technology that should be implemented is infrared cameras. With such cameras, the driver’s behavior would be monitored at all times and would not only serve to prevent drunk driving.

According to Abuelsamid, the cameras could also track signs of drowsiness, loss of consciousness, or any other situation that makes the driver not attentive to the road. And if detected, the car will turn on its hazard lights, slow down and pull over to the side of the road.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 10,000 people die each year due to alcohol-related crashes in the United States.

And according to data provided last month by the agency, during the first half of this year, the highest number of traffic fatalities since 2006 was recorded, with 20160 deaths. 

This new legislation is similar to previous bills introduced in Congress, such as one in 2019 aiming to install alcohol detection systems by 2024.

However, some are concerned that the new legislation will not bring short-term solutions and urge the U.S. Department of Transportation to address the issue with less bureaucracy and immediate action. 

In this regard, Cathy Chase, president of the Advocates for Auto and Traffic Safety, said, “Prompt action must be taken on comprehensive, commonsense and confirmed solutions to steer our nation toward zero crash fatalities,” adding, “Proven solutions are at hand; it’s time to take action.”

The U.S. Congress will mandate automakers by law to implement technology that prevents drunk drivers from driving, according to the Associated Press (AP).

The mandate was included in the $1 trillion infrastructure budget package that President Biden is expected to sign. 

The new technology is expected to be in place by 2026, as it will take time for the new technology to be developed and installed in vehicles. 

This new legislation had already been attempted in 2019, where a bill had been introduced that aimed to install alcohol detection systems by 2024, as indicated by the digital magazine Car and Driver.

As reported by the same magazine, ignition interlock devices are currently used in the United States that have a breathalyzer that makes the driver unable to start the car if it detects alcohol when blowing into a pipe, but they are only implemented for those who have received any convictions for drunk driving. 

Sam Abuelsamid, an analyst at Guidehouse Insights, a market consulting services firm, explained that breathalyzers are not a practical solution because drivers would not want to be forced to blow every time they get in the car.

So, he said, the most appropriate and effective technology that should be implemented is infrared cameras. With such cameras, the driver’s behavior would be monitored at all times and would not only serve to prevent drunk driving.

According to Abuelsamid, the cameras could also track signs of drowsiness, loss of consciousness, or any other situation that makes the driver not attentive to the road. And if detected, the car will turn on its hazard lights, slow down and pull over to the side of the road.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 10,000 people die each year due to alcohol-related crashes in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

And according to data provided last month by the agency, during the first half of this year, the highest number of traffic fatalities since 2006 was recorded, with 20160 deaths. 

This new legislation is similar to previous bills introduced in Congress, such as one in 2019 that aimed to install alcohol detection systems by 2024.

However, some are concerned that the new legislation is not going to bring short-term solutions, and are urging the U.S. Department of Transportation to address the issue with less bureaucracy and immediate action. 

In this regard, Cathy Chase, president of the Advocates for Auto and Traffic Safety, said, “Prompt action must be taken on comprehensive, commonsense and confirmed solutions to steer our nation toward zero crash fatalities,” adding, “Proven solutions are at hand; it’s time to take action.”

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