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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) officially recommends that all new cars and trucks be equipped with alcohol detection devices.

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The decision comes after an investigation into a head-on collision that occurred on New Year’s Day 2021 in Avenel, California between a speeding SUV driven by a disabled driver and a pickup truck that killed nine people.

“Technology could have prevented this heartbreaking crash — just as it can prevent the tens of thousands of deaths from drunk driving and speeding accidents that we see every year in the US,” she said in her report. NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy.

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“We need to put the technology we have right here and now to save lives.”

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The NTSB, which does not itself have a regulatory body, has told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that it should implement a systems requirement along with a program that will encourage automakers and consumers to “implement intelligent speed adaptation systems that will prevent speed-related crashes.” ‘, even if alcohol is not involved.

According to NTSBIn 2020, 11,654 people died in drunken accidents, representing approximately 30% of all accident-related deaths.

The NHTSA is already working on this topic, as the infrastructure bill signed into law by President Biden in 2021 included a requirement that all vehicles be equipped with passive alcohol locks, which would render them inoperable if high blood alcohol levels were detected. The law calls for rules to be developed within three years and gives automakers two years to comply, but allows the Department of Transportation to extend the deadline if technically necessary.

breath test

Unlike systems currently required by states for drivers convicted of drunk driving, which require them to breathe into a tube before starting their cars. NHTSA and 17 automakers are developing and testing a passive breath test and sensor system that uses infrared light to measure blood alcohol levels through the skin as part of the DADSS (Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety) program.

Details of how the final version of the technology will work are still being worked out, but according to manufacturer LifeSaver, current aftermarket lockout systems typically cost $60 to $150 to install and $60 to $80 a month for calibration and remote monitoring.

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Jay Stanley, a WithThe ACLU’s senior policy analyst said the organization welcomes life-saving efforts, but the technology raises concerns about the mishandling of personal information.

“There are many ways to improve security without affecting people’s privacy. Storing data in the car will help solve this problem,” said Stanley.

“I hope regulators recognize the seriousness of this issue and don’t mess around with how automakers manage the information they collect.”

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The NHTSA states on its website that “For DADSS technology to be considered widespread, it must be seamless, accurate, precise, and unobtrusive to a sober driver. It must also be proven to be reliable for fleet installation and public use.” favorable”.